If you want to improve your life and better yourself, it helps to have a personal philosophy to follow. This can become your guiding light, giving you a sense of direction and allowing you to weigh new choices against your purpose and progress.
Rohn: 7 Tips for Developing Your Personal Philosophy
Set your sail.
The winds of circumstance blow upon all of us. We all have experienced the winds of disappointment, despair and heartbreak, but why do people arrive at such different places at the end of the journey? Have we not all sailed upon the same sea?
The major difference isn’t circumstance; it’s the set of the sail, or the way we think—it’s what we do after we’ve set our sails and the wind decides to change direction. When the winds change, we must change.
We have to struggle to our feet and reset the sail in a manner that will steer us in the direction of our own deliberate choice. The set of the sail, or how we think and how we respond, has a far greater capacity to destroy our lives than any challenges we face.
How quickly we respond to adversity is far more important than adversity itself.
The great challenge of life is to control the process of our own thinking.
Remember to always watch for the positive, the bright spots in your day to day life. There will be negatives and adversity, but if you’re willing to look hard enough, you will see beauty and joy all around you. The more often you invest in a positive outlook, the easier and more instinctual it will become.
This is an investment that pays dividends for the rest of your life!
Learn from success and failure.
The best way to establish a new and powerful personal philosophy is to objectively review the conclusions you’ve drawn about life. Any conclusion you’ve drawn that isn’t working for you could be working against you. The best way to counteract misinformation and wrong data is to input new and accurate information.
Gather information from personal experience. If you’re doing something wrong, evaluate what you did wrong and change things.
Seek an objective, outside voice about how you are and what you’re doing. An objective opinion from someone you respect can lead you to early and accurate information about your decision-making process. Listen to the freshness of an outside voice—someone who can see the forest and isn’t lost in the trees.
Observe the successes and failures of other people. If people who failed were to give seminars, it would be helpful. You could see how people mess up and you wouldn’t do what they did. Past failures and errors prompt us to amend current conduct so we don’t replicate the past.
You can learn from others’ mistakes as well as your own. If you try something and fail, that shouldn’t be a disappointment but instead a lesson.
Study from people who do well. Each of us should be in a constant search for people we admire and respect and whose behavior we can model. It’s far better to deliberately choose the people we will permit to influence us than to allow bad influences to affect us without our conscious choice.
Keep a journal.
A journal is a gathering place for all of our observations and discoveries about life. It’s our own handwritten transcript that captures our experiences, ideas, desires and conclusions about the people and the events that have touched our lives. The past, when properly documented, is one of the best guides for making good decisions.
The very act of writing about our lives helps us think more objectively about our actions. Writing tends to slow down the flow of information and gives us time to analyze and ponder the experience. The intense scrutiny of journal writing can enable us to make refinements in our philosophy that are truly life-changing.
Jot down what you learn and be a buyer of empty books. It’s the small disciplines that lead to great accomplishments.
Do you have a personal philosophy? Could you boil down your own personal journey into one or two sentences?