Many of us go about life blaming others or circumstances for our lack of adequate progress. We blame political leadership and hard economic times for lack of opportunities, high inflation rates, high cost of living, our parents for not bringing us up in the right way or for not giving us a financial head-start, our busy schedule for poor ‘health-style’, the heavy traffic on our roads for our constant lateness, our employers for being broke and the list goes on. We perennially point fingers to things outside ourselves as the reasons that we are not going well. Unfortunately, some of us take too long to realize the disaster that we are headed to with this kind of philosophy. But for those of us who are seeking to put this drift to an end and enter the high road of success, there is the question of how to make a self-turnaround. If you are in a place where things are simply not working and your results are far from what you would call desirable, it is important that you first evaluate your philosophy of life.
What is your Philosophy?
Your philosophy encapsulates your personal beliefs. It is your anchor. It is what determines your perspective of life and sets your sail and compass into the horizons. It guides your actions or better still your lack of it. Your philosophy determines whether you see life as half-full or half empty. It defines your day today interactions with yourself and others. Your philosophy is shaped by your life experiences and the information that you have on various issues. If you feel that your failure to be where you want to be is courtesy of things and people out there, then you need to fundamentally review your philosophy. To start you on that path, here are a few questions to assist you start interrogating your current thinking.
- Have you observed that there are many people who continue to thrive in the current political and socio-economic environment?
- How come your siblings seem to be doing well despite the same ‘wanting’ parenting?
- How come Mr. X and Mrs. Y who have a very busy schedule are very fit and healthy?
- Have you noticed that your CEO is always in time for meetings?
- How come James who earns less than you is never broke?
The main reason why you are where you are and why other people have advanced meaningfully in their success agenda is essentially because of their philosophy. While they have a huge vision of themselves, you probably choose to drift with the flow without a defined vision hoping that all will be well. When they work with goals, you probably work with wishes. While they plan and keep the main thing the main thing, you probably get sidetracked by secondary issues. While they have a clear action-plan towards achieving their goals, you probably wake up and await the day to deliver the agenda. While your work colleagues continue to give their best despite non-competitive pay, you probably choose to complain and give mediocre results to match your perceived mediocre pay. While other people exude optimism, excitement and passion for living, you probably are consumed with negativity and pessimism. Only a careful examination of your life can give you a true picture of your philosophy.
- Take time today to examine where you are in your live visa viz where you would like to be.
- Tabulate the reasons you attribute to your performance so far.
- Interrogate each reason honestly (Use the five questions above – feel free to insert real names in those questions). If you feel that the reasons that you give are mere excuses, cancel them and write the real reasons even if they point to your direction (put the blame on you). This requires honest soul-searching
- In two columns list and compare your old philosophy on various issues versus the new philosophy that you want to adopt.
|No||My Old Philosophy||My New Philosophy|
|My employer is to blame for my brokenness||I am taking control of my finances|
- Make a list of the things that you will start doing (guided by the new philosophy) to be where you want to be.
- Start working on your action plan with a belief that it is possible.
Philosophy is not the only aspect that affects your life. In part two of this series, we examine other aspects that are equally critical
By Khami Chege