There is a book entitled “This I Believe” that is a collection of personal philosophies gathered from many known personalities on a wide range of topics. There is even a second book of this nature out right now, however, the original book was published over 50 years ago from stories heard on Edward R. Murrow’s popular radio series. Some of the same people have written essays 50 years later, showing what hindsight can do, and a life lived over time.
Wouldn’t that be great? To see if, at sixteen, all that you wrote about, dreamed about for your life and wrote in a personal philosophy panned out?
What were your dreams back then? Did you become the person you wanted to be? What did you believe in? Chances are that whatever you believed for yourself and your life were felt with the passion that comes with youth. Do you still have that passion for life? Youth is a time when we believe that anything is possible! Do you still believe that? What’s stopping you? What did you want to do with your life? Are you doing it? How does your life look different than you thought it would? Do you want to change it?
Have you ever taken the time to think about what you really believe? How about what you believe for your life? Or have you just accepted the beliefs that others have handed to you, taught you? If so, how do they fit you? Do any of them feel uncomfortable to you? Like you are being fake- this isn’t who you really are? How much of your day is spent feeling that way? A large example of this might be the belief that all in a family must become doctors, or dentists, or military personnel, or whatever- because it has been that way for generations. A smaller example might be doing certain things because it has always been done that way before, without taking into account whether or not you really believe in what you are doing, or why you are doing it.
What kind of person are you? What do you believe to be true about you? What kind of person do you want to be? What qualities do you want to exude and hold dear? Does that describe where you are right here, right now, in this moment? If it doesn’t match, it isn’t too late to change that story, that reality. You have the power to do that by digging deeper and being honest with yourself.
Take a look at those dreams you had when you were sixteen, nineteen, or twenty. Are any of them still niggling at you? If you were to have written a personal philosophy when you were younger, what would it have said? Would it have been filled with youthful idealism, or would you have been “realistic”? Have any limitations for your life’s dreams stated by others limited your pursuit of your dreams? Who should you believe, your inner sense of self, or someone else’s view of you? And what if their view of you is so much bigger than yours? Is it possible that you are not seeing all that you can be due to self esteem issues?
This is where honesty really comes into play. You may now have some insight into your life and its events that hindsight has afforded you. I say may have, because not everyone can be totally honest with themselves. They lie to themselves about most everything, letting ego and insecurity get in the way of everything in their lives. If you can break down the walls of ego and insecurity and be totally honest with yourself, when you look back, are there things you may have done differently? Would any of those changes have drastically altered the course of your life? Is it too late now to “right the wrongs” or take a new direction?
It is only if you think it is.
Time moves on whether or not you change. The days of your life will be checked off your calendar, numbering down your days on this earth. You can choose to be happy and live a life filled with discovery, excitement, adventure, and joy- or you can keep doing what you have always done and stay where you are emotionally. That is good if you are satisfied with everything in your life. If not…
I invite you to write your philosophy of life from whatever age you are now, looking forward into the rest of your life. It will no doubt be different than it would have been at sixteen or twenty, but you now have more knowledge and life experience to put into it. Give yourself the gift of the time that it will take to look deep within and see what matters to you most as you move forward in life. You are worth it. You have earned it. It might be kind of interesting to think about what you would have written so long ago and compare them.
It is never too late to learn from what we have lived through. It is never too late to change- how we think, feel and the circumstances that currently surround our lives. The only constant is change. Why not make it work in your favor by making conscious decisions and choices about how and where you want those changes to occur?
It is never too late as long as we are still here.
This I believe.
How about you?