I think it’s very important for one to have a personal philosophy; emphasis on personal.
I feel that the most interesting people are the ones who have adopted an array of philosophies culled from all over the world, while the most boring and predictable are the people who have chosen the preset ideology of a few main groups to define their entire lives.
Those who have cultivated their own philosophy are often open to changing it’s definitions as they go along in life, thus allowing a mindset which fosters growth and learning. Anyone who acts with ‘guru status’– having it all figured out, knowing for sure that they’re right and you’re wrong, aren’t open to changing their ideas about anything– is a sure sign that they are probably the complete opposite.
A big problem with major philosophies is that they’re so publicly well defined and often packaged in the form of political or religious views, ethnic enclaves, lifestyle groups, subcultures, established schools of thought, and so on. It’s easy to stand for something that has already been well defined; to put a societal label on yourself and speak, dress, and act the part. The dangerous thing is that because it’s so easy, we can quickly fall into preset mentalities and forget to question the reasoning behind it. Why do we do things? Why do we choose to believe these things? Are they the best suited for us?
A personal philosophy is more difficult to define, very individual, intimate, always in flux, the work of a lifetime. It can be shared but should never be forced upon anyone. My personal philosophy is my own to follow. Should I find others with whom I mesh well and provide mutual inspiration, that would be wonderful. Should someone completely disagree, that’s also perfectly fine, we can keep it to ourselves. If everyone respected every persons’ right to a personal philosophy, there’d be much more peace in the world.
A main reason why I began this site was to have a place to put my thoughts and take a look at my own philosophies. “The life monk” is a working title of my overall philosophy — I am always studying life, appreciating it, discovering it, training within it. I am always searching, questioning, being interested and curious. My goal isn’t heaven or moksha, it’s to simply keep learning and living in the way that best suits me. The happier and better I am, the more I can be there for others, the more I can give to the world.
Personal philosophies are the one thing that we can put together entirely ourselves at our own discretion, and create our own individual approach to living. Although we may predominantly adhere to a well-known philosophy, we have full liberty to edit and add to it as we wish, to tailor it to our own personality, attitude, lifestyle and goals. We can freely choose the mindsets that work best for us…and that is super exciting.
I think it’s so beautiful that our ways of thinking about and seeing the world can be tended to and cultivated. It’s the workings behind the way we feel and act in our everyday lives, and it will be there until the end.
Philosophies are like computers, or gardens. It is integral to know what system I’m operating on, to know what seeds have been planted and are flourishing in my mind. They can be upgraded and fertilized at my will. They can be uninstalled and weeded. I can program/plant everything from scratch if needed. And it’s all always in flux. It always wants to grow.