What's Your Personal Philosophy for Life?

In summary, a personal maxim to live by is to have good intentions, but also to prioritize honesty, morality, and self-preservation above them in certain situations.
  • #1
3,125
4
Provide a personal maxim by which the rest of us may rule our lives.
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Loren Booda said:
Provide a personal maxim by which the rest of us may rule our lives.
Live by your wits. If you have none, solicit some maxims.(Just kidding, Loren. Couldn't resist.)
 
  • #3
Be your own person; don't let other people tell you how to live your life.
 
  • #4
My mama told me: It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.o:)

She also said: Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig enjoys it.
 
  • #5
Math Is Hard said:
My mama told me:...
Everytime you say this I want to ask if you have a brother named Forrest.
 
  • #6
Math Is Hard said:
My mama told me: It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.o:)

She also said: Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig enjoys it.
So, it's only important to be nice to non-pigs?
 
  • #7
take the long way home

or more fully, "Life is an aimless drive that you take alone, might as well enjoy the ride: take the long way home."

- Bloodhound Gang (lol...)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #8
Be pleasant. (think about it)
 
  • #9
Math Is Hard said:
My mama told me: . . . .
Did she by any chance mention that 'you better shop around'? :biggrin:
 
  • #10
I'm not talking to you people anymore. :grumpy:
 
  • #11
I don't think you should have one particular thing you should live your life by as the parameters of society and the culture locally nationally and globally is forever changing. All we can do is be open minded to new experiences and choose what we think is right for each situation that comes along based on our past experience and knowledge. We can't just say be nice or thoughtful because we have to define those terms and everybody has a different definition of what being nice is.
 
  • #12
Math Is Hard said:
I'm not talking to you people anymore. :grumpy:

My mama always said: "PF is like a box o' chocolates. You never know what kind o' anser you going to get."
 
  • #13
At no time in your life should your butt be over your head unless you are on a roller coaster or have met that special someone.

Never eat or drink anything that comes out of your body.

Never join the military unless CONUS is being invaded and then you better.

If you are sick STAY HOME! Don't bring you cooties to me at work because you want to be a "trooper". (Thanks wanker, now I'm sick for the holidays)

Just ask her. She may be thinking the same thing.

Don't be THAT guy.

Gentlemen hold doors open for Ladies. that way you can check out her pockets
 
  • #14
Be honest first. Second, do what you should. Third, look out for yourself. Fourth, have good intentions.
 
  • #15
First of all, never pet a burning dog.

And not that it's really a maxim per se, but the first thing that really came to mind when I saw this was a line from John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy"

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
 
  • #16
Be cunningly brutal, and brutally cunning
 
  • #17
Seek the greater knowledge that life offers.
Get your questions answered.
Cheat death with the knowledge obtained.
 
  • #18
Enjoy life and ensure that you will continue to be able to enjoy it
 
  • #19
Each and every day strive to experience the rapture of being alive.
 
  • #20
0rthodontist said:
Be honest first. Second, do what you should. Third, look out for yourself. Fourth, have good intentions.

Shouldn't having good intention be the first?

It's really difficult to sum up philosophy for life in just a few lines. It took Aristotle a whole book to explain his, as well as many other philosophers.

I would say the most important thing is to always have good intentions when you act.

Also, remember that no one is watching you. Everyone tells me how people watch them it makes them nervous. Like, if you wear something stupid, or eat the wrong thing, or something of the sort. Sometimes people see you, but just pretend they didn't. :biggrin:
 
  • #21
lol Jason... like "Oh noes! I have this hole in my shirt which has probably been there for over 4 months now, but I will still be freaking out about it all day until I get home and change!"

EDIT: Just to be clear, that ^ is not me.
 
  • #22
"Money CAN buy happiniess, it just can't buy everything, but what it can buy is enough for me".

Or as Woody Allen put it "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons."
 
  • #23
JasonRox said:
Shouldn't having good intention be the first?
If your good intentions tell you to be dishonest, or do something contrary to your moral obligation, or put yourself in a very bad position, in most cases you should ignore them. Examples of things that you might do, if you followed your best intentions without regard for honesty, morality, or yourself:

--Vigilante justice. Ignore laws and hunt down those who you think did wrong. This leads only to chaos and violence.
--In that same vein, terrorism.
--Lie to your friends to make them happy. The disrespect inherent in dishonesty is worse than any temporary happiness you might give them.
--Stay with an abusive lover to keep him/her happy without regard for your own well being
--Abandon your job or education to help those in need. There can be good reasons for this--you may feel a calling. But if all you have are good intentions, then you should keep your job, since you'd probably be miserable if you quit.

In general, if good intentions override honesty and morality, it leads only to disorder. It is wiser to be honest and moral than to follow your capricious good intentions at every juncture. If people were perfectly wise, good intentions would be all we'd need--but also, if we were so wise, I don't think our actions would often contradict honesty or morality.

Of course, I am not claiming my list is an absolute hierarchy. There are some situations where you might justifiably lie to preserve morality, yourself, or what you think is best. For example you should not tell an assassin the location of your children, though that's not necessarily dishonesty so much as refraining to speak. You might justifiably do something immoral, if there are very, very strong pragmatic reasons. Also "respect for your own well-being" and "good intentions" are more on an even footing--neither clearly outranks the other in my opinion.
 
  • #24
I'm not here for a long time-- only a good time ;)
 
  • #25
"1. Don't sweat the small stuff. 2. It's all small stuff"
Well, it might not be real small, but the problem probably isn't quite as big as your first impression (except when it's even worse, but general rules never work all the time). If you have a general direction you want to be heading and enough common sense to think on your feet, don't worry about the little detours. In fact, if the little detour takes you the general direction you want, it might be a better option than your original path.

