It’s a tough question to answer. It’s hard to even know what an answer would look like! Is it an essay? A picture? A poem? A sentence? A list?
It's maybe comforting to know that there's no singular correct answer here. It can look like any of those things! So what does yours look like? If you're not sure yet, pick something that seems fun and make a first draft!
For me, having a philosophy of life is about giving myself a guide: It’s my perspective on how to make the most of my time on this planet. And it’s actually not too complicated; the power is in its simplicity.
Obviously, this will be relatively personal, but I thought I’d share my framework with the hope that it will help you develop yours.
So here it is!
Values: Our values are our ideals. These are the things we hold dear (or things that we WANT to hold dear) as we go through life. Values end up forming a decision-making framework as we make the tough choices of life (and even the everyday choices).
Vision: The vision we set for our lives creates a destination towards which we want to move. Great companies set strong visions which guide their actions, and there’s no reason that individuals can’t do the same.
Activities: The activities we choose to do should move us towards our vision. Our vision and values will inspire a particular venture, and we take action on it by taking the first step.
To summarize: The vision sets our course, the values tell us how to act on our journey, and the activities are the things we actually do along the way.
Throughout the process, we need to have regular opportunities for reflection.
Each step we take gives us the chance to reflect, and each reflection gives us the time opportunity to pivot. We can always begin stepping in a new direction.
When we make these changes mindfully, we can change with every step. Our values, our vision, and our activities continually grow.
It’s worth pointing out that the whole process is powered by risk taking! Just as the sun and water nourish a plant, the process of taking risks allows the philosophy to grow.
Of course, my philosophy of life is probably not yours. I explain it only as an example with the hopes that it will help you develop your own! But you're welcome to use mine as a starting point if it's helpful.
So where do you start? Anywhere!
- Take an hour to clarify your values;
- Bang out a first draft of a vision statement on your laptop (though truth be told, I prefer a pen and paper);
- Write a bucket-list;
- Take a step towards any goal that seems even slightly relevant;
Whatever you do, you will be giving yourself the opportunity to redefine success and develop your philosophy of life.
Try starting with the simple technique: Take a risk! Think of something cool you want to do and take a step. You’ll be on the right path.
So – what are you waiting for? Go do something!