ups and downs 

By JP Chartier

What would you say is the one thing that is absolutely essential in order to lead a meaningful and enjoyable life?

I feel that ONE essential thing is a well thought out and ever-morphing “Philosophy of Life.” It’s ever-morphing because it’s always being added to or slightly changed in some way due to the situations and the circumstances being played out at the time.

If you truly want an understanding of what it is that makes you who you are, and if you’re looking for a way to help make sense of your life here on earth, than I feel it’s important that you develop a philosophy for your life. This philosophy can be thought of as a “roadmap,” this roadmap can be followed in any situation and will help guide you through to a place of safety, happiness and well-being.

In short, our “Philosophy of Life” is our most basic beliefs and concepts, it’s how we choose to view the world and deal with its ever changing landscape. And most importantly, it’s understanding how that ever changing landscape affects us as a person.

What a Philosophy of Life will do for you:

1.   Fulfill your basic needs for survival.

2.   Make you feel good.

3.   Help you through the tough times.

4.   Give your life meaning.

5.   Make you feel useful and valuable.

6.   Give you a respect for others and for their belongings.

7.   Enable you to sum up your life, and who you are in one fairly short sentence.

8.   Give you an approach to the way you live your life.

9.   Help you lead a more inspired life.

10. Help you make better choices.

11. Help you deal with change.

12. Help you deal with disappointment.

13. Will be a deeply rewarding life experience.

14. Allow you to be Pro-active in life instead of re-active.

15. Help you comprehend the significance of not only your life, but of life as a whole.

16. Give you an understanding of the association between mankind and nature and between the individual and society.

Jon Mertz came up with the following 6 questions (listed below) which is an excellent way to get started on your Philosophy of Life.

To define your personal Life Philosophy, answer the following questions:

1.   When you awake in the morning, what is it that you want to do?

2.   What directs your actions and decisions, especially the impulsive ones?

3.   What gives you a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day?

4.   What feeling is in the core of your soul, that you know to be self-evident?

5.   Why are your beliefs important to you?

6.   How does your philosophy measure up to higher standards and beliefs?

A sample Life Philosophy someone wrote:

“To live simply and always lead with spirit, to always try and do the right things right, and take time to re-soul.”

How to develop a Philosophy of Life:

1.   Think deeply about your beliefs, values, and goals then write them down.

2.   Think about the strategies you use to handle fear, anger, jealousy, change, unforeseen problems.

3.   Write a list of facts, experiences and characteristics that make you unique.

4.   Write down what inspires you.

5.   Study others philosophies.

6.   Decide how your life will be meaningful.

7.   Collect and research quotes that resonate with you.

8.   Write down those you admire and why.

9.   Find a mentor and learn all you can from them.

10. Write down what you want to accomplish in life and the roadmap to getting there.

11. Think about how you’ve dealt with adversity and painful moments in the past, now think about how you would handle them today. Develop a way you will handle instances like these in the future.


Try to leave people and situations better than I found them.

Think before acting.

Remember, slow and easy.

Find beauty.

Enjoy life first and foremost.

Always be creating something.

Never stop learning.

Except change with class.

Remain humble.

Keep life simple, and enjoy those simple things.

Gather knowledge rather than material things.

Others first.

In times of turmoil, the way you act and the things you say is what others will remember about you.

Good luck developing your Philosophy of Life, I’ve listed mine above for reference, and remember nothing is written in stone! You can always add to or delete items on your list as you see fit.

I’ll leave you with the wise words of Nietzsche…

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”  ~Friedrich Nietzsche