If I had a philosophy of life, it would be as follows:-
1) Take heart, everything changes. This is true. Nothing remains the same. What we think is super-cool now often becomes foolish in the face of changing times. Values will change as society progresses. Abraham Lincoln once spoke before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in Milwaukee in 1858. This is the essence of his address, "It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this, too, shall pass away."" How instructive, indeed, whatever is now shall pass and whatever is later shall come and pass too. Technology and multimedia have transformed the way our social relations are structured or restructured. The more we understand our body, the more we appreciate how nothing is fixed or immutable. Some call it flexible inheritance or epigenesis or brain plasticity or functional medicine or variable genetic expressivity or nature via nurture. Genes are therefore not destiny. Changes to our lifestyle, diet and environment can collectively change our health and longevity for good. Our mind and understanding change as well. As we mature, we discard thinking that stifles our growth and embrace new thinking that broadens our horizon. Gradually, we grow to understand the fallibility and vulnerability of men. We come to accept that we are very much a product of our culture as we are the master of our own fate in a dynamic synergy of tradeoffs. Our choices are limited by the circumstances that ring-fence it. We can hope for the best but sometimes the best outcome falls short. Even in love, there are hurts and betrayals. In business, there are mistakes and disappointments. And in old age, there are pain, remorse and a sense of resignation (or awakening). Everything has an expiry date. Sadness, misfortune, happiness, and success are like guests that pay us a visit and once the tête-à-tête is over, they leave. Each takes their turn to teach us about their impermanence in our life. We should therefore learn not to avoid or long for them too much. In the long run, it is better to keep these transient emotions at arm's length rather than to expect them to stay for longer than they should. Life therefore changes as we age. So, bottomline? If everything changes, what you are feeling now, the doldrums or the exhilaration, are all passing. They don't last. In fact, what truly lasts however are the lessons you have learned from them when they come and go.
2) Seek out internal values rather than external ones. We owe it to ourselves to look for the diamond in the rough. This diamond is in all of us. What is needed for it to shine is a little patience, attention and nurturing. I have learned to develop an eye for inner beauty and to let go of external glitters and pretentiousness. The lures of this world make many demands on me and I will be wise to keep their siren calls at bay. I believe most failures and misery are caused by a breach of our internal values (by the external demands made on us). Greed, lust and indolence make victim of a life without internal anchorage and direction. So, I seek to train my spirit up to lead a balanced life. I will not be swayed by fleshly desires that seek to possess me. I refuse to give in to greed and lust that seek to destroy me. And I will resist the vanities of men in order to lead a life of more authenticity. The discipline to cultivate inner beauty is a lifelong responsibility and my life philosophy is to see to it that I take up this challenge most steadfastly.
3) Hope is your surest companion. I cannot imagine a life without hope. If I am asked to define hope, it would simply be success deferred. This success is more broadly defined than what the world has to offer. It is beyond the material riches and glamor we are so fixated on in the media. Success here refers to a resilient spirit gained from overcoming the storms of life. With hope, it is just a matter of time before we ride out the valley of our circumstances. And when that time comes, whether we are rich and famous or otherwise for pulling through, the wisdom we have gained from it is what maketh a successful man (or woman) in my book. It is more about character than material affluence. This is the power of hope. It is a forward looking attitude that forces us to see beyond the crippling trials and emotions of this life. It is our trusted companion because it refuses to give up the fight. It is a form of radical encouragement that shifts our focus to a yet-to-emerge future. And here I recall a whimsical phrase that says the best way to predict the future is to create it. Hope is that blueprint for our future and the magic of hope is that it opens up a world of possibilities for us even when our present world seems washed up. As such, hope may sometimes be seen as an understated value but its power to transform a life from within is boundless if we stubbornly hold on to it.
4) If you have found enduring love, enjoy and treasure it while it lasts. I believe we should savor the simple pleasures of life. Love is one of them. When you have found your love, treasure her (or him). Do not let passing time and monotony steal this love away. If forgiveness takes the sting out of loving, then forgive. The beauty of loving is that it is a growing thing. Like a plant, if you nurture it, it will grow. And the beauty of growth is that it will come to a point where the relationship becomes mutually reinforcing. Love blesses those who give of themselves to it. Nothing is more rewarding in the long run than mutual sacrifices offered by two persons in love. For this reason, never take one another for granted. She is yours and you are hers for a reason that is often larger than the two lives put together. Life may throw many curve balls at you but it is this nurtured love that will give you what you need to catch it. Investing in love always brings out the best in us. And it takes the best in us to weather through the worst of times. So treasure the love you have and enjoy it while it lasts because from what I have written thus far, nothing is forever.
5) Fairness is a state of mind. This is a reality check for me. If you are looking for justice in this world, you will soon be sorely disappointed. Lady justice is blind for a reason. In the end, fairness is a state of mind. It is a personal issue. You make up your mind about what you want to do and you do it. Come what may. And come they often do. Obstacles like flies to light will come. They will come in the guise of random bad luck, in heartbreaking fashion, at a bad time, and even in quick succession. Sometimes things go your way and you ride on it and sometimes they don't, but you don't go under the bus about it. There is no certainty that bad times will give you a miss (or a break). Neither can you inoculate your life from it. If an analogy helps, life is like the fate of a turkey. Everyday is a good day where you are promptly fed and well taken care of until the night of thanksgiving arrives. That day will be the day of reckoning for you. Where is the fairness in that? There isn't any actually. And this is why fairness is what you make you mind up to be. You will go through a series of setback in life and you shall adapt accordingly. Cry over spilled milk if it helps, but remember to clean it up and walk away from it. You will steel your mind from the injustices and surmount each disappointment by turning the focus on how you can best respond to it instead of allowing each setback to wear you down. You will come to a point of reality where you resolve to make things happen instead of waiting for things to happen. When you grow in wisdom from overcoming life's challenges, you will come to this realization that fairness is indeed a subjective state of mind. And the mental state of resiliency, hope and perseverance are the surest building blocks of fairness in this lop-sided world. Cheerz.