4 Practical Ways To Improve Your Life Using Philosophy

Matt Lillywhite

Photo by Arthur Yeti on Unsplash


For the longest time, I was going through life with no direction or principles to live by. The pain of overthinking each problem plagued my mind with negative thoughts of not being able to achieve anything worthwhile.

Even during the moments when I fell in love, my lack of mental clarity made me feel like I had no idea how to handle any situation. But while reading several books in the Melbourne library, I came across the following quote from Epictetus, which changed my life forever:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Below are a collection of ways to improve your life & relationship using philosophy.

Each one of them enabled me to upgrade my mindset, live a happier life, and completely changed the way I see the world. I hope they do the same for you, too.

Change Your Life By Improving Your Mindset.

Most of us create stories in our heads, which prevent us from doing whatever we desire in life.

For example, I always used to think I was terrible at conversations, and so I never voluntarily put myself into social situations. But as the Ancient Greek Philosopher, Plato, once so eloquently said:

“Reality is created by the mind. We can change our reality by changing our mind.”

This is a hard concept to practice at first because we’re always telling ourselves that our dreams are impossible to achieve. But when you take a moment to question what’s holding you back, the answer is often yourself. Think about it:

  • You could be scared of asking out your crush as your mind is telling you that you’ll immediately get rejected.
  • You might be afraid of quitting a job you hate due to a fear of not being able to generate an income from something you enjoy.
  • You’re worried about meeting new people because you’re afraid they’ll judge you for the imperfections you see in yourself.

The truth is that you’ll never know what could’ve happened if you took the leap, conquered your fears, and lived your life without any regrets. So you might as well attempt what you’ve always wanted to do, and see what happens.

Let go of negative thoughts, improve your way of thinking, and watch your life change.

Be Grateful For What You Have.

We live in a world where it’s normal to want more. We say that we desire the newest phone, clothes, and anything else which catches our eye during a trip to the mall.

But over the past few months, I’ve realized that if we’re always wanting something else, it becomes impossible to appreciate what we already have.

If you’re anything like my past-self, you spend the majority of your day scrolling through social media, wishing your life could be different. But in the words of Epicurus: “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

Remember that someday, you’re going to die. You can live each day with a sense of gratitude, or you can refuse to appreciate what you already have, and spend the rest of your days living in a state of regret.

The choice is yours.

Let Go Of Circumstances Outside Your Control.

We all have a habit of overthinking, right? It’s a common problem that stops us from finding solutions to our questions.

It sucks. But instead of wishing that things could be different, a better way forward is to let go of external events that are outside of your control. Epictetus said it best:

“There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

Spend your time focusing on what you can control, instead of worrying about what you can’t.

Stop Worrying About Other People’s Opinions.

Do you want to know how to live a life of unlimited freedom & possibility? The best place to start is to stop caring what everyone thinks of you. Because if you’re not living life for yourself, you’re living it for other people.

Like Marcus Aurelius said: “It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people but care more about their opinions than our own.”

The opinions of others are the reason why we spend hours each day curating filtered versions of our lives on social media to impress those in our social circle.

Why do we do this? We want external validation that we’re good enough, pretty enough, and smart enough to live a happy life. But this comes at the expense of having no control over our self-worth.

A better life begins with the understanding of one principle: Nobody’s opinion of yourself is more important than your own.

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