Welcome to the
You, like most, probably have never encountered the subject of personal life philosophy. Typically, we are only exposed to classic philosophy, famous philosophers or specific lines of philosophic thought at best.
Life philosophy is very different from these and the common conception of philosophy. The practical value and the personal nature of each individual’s life philosophy set it apart. Personal life philosophies are essential life tools.
This learning center seeks to equip everyone with knowledge about life philosophy. It provides useful context for anyone interested in developing theirs. It also seeks to break down many of the preconceptions about philosophy that get in the way.
Current Learning Center Resources
There are real reasons why personal life philosophies are essential life tools. Changes in our world are making personal philosophies vital for living an engaged life.
We recommend that you cover this section first.
Sound knowledge of personal philosophies is necessary for crafting yours to enrich your life.
This section provides you the basics about life philosophy and personal life philosophies.
All personal life philosophies are unique and valuable. Those that are transformational have key qualities.
Take this deeper dive for insight on making your life philosophy transformational.
Must Know: Four Reasons Why We All Need a Life Philosophy.
The world is becoming increasingly complex and difficult for individuals
Making sense of life and navigating the world has always been challenging, but perhaps never more so than in our lifetimes.
Pressures have always confronted the individual. We are heavily shaped by those around us. Traditionally these pressures have come primarily from our families and culture. More and more it comes from the systems and institutions that we have created including social, education, political/government and economic/business/corporations.
To a large extent our systems and institutions have grown beyond our control. Increasingly they exert control over each of us. This is especially true considering the ever-present screens we view and what lies behind them. We are subject to a continual stream of targeted messages based upon monitoring of virtually everything we do. Retaining our individuality and humanity under this constant manipulation requires more than personal fortitude.
We are also confronted by a new breed of crises. These crises are of a scale and intensity that humanity has never encountered. These too are beyond our collective and immediate control. Climate change is the most obvious and concerning of these crises. We are now just seeing some of its more serious impacts. Much worse will come for most of us in our lifetimes. Other crises that are taking hold include the extreme economic inequity, the global resurgence of totalitarianism and fascism. Each of these is an assault on the individual.
It is easy to become numb to these crises and focus on the immediate challenges of navigating everyday life. Too, openly acknowledging these problems and their implications can seem alarmist. It is important that we each understand and address their impact on our individuality. If we don’t, we are at risk of becoming the equivalent of semi-autonomous, biological drones.
We all need a basis for understanding ourselves, our lives and the world.
Having family, love, a livelihood, health and friendship are all important for living a full life. Yet, it is possible to have these and for your life to be lacking something.
Without a good basis for making sense of the world, you may find yourself spending a lot of effort trying to figure it out on the fly. You may feel that you are adrift to a small or large extent. You may wonder about the specifics of your life and have a nagging feeling that something is missing or that you are missing something. You may wonder if there is more to life, and how to find it.
A fundamental part of being human is the need to make sense of life and the larger world. We all need to understand what is meaningful in life and what gives our lives purpose. We all need to understand our personal perspective on the world and life including how life should be lived and how we think the world should be.
This understanding allows us to make sense of our daily life and of life’s major events whether they be good or bad. Actively knowing how you think life should be lived and how you think the world should be can also provide a basis for inspiration and direction beyond any you have ever experienced. One of the major challenges in life is developing your basis for understanding your lives and the world. When you do, it fundamentally changes your life.
No one, including any ‘authority,’ has the answers to what is important in life or how to live it.
Our world is increasingly moving beyond the old paradigms that helped us understand our lives and the broader world. Just as mythology once played a significant role in how we understood them, other traditional sources for answers have become dated and irrelevant.
We now understand that there is no ‘authority’ that has the answers to our big questions. There are others with perspectives, such as philosophers, contemporary spiritualists and psychologists, but they, like you, your family, friends and those in your community are only people. Their perspectives are just their perspectives, not definitive answers. The same is true for their view of how to live life as well, especially when they prescribe it to you and your life.
It is up to each of us to define our own basis for understanding the world and living our lives.
- We as individuals have an innate need to understand the world and our lives.
- There are no ‘authorities’ with the answers.
- We are living in an increasingly challenging time and world.
We as individuals must develop our own basis for living our lives and understanding the world.
Developing this understanding and basis is encapsulated in the process of developing a personal life philosophy. A personal life philosophy is your unique understanding of and perspective on the world and life including how you think life should be lived and the world should be. Personal philosophies generally contain your most essential truths about life and the world and your aspirations for them. Your personal philosophy can include anything you find essential such as what you place value in and find especially meaningful.
An important aspect of a personal life philosophy is that it is a practical tool that you use in your life. As such, developing, knowing and making yours a part of your life is no small undertaking. Robust knowledge about life philosophies and what is involved in developing one is vital for yours to bring substantial value to your life.
Be better equipped to develop and live your personal philosophy.
Explore the Learning Center by Topic
- What is a personal philosophy?
- What is life philosophy?
- Why should I put effort into developing my personal philosophy?
- The importance (value) of a personal philosophy.
- Why aren’t personal philosophies taught on a wider basis?
- What can be included in a personal philosophy?
- What do I need to know to develop my personal philosophy?
- Where did the concept of personal philosophies come from?
- Using my personal philosophy in my life.
- I don’t have or need a personal philosophy.
- Personal philosophies are only for big thinkers.
- A personal philosophy is a one sentence maxim.
- Like philosophy in general, personal philosophies are esoteric and don’t have any practical value.
- I already know my personal philosophy. I don’t need to formalize it.
- I’m just one normal person, my personal philosophy is of no value to the world.
- Developing yours helps you connect with what is essential in the world.
- Yours uses knowledge of the world is broad in scope and in how one knows.
- Developing yours helps you connect with and understand your self.
- Your uses and places importance on quality knowledge of the self.
- Yours makes your complex thoughts and feelings more tangible.
- They are broad enough in scope to have applicability to much of your life.
- Your personal philosophy is a practical tool.
- Your personal philosophy evolves as the world changes and as you grow.
- Your personal philosophy is expressed in ways that are meaningful to you.
- You develop yours with little or no knowledge about personal philosophies.
- You shortcut the process of developing yours.
- It isn’t really your personal philosophy.
- It is too general to be of any real value.
- You don’t actively know it.
- It isn’t useful in your life.
- You don’t use it in your life.
- You don’t develop yours.
- Have a good understanding of personal philosophies.
- What is involved in developing a personal philosophy?
- Some of the barriers we all encounter to developing our personal philosophy.
- Understanding of your motivation for developing your personal philosophy.
- Have an approach and plan.
- A few more helpful tips for when you are developing your personal philosophy.
Books and eBooks
Living Philosophies: The Reflections of Some Eminent Men and Women of Our Time
edited by Clifton Fadiman. 1st ed. New York : Doubleday, 1990. ISBN: 0385248806
I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time
edited by Clifton Fadiman. Simon and Schuster, Inc. 1939
Living Philosophies: A Series of Intimate Credos
by Albert Einstein, John Dewey, Sir James Jeans … [and others]; Simon and Schuster, 1931.
Video's and Podcasts