Life philosophies


Mad as a sack of ferrets!
Does anyone have any life philosophies? Like a core belief system or mantra that underpins everything? I've had the following for years and the older I get, the more firmly I hold true to them. You may or may not agree with them, but they help me get by:

1. Everything happens for a reason. That doesn't mean to say I believe in fate, destiny or a higher power; just that it's my way of making sense of this crazy world. There will be times and circumstances when we don't understand the reason straight away - it may take years of reflection to figure it out. Sometimes, we never will. And on many an occasion we won't like the reason. But there will be one.

2. There is something good to be found in every bad situation. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Now this concept is a real difficult one to buy into at times. Yes, we'd rather these things never happened in the first instance. But if they do and we need to deal with them, trying to take something positive from the experiences will help.

Let's take an obvious example - what possible good can there be in the death of a loved one? At first glance, nothing whatsoever. But while you may be left behind, you have survived the experience. You have come through bereavement a more rounded, resilient individual. And what about terrorist atrocities? They are indescribably tragic and the consequence of deplorable actions. But try to find the good. Something. Anything. They invariably bring communities closer together. People make a stand against such appalling loss and unite against those that would harm us. There. No matter how small, something good can be found, like a diamond in a gravel pit, it's there.

Yeah, there are one or two I'm struggling with but often the positive is how we as a species /community / society respond to the suffering of others. It'd be great if no-one suffered, but while it's inevitable, our compassion makes us human.

3. Life is not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're going to do, you're going to watch your life go by without ya. Courtesy of Disney Movie, the Hunchback of Notre Dame (probably inspired by a book by Art McNeil). If you sit there waiting for shit to fix itself, you'll grow old waiting. Grab life by the short 'n curlies, take matters into your own hands and bloody well sort it out. Sometimes easier said than done, but there is more within our gift than you imagine.

4. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Yes - there is always the counter argument that what does kill you makes you dead, lol. But all the shit that life throws at people does teach us a hell of a lot. If I'm honest, this is the one that I'm struggling with at the moment. I've developed really significant resilience over the years, but it does feel like a gradual war of attrition. The longer it goes on, the weaker I feel. But, I do believe that if (when I get better) it will have made me stronger.

So what are your thoughts? Agree/disagree? Do you have any of your own? Not expecting much of a response, but fuck it - might as well ask, lol.


Well-Known Member
"The mind is eveything. What you think you become"

Among the many simple and wise statements from the Buddha, this one provides particularly clear direction: “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

So, what do you think about this? What’s your knee jerk thought reaction? For some it will be rejection. “Too simplistic.” For others it will be doubt. “Could be, not sure.” For others, it’s “Right on.”

Your reaction reveals your habitual thinking. And that’s what the quote is designed to challenge and change. If what the Buddha says is true – and for the deniers and doubters this is an invitation to play a maybe game – then you are all powerful.

You are all powerful, relative to determining what you think. Is that true? Perhaps, theoretically. But in practice, our thinking is influenced by a million invisible factors like beliefs, habits, convictions, and what your parents told you, etc. This comprises your thought programming.

It’s what leads to abuse and war. For example, a person believes that those with different colored skin are inferior, perhaps not even fully human. Their thinking makes them become a bigot and a hate monger, in extreme cases, a murderer. And they justify what is clearly inhuman behavior by the way they think (and feel; emotion is always involved). Millions of people have done this and still do this… it’s called racism.

So, what do you want to become? It seems simple enough to choose to be a loving, considerate, productive person. Ah, with that done, comes the follow through, which is traditionally where we stumble (think New Year’s Resolutions). But there’s a fundamental difference here between what you decide to do and who you decide to become.

The person you decide to become, exhibiting the qualities that kind of person would naturally have, will tend to consistently act according to those character values in every situation (automatically challenging their old thinking as they encounter their own entrenched beliefs). This is far more effective than picking off one challenging “to do” at a time.

PS- absolutely love this thread idea! Hope you get plenty of responses.
I don't know if this would count as a life philosophy, but I've spent some time thinking about the true meaning of life. For everyone and anyone.

As I go about my days, in the back of my mind I sometimes think about this question. Thoughts roam left and right, trying to piece together an answer that makes sense, or at least somewhat of sense. These are ideas I've proposed on a very large scale:

"To continue to reproduce and keep humanity alive forever!"

"To eventually have the technology to expand our race into the stars and beyond the solar system!"

(Or a combination of both!)

But I disagree with these. Because it's not a universally accepted meaning to life, as in some people will disagree, and that's okay. On a smaller scale, I've thought of:

"To get good grades to get a well-paying job in the future!"

"To work my way to get a house in the future and live with a family of four!"

But these are even less universally accepted, and even I don't agree with these.

After some time, I eventually came to the conclusion that there is NO meaning to life. There's no pre-defined setting on what the point to life is. The individual thenself must create a purpose in life for only themselves. The meaning of life that I would like to stand by will be different from yours, and different from your parents, your friends, their friends, their families, etc.


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I don't have time - literally - to answer this right now so I'm commenting to get alerts! I know, terrible. I wanna come back to it though.

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