Ever wonder where the term “Philosophy” comes from? It’s derived from the Ancient Greek; literally translating into “love of wisdom”. The word has been credited to one of the greatest thinkers in history: Pythagoras.
Born in 570 BCE, many have claimed he has was a man of science, others believed him to be a preacher of mystic doctrines. However no matter which side you take, his historical presence has placed him among the world’s greatest people.
One of the greatest findings I want to share with you today is his observation that there are three kinds of men at the Olympic games. Pythagoras argued that among the classes, the first, being the lowest, arrived to buy and sell goods. The men above them, in the middle as competitors in the games. But the best among all of them, those who came to look on.
Pythagoras classified each man accordingly: Lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.
With that in mind, I decided to ask a handful of men what their life philosophy was. The answers ranged from things we’ve all heard in the past to the surprisingly ornate. Among the collection of responses you’ll find common simplicity, a touch of humor, and enlightenment.
1. Work hard, do the right thing and the universe will reward you. I believe everything happens for a reason including both the positives and negatives in life.
2. Seems unsettled, but that’s my compass.
3. Everyone thinks you will fail, strive to prove them wrong when you can confidently do so.
4. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
5. If I’m patient and work hard then good things will happen. But without either of those it will amount to nothingness.
6. No tats, no bling, just the snub nosed truth.
7. A man is only as old as the woman he feels.
8. I find great things in every single day, small joys.
9. Do that which is right.
10. Life is like surfing a wave, sometimes you’re on top enjoying the view, sometimes the waves are crashing down on you. The trick is to just enjoy the ride.
11. Gratitude is a path to happiness.
12. Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
13. If you are a genuinely a good man then things will always work out some way or another.
14. No matter how important you think something is today, just remember that the planet earth is a speck of dust in a unimaginably large universe.
15. Nothing is ever guaranteed
16. Be a fuckin man, be courageous.
17. It gets easier the more you do it.
18. Drink like a maniac and don’t harm anyone else in the process.
19. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly.
Who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause.
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
20. Don’t say, do. Do what you love, be who you are and don’t worry about anything, worrying doesn’t change anything except the way you feel. It’s like trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. Be happy.
21. Try to leave the planet a bit better than you found it.
22. Stop focusing energy on things that won’t matter anyway.
23. My philosophy on worrying is this… Since I stopped worrying about things I can’t control, not only have I been happier but it seems that better things happen in my life. Negative energy out, negative energy in, positive out, positive in.
24. The Desiderata, written by Max Ehrmann in ’27: Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
25. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
26. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
27. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
28. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
29. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
30. When you have time no one will stay, and when you have none you can’t keep them away.
31. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
32. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
33. Worry about myself …and the select few of my choosing. Be an asshole ..only to those that deserve it. Work hard to get what I want. Someone else’s problems are not mine…unless I make them mine.
34. Stoicism an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium: The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.
35. There is only one road to human greatness, through the school of hard knocks.
36. The relationships you have provide more value to you than things or material wealth ever will.
37. Treat others as you would want to be treated, by that token, try to understand the other person’s position and how they feel.
38. By having more things than someone else it does not make you better.
39. Timing is everything.
40. It’s not enough that I succeed. Others must fail.
41. Never sweat the small stuff.
42. From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here.That’s home. That’s us.
On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
43. Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.
44. Throw away unused things. Reduce clutter. Stop buying things.
45. Quit putting silly restrictions on yourself that don’t mean anything and stop thinking you’re better than others. Enjoy this tremendous sequence of events that created life on this planet because your lifetime is just a blip. Make the most out of the time you have here.
46. Life’s a journey not a destination and I’ll be worm food in less than a century. Just trying to make my stay a pleasant one.
47. Don’t live the fool’s dream.
48. This whole existence is mostly for nothing, which means you have nothing to lose, but only a few important things. Take advantage of every opportunity, you never want to give up your dignity, self respect, and the respect of others.
You can lose your car, loved ones, limbs and erections too, but you can’t lose something you never had like the erection.
50. Know who you are to understand what you want to become.
51. W.C. Fields: All things in moderation, especially moderation. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
52. The less you care, the more you can do.
53. Flow with the river and just keep moving along. You have time until the river reunites with the ocean.
54. Life is very much like driving a car or steering a ship. If you set a destination and keep the road or sea, sooner or later you reach it. But when you don’t even know the destination, where do you want to arrive at?
55. Do more good than harm.
56. Better a short fun life than a long, incredibly boring one.
57. Knowledge is the acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, from study or investigation, wisdom is taking the information acquired through knowledge and passing judgment to discern a problem, or a situation where a decision is needed.
58. Experience is everything Try to experience as much that life has to offer as possible, because your memories are the only thing that you can hold on to.
59. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
60. Bertrand Russell said it the best, “Unless men increase in wisdom as much as in knowledge, increase of knowledge will be increase of sorrow.”