In 2019, I asked myself:
- What fundamental beliefs guide my thoughts?
- And what beliefs come out of these beliefs?
This is where my list of Life Principles was born. I recommend you ask yourself the same questions - it's a fun intellectual exercise. While it's impossible to follow your life principles at all times, this list can become a good approximation of what forces guide you.
Belief #1: Existence has no absolute meaning...
- ...because we can’t know in absolute terms what reality is.
- Science is the only approach that can give clues towards certainty.
- Conclusion: Remain humble at all times: you are not entitled to proclaim the Truth.
- ...hence, give it a meaning wisely.
- We all worship something: choose consciously what you worship. More on this in Alan Watt's talk: This Is Water.
- I consciously choose to optimize for love, growth and contribution: my existence on earth should contribute to its highest good and combine the acknowledgement of self in combination with others.
- ...hence, life is a game you can’t lose.
- Don’t take life seriously, but sincerely
- Be detached yet committed to life. More on the notion of Detached Commitment in Mo Gawdat's book Solve For Happy.
- Engage with life around the principle of detached commitment: have no emotional attachment towards its outcome, judge yourself by how you engage in the process.
- To always give your best is the only metrics for self-judgment you can have.
- Juggle between the self- and outward-centred sides.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
- Overcome your own ego by focussing your energy outside yourself and overcome the negative experiences that come through trigger points.
Belief #2: It is irrelevant whether free will exists.
- Based on most modern science, there is a high chance that free will doesn’t exist. Yet, responsibility for one’s ability to experience consciousness should remain. This is called compatibilism in philosophy.
- Hence, you ought to be responsible for yourself.
- Be responsible for your action.
- Be responsible for your emotions.
- The only consistency in life we can create is about our ability to act according to our principles.
- Give up external control: you can’t control the outside world, only your response to it.
- Give up internal control: act according to your own principles but don’t be tied to them, allowing space for them to evolve.
- Hence, optimize life for expansion in order to be able to act out of integrity.
- Optimize for self-awareness (being)
- Life is a collection of stories we tell ourselves: choose yours consciously.
- Be aware and learn to overcome your default states.
- Know how you give meaning to life and interpret it.
- Learn to listen to your intuition as a guiding compass.
- Optimize for knowledge (mind)
- Always be questioning.
- Be aware of your beliefs.
- Optimize for health/longevity (body)
- Optimize for integral impact (business)
- Notion of conscious capitalism.
- Positive action comes when combining the fulfillment of both individual and collective needs .
- Expansion requires experiencing pain
- Don’t avoid pain: the trigger of pain is the best indicator for growth opportunities.
- Loyalty is about being in integrity with your principles.
- Be in integrity with your words. Speak your truth: don’t lie to yourself or to others.
- Be in integrity with yourself. Be authentic and vulnerable to remove the barrier between you and the world