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How To Develop A Powerful Personal Philosophy
The greatest influence on what we decide to do with tomorrow’s opportunity is not going to be circumstance, but rather what and how we think. What we think, and the conclusions we reach regarding life’s challenges, is going to be the sum total of what we have learned until now.
The learning process plays a major role in determining our personal philosophy. Over the years we have all managed to gather up considerable knowledge. We cannot live without the information that surrounds us making an impact on how we think. The human mind is continually taking pictures and recording the sights and sounds around us. Every experience is etched into the neurons of the brain. Every word, every song, every television program, every conversation, and every book has made an electrical or chemical imprint on our mental computers.
Each emotion, each thought, each activity in which we have been engaged has created a new circuit in the brain, which is linked to all of the others circuits that already existed. All that has touched our lives has been indelibly recorded, and all that we now are is the result of an accumulation of input which is intricately connected by a delicate combination of chemical and electrical impulses stored in the three-pound brain. All that has ever happened in and around us is now this uniqueness we call self— the individual human being.
How we use all of this information and the way in which we assemble the knowledge we have gathered forms our personal philosophy. The problem is that much of the information we have gathered has resulted in erroneous conclusions about life that can actually block the achievement of our goals. The only way to eliminate these mental barriers is to review, reline and revise our personal philosophy.
The best way to establish a new and powerful personal philosophy is to begin with an objective review of the conclusions we have drawn about life. Any conclusion that is not working for us may actually be working against us. Suppose, for example, a man has decided that his current employer is not paying him enough. His value system – based on years of accumulated information and experiences - then says, “That’s not fair!” This value judgment causes him to take specific steps in retaliation. As a result, he reduces his efforts and does only those things he feels his current paycheck justifies. There is nothing wrong with this decision...provided his goal is to remain where he is, doing what he is currently doing and getting paid what he is currently getting paid for the rest of his life.
All of our counter-productive beliefs and choices are the result of years of accumulating misinformation. We have simply been around the wrong sources and gathered up the wrong data. The decisions we are making are not wrong based on the information we have; it is the information we have that is causing us to make wrong decisions. Unfortunately, these wrong decisions are leading us further away from rather than closer toward the achievement of our goals.