It might not be easy to come up with your personal philosophy, but it will certainly be worth every minute you invest. Let’s explore how you can better understand your own internal compass and use it to your advantage. So without further ado, keep reading to find out how to write your own personal philosophy and unlock your full potential.
What’s a Personal Philosophy?
Great humanitarians, spiritual leaders, religions, and organizations all have one. But what is a personal philosophy, and why is it useful? Personal philosophies define all that an individual stands for, including their values, belief systems, and anything that encourages them to live intentionally.
It also serves as your road map through life. You may think that you already have a solid understanding of your values. But having a statement that reinforces your personal philosophies could just be what you’re missing.
So what can you gain from having a personal philosophy statement?
Its purpose is to help direct your daily actions and ensure that your values guide everything you do. After all, your intentions are the reason you start any new venture or get motivated to take action. Your personal philosophy statement can help you remain accountable and focused, reminding you of your motivations and triggers.
Since your personal philosophy is an attempt to grasp the essence of who you are, your personal philosophy statement should encompass everything that you do as well.
How to Create and Develop a Personal Philosophy
As you grow, learn, and adapt, your personal philosophies will evolve along with you. This is why your statement doesn’t have to be perfect on your first attempt. It’s only natural to refine your personal philosophy statement as you journey through life. But there’s no time like the present to start developing one.
So without further ado, here are some tips to get you started.
Strengthen your sense of self-identity
To align with who you want to be, you must identify who you are before anything else. Taking a personality test or even asking family and friends for their opinions can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and what drives you. It’s also helpful to jot down your thoughts in a journal to keep yourself on track.
For some, a personal philosophy reminds them of who they are and what they’re capable of. For you, it might be a journey of self-discovery where you slowly reveal things about yourself that you never knew before. Determining your goal for this can help refine your personal philosophy statement and make it more meaningful.
Have a firm grasp on who you want to be
Some strive for greatness, and others wish to live a simple and peaceful life. What do you wish to achieve? Perhaps you have an idea of what you want but aren’t quite sure where to begin. Maybe this is why you need a personal philosophy as a guide to get you started.
Find out what you hope to accomplish on this journey by asking yourself the following questions.
- What makes you excited to wake up every day?
- What are your core beliefs?
- What values are important to you?
- Which morals do you value in others?
All of these questions can help define your intentions in life. So answering them may just help you realize what your ideal relationship with yourself and your future might be.
Write a 30-word “I am” statement
An “I am” statement can help you affirm the things that you want to achieve in life, but it is also a useful journaling tool for outlining where you already are. Allowing your mind to flow freely as you put pen to paper can provide you with an unfiltered summary of yourself.
For inspiration, here’s a few examples of an “I am” statement.
- I am creative
- I am hardworking
- I am capable
- I am _____
Friends and quizzes will tell you one thing, but your own view of yourself could be very different. Try to use this task as a way to celebrate your personality and highlight the things you are proud of. Speaking in a positive way about yourself is something we forget to do all too often. With this activity, you might just gain a newfound appreciation for some of your strengths and talents. Try to avoid using nouns. This is an exercise in defining ourselves based on what we value, rather than on who we are to others.
Writing a Personal Philosophy Statement
Take a look over everything you’ve come up with during these activities and try to identify the values and traits that seem to be recurrent. This may be an obvious moral stanground that you and others can identify in you. Or, it may be more subtle and subconsciously instilled into the way you talk about yourself and your future.
With what you’ve gathered, it’s time to give your personal philosophy statement a try, considering all the different variables mentioned above. Your personal philosophy should be concise and condensed. But if it doesn’t come out this way initially, don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to tweak it.
For some inspiration, read this example of a personal philosophy statement from the late Steve Jobs, the former CEO of leading tech giant Apple:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
You Are Your Experiences
Now that you’ve had a go at writing your personal philosophy statement based on your current situation and your personal goals, recognize that it doesn’t stop here. Your personal philosophy is a lifetime’s work, and your values will change along with you as you experience new things.
This isn’t only important to your personal life philosophy, but your journey through life as a whole. Be present and live as much as you can. Even when you are at your lowest, there’s always a lesson to be learned. Explore and be more open to changes, not only to develop your philosophy statement, but for personal and character development as well.
After all, you are the result of all you’ve been through. So don’t limit your personal growth by not taking the chance to live and gain experiences.
Expanding Your Personal Philosophy and Experience
So this journey to develop your personal philosophy statement has led to you seeking new experiences and essentially, getting what you want from life. To refine your personal philosophy, you might want to try out some of these activities.
Read a book
Books, both fiction and nonfiction, can teach you not only about others but about yourself and your interests. Reading is a teaching tool that allows you to gain insights of how others can see and experience the world through their writing. It will also inspire new desires, possibly leading people to travel or engage in new experiences. Through exploring books, the possibilities are endless.
You may just come across new topics you’ve never given thought to before by scrolling through archives of insightful interviews. Listening to others speak can help shape your own views. You can also be inspired by watching interviews in the same way that meaningful quotes do. The difference is that you are able to see the intended way that the words are meant to be delivered, which can have a little more impact than just by reading them.
Talk to strangers
Like watching interviews, having conversations that take you outside your comfort zone may lead to discovering new interests. Talking to people you don’t know or who hold views that diverge from your own can expand your understanding, not only of the topic, but of the people and their beliefs as well.
The goal doesn’t always have to involve changing your mind. But alternative perspectives can influence your opinions on the world, or even reaffirm your pre-standing morals. Give individuals from different walks of life the chance to be listened to and you might just gain new insights that can hold value in your life.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Create a Personal Philosophy
What is an example of a personal philosophy?
A personal philosophy is a set of guiding principles that an individual uses to navigate through life. Personal philosophy statements orient you on a path that is defined by your values and morals. An example of a simplified philosophy statement is:
Always listen and be willing to learn. Take care of yourself and others. Talk to new people and have quality conversations. Go to different places and bring my best to every situation.
How do I write my philosophy?
To write your personal philosophy, you need to start by thinking about the defining features of your personality. Consider taking a personality test or asking friends or family. You should also be clear with where you want to be in the future and what intentions are going to get you there. Your personal philosophy condenses these things to serve as a reminder to motivate and keep you on the right track.
What is the best philosophy in life?
The best personal philosophy will provide you with a roadmap for the journey you wish to take toward your ideal life. A good personal philosophy will rely on your core values and will summarize what you stand for and how it influences you as a person. Your personal philosophy is unique to you and so the best philosophy will be one that encompasses your personality. But positive and inspirational words are a good place to start.
A Final Word
If you’re ever asked, “what is your personal philosophy?” we hope you’re now a few steps closer to formulating a response. Whether your personal philosophy guides you down a well-defined path or enlightens you with new knowledge, it’s safe to say the journey won’t end there. This journey of personal rediscovery is guaranteed to teach you something new and alter your psychology in the process.