By Kay Caldwell
The world we live in does not let us rest. It keeps prodding us, challenging us with problems to be solved, demanding we act wisely or be destroyed by the forces which inhabit our world. In this way experiences are born — hungers, satisfactions, pains, pleasures, sights, feelings, sounds and a host of others. But we cannot rest contented with a mass of unrelated experiences scattered at random throughout life. We must take those experiences and weave them into some kind of a pattern which makes us whole. This pattern may be more or less satisfying. This pattern is your philosophy.
Your philosophy is the meaning which the world has for you. It is your answer to the question, “Why?” Having fitted your experiences into a whole, having related them to each other, you say of the world, “This is the way things fit together. This is the world as I understand it. This is my belief or philosophy.”
Challenges we face individually are the philosophies taught us that have stayed with us. Usually those philosophies came from a parent, grandparent, close friend or mentor. For example, Jack Canfield shared a story in a book called The Secret. He said his father who was very negative, thought that rich people were people who ripped everyone off and thought that anyone who had money must have deceived somebody. So he grew up with lots of beliefs about money; that if you had it, it made you bad, only evil people have money and money doesn’t grow on trees. One of his Dad’s favorite phrases was, “Who do you think I am, Rockefeller?” So Jack grew up thinking life was difficult.
Canfield met a man, W. Clement Stone, who began to help him shift his life. Stone challenged Jack to set a goal so big that if he achieved it, it would blow his mind. At the time Jack was making $8,000 a year. His first goal he set was to make $100,000 in a year. He set the goal, verbalized it, and released it into the universe. He made $1,000 right away. He placed that check on his ceiling and visualized over it every day when he woke up and before he went to sleep. In four weeks, he had a hundred thousand dollar idea. Jack explains in The Secret, “If you have an inspired thought, you have to trust it and act on it.” His idea was to sell four hundred thousand copies of his book at a quarter each, that’d be a hundred thousand dollars. Are you ready for this? His publisher wrote him a royalty check within the next year for the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book. This is known as one of the most loved books ever written. The book is full of hope, compassion and survival. The publisher had never written a check for this amount to an author and it was for one million dollars!
I love this story because Jack Canfield could have lived his life with his father’s philosophy but chose to develop his own ideas and develop the way he chooses to view life. We all have the same opportunities to choose. Did he have some help along the way? Yes, with positive influences that helped him believe in himself and that he could think differently about life.
I challenge you to look at your life, your philosophy. What is your pattern that you have weaved for yourself? If your pattern is less satisfying, ask yourself, “Why”? Your wishes, thoughts, and feelings are very important because they can come true. You can change your philosophy and truly be the person you were meant to be, not a reflection of someone else. If you don’t control your life, outside forces will do it for you. The power within will be your guide.