We Create The World We Live In:

The Difference is In the Outlook

One's personal life philosophy is always changing.  What's important is to have a good, strong, and adaptive base.  Then, everyday, test yourself and your philosophy in the world.

One part of testing your philosophy consists of a logical assessment of how well it seems to fit with the world.  Another part is how it makes you feel.  A life philosophy that leads a person to suicide isn't terribly successful.  How one acts and lives is the primary exam of his life philosophy.

I once went on a trip with some friends and we took two cars, one following the other.  At one point both cars took a wrong turn and went a number or miles out of the way.  It probably took a bit more than an hour to get back on track.  The people in the other car (those not with me) were anxious to get to where we were going.   They got angry and frustrated at being off course.  They quarreled about the best way to proceed, and when we finally did reach our destination, they were all angry with one another and didn't much enjoy the day.  Our car, on the other hand, made the best of our being lost.  We mooed at cows in the fields and tried to guess where we were on the map by picking random coordinates.  We still did our best to get back on course, but had a good time along the way.  Sometimes the difference between bad and good is just the outlook one takes.

 

Which leads us to:  Ideal Realism.  We truly do create the world we live in.

This is not the idealistic viewpoint that everything always turns out for the best; nor is it proposing that doing drugs is the answer (because don't they modify your experience?).  In ideal realism, take the world as it is, and know that what you see is a reflection of yourself.  Your "world" is who you are. 

Do bad things always happen to you?  Sometimes it's bad luck, but sometimes it's how a person views things, how that person responds to them, even in a subconscious way.  Take, for example, a college exam.  A person who "knows" that they're going to fail won't study as diligently.  Or, if they spend hours and hours, they won't absorb as much, simply because their brain has decided that it's worthless - why waste the space?

A good story as an example:  A few years back when the Matrix first came out, I went to see it with a group of friends.  Afterwards I said to them, "you know, a lot of things in life are really like that - you have to truly know something before it becomes true." (referring to the scene where Morpheus says, "You're faster than this.  Don't think you are; know you are.").  In response, one of my so-called-friends replied, "Ok then, Eric... Let's see you do a cartwheel."  My other friends grinned in response.  They'd seen me try earlier, and they'd seen me fall on my butt time after time - not even close to cartwheel.  I turned to them, with a laughing and completely false confidence and said, "Fine then, I will!"

Now, I'm not sure if it was because it was nearly 3am, or because I was in a particularly strange mood or because of watching an action movie or what, but after I said that I would, I somehow believed it.  And without hardly a pause... perfect cartwheel.

Certainly, I'm not suggesting that we're all part of an interactive neurological control system; nor am I trying to pretend that a cartwheel is an amazing feat.  But, think of all the things that you've tried to do in your life, but couldn't; even though they were completely within your power.  Can't think of any?  How about losing weight?  Learning to play a musical instrument?  Getting over a fear of heights?  Getting through (some kinds of) depression?  Getting an A in a class that you know you could get an A in if you just studied?

If you really believed that you could do these things, you could.  (barring an amputee's dream to play the piano...)  Idealistic Realism.  We make our own reality.

 

Next Page: Respect Yourself - Deserve Your Own Respect

 

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Last modified: November 19, 2005