"Knowing why you're doing something is more important than knowing how to do it."
In other words, the second part is covered in the first rule. Besides, I've spent most of my life being volunteered to do things I didn't have a clue how to do. If I only did the things I knew how to do, I'd never have done anything.

"He who laughs at misfortune understands the meaning of life".
Or maybe that's just a bad habit, considering it's so much easier to see the humor in the situation when it's someone else trying to explain why that spot on the ceiling is scorched black.

"Ask for help once in awhile!"
Meh, I'd have to put that on the list of things I should do - but don't. But if I did this, where would be the challenge in the first three?
 
  • #26
lunarmansion said:
Certainly poverty is a source of many evils, one can even say the majority of evils. However, I think the only good thing about having money is that you do not have to worry much about it. That is about all. Whether it can buy happiness depends on the person. Sometimes, I find being around stupid people with too much money can be really suffocating and being around the excessive comforts of too much money can be an upholstered hell. Those of my friends who have made it their goal to make a lot of money and have done so - none of them lead enviable lives. It is an advantage, however, to be brought up being around money, so one develops a bit of a natural contempt for it and can clearly see its limitations. For one never really knows excess in the various things in life unless one has truly experienced them and one cannot understand what moderation is until one has experienced what excess is. I find that many people in the States are so easily impressed by money and this is becoming a world wide phenomenon. You can have no class whatsoever, but if you have a lot of money, I find many people are impressed, not everyone though!

I would aim for a quiet moderate life that gives me plenty of leisure time to enjoy and learn as much as possible the things that are important to me. I find the best and finest pleasures in life are rather inexpensive just as the best foods are usually the simplest.

Money is security. If you don't have enough to withstand some of the curves life throws you, it can be very important. It can be even more important if you can't afford necessities.

If you have enough to be fairly secure, then other things should become more important; although some people have trouble changing their attitude from the one that they credited with bringing them their security in the first place.
 
  • #27
0rthodontist said:
If your good intentions tell you to be dishonest, or do something contrary to your moral obligation, or put yourself in a very bad position, in most cases you should ignore them. Examples of things that you might do, if you followed your best intentions without regard for honesty, morality, or yourself:

--Vigilante justice. Ignore laws and hunt down those who you think did wrong. This leads only to chaos and violence.
--In that same vein, terrorism.
--Lie to your friends to make them happy. The disrespect inherent in dishonesty is worse than any temporary happiness you might give them.
--Stay with an abusive lover to keep him/her happy without regard for your own well being
--Abandon your job or education to help those in need. There can be good reasons for this--you may feel a calling. But if all you have are good intentions, then you should keep your job, since you'd probably be miserable if you quit.

In general, if good intentions override honesty and morality, it leads only to disorder. It is wiser to be honest and moral than to follow your capricious good intentions at every juncture. If people were perfectly wise, good intentions would be all we'd need--but also, if we were so wise, I don't think our actions would often contradict honesty or morality.

Of course, I am not claiming my list is an absolute hierarchy. There are some situations where you might justifiably lie to preserve morality, yourself, or what you think is best. For example you should not tell an assassin the location of your children, though that's not necessarily dishonesty so much as refraining to speak. You might justifiably do something immoral, if there are very, very strong pragmatic reasons. Also "respect for your own well-being" and "good intentions" are more on an even footing--neither clearly outranks the other in my opinion.

What you said made no sense to me.

I have no idea where you get chaos out of good intentions. First, you must define good intention. You took it as some random meaning, well any random meaning leads to chaos!

For me, the good defined by Aristotle is acceptable, and the one defined by the Stoics. Of course, someone can twist it around into some sick thing and make it chaotic, but then I can do the same thing with the meaning "honesty".

Also, I meant it in a self-happiness kind of way. If you truly believe you are acting with good intentions, you will be happy (really happy) in my opinion, but others might not be. Your own happiness comes first. If you're not happy, you're not going to make someone else happy and that's just a given. Later on, your happiness will spread and become noticeable (in my opinion), hence when I said the "others might not be" will become happy as they will see your intentions are good.

Of course, this are all opinions and experiences, but then again, so are yours.
 
  • #28
Stay on the balls of your feet.

(It means "Don't live by maxims")
 
Last edited:
  • #29
Nothing is free
This not only applies to economics and the practical aspects of life, in my experience it applies to engineering as well. In fact, when considering engineering options, I have used this rule to correctly predict that I must have missed something.

Never trust someone who either won't go out to lunch with you, or who thinks that due to their implicit wisdom and genius, they didn't need to waste their time with a formal education. The latter are a dime a dozen and usually dangerous.

Addendum: The most dangerous person in most small companies is the second in command.
 
Last edited:
  • #30
Maximize life, but don't ever maximize it!

<oops!>
 
  • #31
JasonRox said:
First, you must define good intention.
I define it as what a person thinks is best at a given time. Wouldn't you agree--for example--that by this definition, terrorists act on their good intentions?
 
  • #32
Gokul43201 said:
Maximize life, but don't ever maximize it!

<oops!>


Oh yeah? How about this one?

Never eat yellow snow. :tongue:
 
Last edited:
  • #33
Isn't the yellow snow psychoactive?
 
  • #34
I don't know. Is bear or hiker pee pee psychoactive?
 
  • #35
Depends on what mushrooms they have been eating.
 

Suggested for: What's Your Personal Philosophy for Life?

Back
Top