Maybe you’ve been living the American dream. You have an attractive spouse, a nice house and car, two kids, and a membership at the country club, yet you’re strangely dissatisfied.
Maybe the American dream isn’t your dream. How can one version of how to live life appeal to everyone? You’re an individual, right?
It’s likely that you’ve never given the idea of a life philosophy much thought. It doesn’t get mentioned in school. Your parents probably never broached the subject.
It’s a personal decision. If you don’t decide for yourself, you’re stuck with the default version that everyone else is chasing. Rather than chasing after the standard version of success, it might be time to create your own.
At the very least, you’ll be more excited when you get out of bed each morning.
Create a life philosophy that makes happiness and fulfillment a possibility:
1. Educate yourself. Rather than starting completely from scratch, take a look at some of the more popular philosophies from the past to the present. You might find something that resonates with you. Feel free to tweak and experiment with what you find.
○ The internet and local library are both good resources. There are people that spend their entire lives on this very topic. Learn from them.
2. Ask yourself how you got to this point. You already have a set of beliefs regarding what is valuable in life. How did you reach that point? Who taught those beliefs to you? Did you pick them up from your friends? Movies? Teachers? Books? How was your current philosophy constructed?
3. Determine what you want your life to be about. Will your life be about money and success? Altruism? Adventure? Family? Personal development? Will it be based on a religion? What matters to you?
○ What do you think is most important? Can you be happy with that decision? For example, you might believe that family should be the most important thing, but what if you don’t have a family? Or maybe you don’t even want a family to begin with.
○ Many philosophers argue that there is no inherent meaning to life, which is just a fancy way of saying that you can choose the meaning of life for yourself and be just as correct as anyone else.
4. Start at the end. Imagine that you’ve lived a long life and you’re reaching the end. What kind of life do you want to look back on? What sorts of things do you want to have learned, achieved, and experienced? How do you want to be remembered? With the end in mind, how do you need to live today to reach that ideal ending?
5. Give it a try. Once you’ve found a way of looking at the world that appeals to you, take it for a test-ride. See if it suits you. Have patience while you’re on this journey. It may take time to become completely satisfied with new viewpoint.
6. Find like-minded people and discuss. While this is a personal journey, that doesn’t mean it has to be solitary. Bounce ideas off of others. You might gain an insight that makes all the difference. Be open and share your ideas.
Be playful with the process of developing a new way of approaching life. The best philosophy will bring you a sense of peace and purpose. If you’re feeling a bit disenchanted with life, change your perspective. You can choose for yourself what is most important in life. Create a game that you can win and enjoy along the way.