How Your Philosophy Shapes Your Life

Published: 13th March 2007
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Everyone has a philosophy of life whether they realize it or not. This philosophy was largely instilled into your mind when you were a child and is unlikely to be something that you stopped to weigh up as it was going in.

The bulk of your philosophy of life is formed in the first seven years of your childhood. Then you have another influential period between the mid teens into the early twenties. From that point on most people make little change until they are 40 or 50 plus when some people will start to reassess their philosophy.

This philosophy is part of your subconscious processing that influences every decision you make, every action you take and consequently every outcome you experience. In many ways it is preprogramming your life.

So where does this philosophy generally come from?

The Culture You Live in

A major influencing factor on your philosophy is the culture that you live in, and in particular the culture that you grew up in. If you were born and raised in India, for example, you would probably develop a very different philosophy of life then if you grew up in the USA, or Mexico, or Iran, or Japan.

Every culture has certain cultural norms that seep into the subconscious mind of the people who live in that culture. There are certain behaviors that are considered normal and others that are considered undesirable. What falls into the normal category in one culture may well be placed into the undesirable category in another culture.

Spend a little time reflecting on how much of what you consider normal has actually been passed down to you by the culture that you live in or grew up in.

Your Family Upbringing

Every family has its own culture and philosophy and everyone growing up within that family is subtly (or sometimes not so subtly) brainwashed to some degree by that family philosophy. If you reject that philosophy and choose to walk a different path then you are likely to be considered, by your family, to be a bit weird.

Your family's culture may be similar to the general culture of the country but, particularly if your family originated in another country, or another language group, or a minority religion, your family culture may be very different to that of the general culture around you.

These clashes in culture can lead to confusion or in extreme cases even to psychological problems, as you try to reconcile the two conflicting cultural pressures,

Spend a little time asking yourself how much of your philosophy on life comes from your family culture.

Your Religious Upbringing (if any)

If you had a strong religious upbringing then the philosophy of that religion will have entered into your subconscious mind to be mixed into and somehow reconciled with the other philosophical influences.

Generally a person's religion is largely a factor of where they were born, or where their ancestral family was born, rather than a conscious choice that they made themselves.

Your Education

The role of the formal education system is to produce good citizens. In order to do this it will be filled with the subtle messages of what philosophy the educational institute or government has decided will produce the best citizens.

The history, for example, that you learn in school is far more likely to relate to the country where the school is situated than it is to the world at large. The underlying philosophy from your schooling may vary depending on whether it is a government school, a religious school, or one of the alternate schooling systems. Each one has their own barrow to push.

Your Social Culture

You will mix in certain social groups and those social groups tend to hold together because the group members have a similar philosophy on life. Therefore that group is constantly subconsciously reinforcing that philosophy.

If you move into a social group that has a different philosophy to your own then the power of the group philosophy will draw your philosophy toward it.

Concluding Remarks

Your philosophy of life is part of your subconscious mind and is very influential on the path that your life is following. However, most of this philosophy was probably formed without you consciously weighing up whether or not it would enhance your life. It may be valuable to review your own philosophy and think about where it came from and how well it is serving you.




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