The Influence of Your Philosophy

“For your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out…” — Jim Rohn

In the same manner the type of seed planted determines the type of plant that grows, your philosophy will determine the type of life you will have and enjoy living. Whether you control your destiny or whether you give that control to everyone and everything else, will depend on your philosophy. Each seed has its own set of determining factors as to what it will become at maturity. Philosophy is the same. Your philosophy is your guiding belief or principle; that which is behind your every thought, conduct and action. Your philosophy is what you are at your core. It will determine what you become and by default determine on what level of life you will enjoy living.

I have been through four economic downturns so far in my life. I was a child of ten years old during the first one in 1963. Things were so bad during that period, the company for which my dad worked moved their business out of state. Instead of moving with them, Dad opted to stay where he was and starting his own business. For many years money was really tight. We had a tough go of it living very close to the cuff as it affected every aspect of our household from the food we ate to the clothes we wore. I was even given an “F” in PE because my parents wouldn’t buy me a new pair of tennis shoes when mine developed holes on the sides. In today’s society that kind of action from a school wouldn’t have been allowed. The teacher would have been fired and the school would have provided me some decent shoes. Just for the record however, I don’t believe the teacher should have said a thing about my shoes, nor do I believe the school should be required to give new shoes to anyone.

The second downturn I remember was the “energy/gas crunch” of the mid seventies when there were lines of cars at the gas pumps. Although only in my very early twenties I remember its devastating effect on myself and all those I knew. People were yelling and screaming at each other; there was a lack of deference and courtesy. Many would wait until midnight or later to drive to the gas station only to find there were still lines. The lack of gas caused gas prices to increase as well as all power and energy rates to sky rocket. Many businesses failed.

The third downturn was in the mid to late eighties. It was the Savings & Loan and RTC debacle. Entire fortunes were lost including retirement nest eggs, which vanished. This greatly affected the retired and elderly. During this time many businesses went bankrupt while record housing and commercial buildings were foreclosed on. Middle-income America had been hit and hit hard. There was another fairly large down turn in the nineties, which did hit a majority of the country but did not, for the most part, affect those of us in Arizona. Although a large portion of the country was affected, California was hit the worst. Again energy rates increased, homes were lost and people found themselves starting all over.

The fourth and latest was the mortgage and credit debacle in the mid 2000’s. It seemed everything was out of control. Greed was rampant on every level. Money was easy to come by with no accountability. People were borrowing more than they could ever afford as well as living well above their means. Mortgage brokers were killing a fatted calf; stock brokers were making staggering amounts of money; CEO’s of large corporations, public or private, were raping their own companies, while gas and utilities were allowed to rise without control. Four down turns which have adversely affected our economy yet, in spite of these down turns, there were many who not only survived, but fared well.

Although I have been through four downturns, which have left some people with nothing, there have been other seasons of disaster and stress. I personally know many, still alive today, that lived through the great depression. As tough as that was, I have never heard them bad mouth the government or spew anger at others for what happened. I have also met a few people who were children when the big dust bowl happened in the Midwest in the 1930’s. What is interesting about these people is they simply dealt with what happened and moved forward.

Give that some serious thought; their farms were devastated due to no rain for months leaving everything dry and dead. Instead of receiving rain, they received and were to suffer through a dust storm of Biblical proportion, which literally covered their farms and fields with several feet of blowing dust, killing their livestock and filling their houses and barns with dirt. They didn’t squawk about it, blame the government or anyone else for that matter even though they lost all of their earthly possessions. There were no TV stations carrying the likes of Willie Nelson with Farm Aid or other celebrities holding concerts to raise aid for these “victims.” There were no non-profit or government organizations offering aid to help. Robin Williams and his fellow actors didn’t put on a TV show to raise money. The news stations didn’t plead their cause nor did they talk about how bad off these people were. What happened was these people assessed where they were then, gathered their strength and started over. Unfortunately, this is not the mentality of most today.

What was it about those generations or those who have made it through these last four down turns, which sets them apart, making them different from the majority today? The answer is simple. It is and was their philosophy. Your philosophy can and will carry you through anything you might encounter. Your philosophy can take you from pit to pinnacle. The majority of the people ‘back in those earlier days’ were not into blame setting for they realized this would not get them through the issues nor would it put food on the table. What would get them through the dilemma as well as put food on the table would be to grab themselves by the boot straps and start pulling up and forward. This they did. It wasn’t the fault of the federal government. It was not the fault of the State in which they lived. These people recognized that bad things happen to good people. They recognized their philosophy could and would determine their response and their response would determine the overall outcome of their future.

It appears what we have today, for the most part, are people who have been enabled to the point of believing they are entitled. They are not able to suffer through hard times digging and clawing their way back up to the top. They are quick to blame others such as their parents; the government, the economy, the weather, their spouse, their friends, taxes, or…the list is endless.

It was Jim Rohn that said, “Let others live small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.”

You don’t have to “ALLOW OTHERS TO HAVE CONTROL OVER YOU.” You don’t have to LET or ALLOW devastating events take away your belief in yourself and your abilities. You can take control of your life by developing the right philosophy. You don’t need the government telling you what is yours, for that should be your decision. You don’t need a union telling you how much you are worth, for that should be your decision. You don’t need anyone telling you how far you can go, for that should be your decision. You don’t need anyone telling you what to dream or how big to think, for that should be your decision. Who is in control of your life? Is it YOU or because of your philosophy or lack thereof, have you given this to someone else?

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox