By Kerine Wint
The concept of knowing or creating one’s own body of knowledge to guide and inform one’s perspective is something I believe we should all be paying special attention to. Everyone has a philosophy on life, whether they realize it or not. The process of refining this philosophy will allow you to have something to carry you through rough times and allow you to easily enjoy and appreciate the pleasant moments.
Philosophy refers to a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior. I’ve always been intrigued, and confused by the various types of philosophies that exist and are constantly being blasted whether for finding ways to be happy, to be successful or for finding life fulfillment. All of these philosophies are great in theory until you find contradictions or feel overwhelmed by the life changes you’d have to make to follow-through.
What I’m more interested in is the moral and metaphysical sides of philosophy — ethos, and logos, to put names to it — where we can navigate through right and wrong, virtue, causation, existence; and all the other abstract constructs our lives are plagued by.
Like myself, there may come a time when you’ll find that it’s difficult to build the courage to forge your own path. Despite that, one thing I always try to remember is that my life and life goals are entirely perspectival. Each person’s experience, and thus their perspectives, are unique and it’s only fair to try and accommodate that by creating one’s own abstract rules to live by. Fortunately, establishing a personal philosophy is an endless task – your ideas on life and how you choose to live it will constantly evolve with you.
As you get older, become awakened to new ideas, and learn hard lessons from tough experiences, you’re bound to undergo a few course corrections along the way. As long as you have your basic principles and are comfortable in them, you can have that tailored-compass to all the things you want to become.
If you can’t see where to begin, just use your existing philosophy as a starting point. Everyone has one whether they believe it or not. By starting with the principles you already live by, you’re simply just refining it to make it complementary to the person you are today. You could also study other philosophies and make a hybrid that suits your individuality.
Don’t worry about being “corrupted” by a new way of thinking, nor should you be afraid of having conflicting principles once you can comfortably distinguish which are useful when. Allow yourself to explore the possibilities. And honestly? See what’s out there first just in case there’s something that fits perfectly. Like I mentioned before, your philosophy, like yourself, will evolve so don’t get hung up on using it for the rest of your life.
Lastly, don’t complicate it. Your philosophy shouldn’t feel like a grave burden. It should make you feel stable, confident, and excited by possibilities, adventure, and opportunities.
This article was originally published on Witted Roots.