Wisdom//

Change This and Change Your Life

A small mindset shift can make a huge difference.

LightField Studios/ Shutterstock
LightField Studios/ Shutterstock

Right now, you may be down on your life — or even hating it. Here’s a big piece of news that may rock your world. Maybe it isn’t your life that you hate. Maybe it’s your life philosophy.

Your what?

Your life philosophy is made up of the rules you live by, your understanding of who you are, why you’re here, and what you’re supposed to be doing here. It’s made up of your convictions, your vision of what’s right and what’s wrong, and the other bits and pieces that you’ve probably never stopped to articulate and maybe don’t even know. 

If that’s what’s not working for you, then you may be hating your own rules and regulations and not your life. And that’s great news!

That’s a huge distinction and should give you a ton of hope. If you hate life, well, life is life. But if what you are hating is how you’ve put life together, well, that you can change. You can change that! You can unravel your belief system and create a new belief system that feels truer and that serves you better.   

Consider the following example. I write a lot about authoritarian wounding in the family and get emails every day from readers who hate their father or their mother or some other family member like a sibling.

Say that you hate your father. That’s one thing. But let’s say that you also feel obliged to love and honor your father, who is a tyrant and a bully. That’s another thing and a very different thing. That’s a belief that you’re holding and that you could change!

If you change your mind that you are obliged to love and honor him, you’ve changed your belief system. You haven’t done a single thing to change “life itself” but you’ve done an enormous thing to your philosophy of life. You’ve altered a basic premise. Instead of believing “I should honor my father” you now believe “I don’t need to honor bullies.” 

That’s such a big deal! That is so liberating! You’re going to hate life a lot less if you change your philosophy of life so that it serves you. You don’t have to honor bullies. That rule isn’t written anywhere. If it’s only written “in your head,” you can erase it. Think about that. 

Or, say, you’ve been trained to listen to others and you really want to listen to yourself. Right now, you may be hating your own rule, that you’re supposed to listen to others. It’s the rule that you are hating. So, get rid of that rule! If you get rid of that rule, you will get rid of the problem, the pain, and maybe what you’re experiencing as self-hatred. Maybe you can’t change most of your circumstances. But you can change your philosophy of life. And you should! 

It is your business to craft a philosophy of life that makes sense to you and that serves you. You can’t entrust that task to anyone else and you can’t just buy any existing philosophy or religion hook, line, and sinker. They are too dogmatic, they come from another time, and they hardly match our updated understanding of the universe or human nature. You might as well believe in Zeus and Poseidon! No; it’s time to create your own updated philosophy of life, one that you create with wit and love.

As you create yours, you may want to take a peek at mine. I’ve created a philosophy of life that I think may work for you. It’s brand-new, it’s called kirism, and I introduce it in my new book Lighting the Way. Lighting the Way is a contemporary philosophy of life that matches our updated understanding of the universe and human nature. Take a look and see if it might serve you.

If it turns out that what you hate is your philosophy of life and not your life, that is very big news. I hope that news excites you. You are the meaning-maker in your life and you get to craft a philosophy of life that you love rather than hate. I hope that you will do that. As you design yours, take a look at mine. I think kirism can really serve you.

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Eric Maisel is the author of 50+ books including his latest, Lighting the Way.

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