Last Sunday, a friend of ours said something that got stuck in my head. She said, that she likes our “Family Philosophy”. Although flattered, I had to dismiss that compliment saying that we actually don’t have any. But over the week, I got to think about it, and even though calling it a philosophy would be a great overstatement, we actually do have a few golden rules or principles.
Here’s a short list (in no particular order):
- Learn something new everyday.
You’d be surprised how easy it is to follow this one if you’re home schooling your kids. But if you’re not, it means you have more time and you can learn something of interest to you, rather than stumbling upon yet another fact you’ve forgotten thirty years ago…
- Don’t get attached to material things.
True happiness comes from being, not having. This may sound a bit Zen, but one of the major causes for suffering in the World is our attachment to material possessions. We try to reduce it as much as possible. The less we own, the less trouble we have. Especially, when we attempt to travel light.
- Try new things everyday
Not all of us to the same extend, but we are curious about the World we live in. We enjoy discovering new things – tasting new dishes, meeting people, learning new phrases. Breaking our daily routine, often builds up excitement, sometimes causes anxiety, but more often than not, helps spice things up.
- Eat healthy
In the World we live in, this isn’t as obvious or as simple as it sounds. My wife could probably extend this simple rule to a full length article, or even a blog on it’s own rights, but in a nutshell we try to eat organic, unprocessed foods in a balanced mix of carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals. All in moderation, common sense applied.
- Drink healthy
We avoid any and all sugar based drinks. Water, pure water is all your organism needs. It has more nutritional content than any artificial drinks and it tastes great, too. We also drink natural juices, in moderation.
- Stay (reasonably) fit
We are no fitness nuts. Well, at least most of us… but we try to build exercise into our daily activities. Whenever possible, we walk and leave the car in a garage (helps save on gas money and car maintenance expenses too), we play with the kids outside rather then watching television or playing computer games, etc… It not only helps us stay healthy, but also builds characters and confidence.
- Live in the present
Again, some of us are much better at it then others, but overall we try “not to cry over spilled beer”, leave the past behind, learning from mistakes, without drilling too much into the “what if’s”. On the same token, we don’t worry too much about the future, being aware that our actions will shape it the way we want.
- Smile often
This one does not need explanation. However, for those who know the author of this text – he is working on bringing a constantly happy grimace onto his face – he’s half way there, smiling internally all the time.
- Joke around
Life’s a serious business, we know. But we hate when everything is pumped up, gray and boring. We spice things up when we crack a joke every now and then. Life’s much more enjoyable that way!
- Think positive
Things tend to work out the way we want… when we want them to work out. Instead of worrying about the future, we accept life as it is – not foolishly hoping for the best, but knowing that our actions will shape our future. And our focused, positive thoughts help take actions that lead to the desired results.
- Spend time outdoors
This is related, to staying fit, but being outdoors also help us of soak up the sun. The sun is the main, natural source of vitamin D. And vitamin D in turn helps us maintain good mood, positive outlook on life and crack a joke from time to time.
- Help other people
We are all part of the same living organism. By helping others we really help ourselves. I don’t talk about any large scale, pompous initiatives, but simple day-to-day actions. In our experience, Newtons third rule of motion applies not only to the physical world and every action triggers reaction. Our deeds never go unnoticed, but the reaction sometime comes from totally unexpected direction.
- Be honest
It’s way to complicated to live in lie. Being honest is not only morally superior, it’s also so much simpler.
For us traveling is the most exciting and educational activity in existence. Traveling never gets boring, ever changing environment keeps us stimulated and doesn’t allow to build up unnecessary routine. While on the road, we meet new people, make new friendships, discover interesting places, learn without even knowing.
- Read books
We all love books. We visit a library at least once or twice a week. That’s also why I was heartbroken, when my Kindle broke and my library evaporated in an instant. A perfect example how attachment to material things causes pain and suffering…
- Lead by example
We require our kids to do a lot of things. Even though difficult at times, we don’t only tell them what they are suppose to do, we actually make sure that we do it too. Starting from simple things like eating habits, through exercising, reading, all the way to being honest, we do what we say we want them to do.
Following or just attempting to follow these simple rules, we live our ordinary, but happy life. Of course we have some ups and downs, just like any family, but the core values help us navigate through tough times and decide what’s important.
Does it sound like a “Family Philosophy” to you…?