Lead a Happier Life According to These Philosophies from around the World ...

There are plenty of “tools” to motivate and help you change your life. Most times, it requires an attitude adjustment. And adopting a new perspective on life is no easy task. Your journey can be helped by some great life philosophies from around the world.

1. Tri Hita Karana from Bali

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Harmony with a higher power, harmony with nature, and harmony amongst each other. That is the meaning of this saying. It is a philosophical stance that people from Bali try to live by. The higher power may be something religious, or may even include the infinite intelligence theory put forward by Napoleon Hill. It may even mean the overwhelming notion of infinity itself and how we have to come to terms with what it may mean to ourselves (because it is scary to say the least). Harmony with nature is an obvious philosophical stance, especially when you consider the horrors of the alternative. Harmony between people and ourselves means a lack of conflict--not necessarily a world where everybody is nice, sweet and holding hands all the time.

2. Fernweh from Germany

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Some non-Europeans claim the people in the EU are more concerned about holiday time than they are about working. They are mostly incorrect. Germany is known for its hardworking citizens and the country has one of the strongest economies on earth. Nevertheless the Germans do have the saying “Fernweh” which means, “I feel rotten because I haven’t been on holiday for a while.” If you were to get homesick on holiday, then this would be the opposite. It is a yearning to go on holiday.

3. Friluftsliv from Norway

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This means, “Free air life,” and is the sort of thing you aspire to. A person that retires may wish to do so with a free air life. It is a way of saying how the fresh air and open space is going to be good for you. It is a pleasing expression that also accompanies people that are going for hikes and biking in the open air. If you were running on a treadmill, you may desire a free air life with the knowledge that it would be good for you.

4. Pura Vida from Costa Rica

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Roughly translated it means “Pure life.” In our tongue could be translated as “Could be worse.” It is a way of saying that no matter how bad your life is that you are still alive and things could be far worse. It is a way of saying that you both accept your life despite your troubles, and can be used to wish other people happiness despite their troubles. It can be used as a greeting, as a goodbye and as a way of saying how you are feeling.

5. Hygge from Denmark

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This translates as a way of saying you feel cozy in the mind. If you were sat on a comfortable chair with nice surroundings, you may say you feel comfortable and cozy. Saying “Hygge” means you have the same feeling in your mind, even if you do not feel it physically. It means having a soothed and relaxed state of mind. If somebody was fussing over you because they thought you were upset, you might say you feel quite Hygge and they have no need to worry.

6. Wabi-Sabi from Japan

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Nothing in nature is perfect, which is why we should embrace the irregular and imperfect. Wabi-Sabi means you should “Embrace the imperfect.” It a shame it doesn’t exist as a word in English. A great example is a woman asking a man if her butt looks big in a dress. He could lie to spare her feelings or he could say that even if her bottom was double the size she would still be as lovable as a box of kittens. If you are not as poetic, you could say Wabi-Sabi and it would have a similar effect. Do not dislike your large bottom; embrace it for all its perks and flaws. Do that, and maybe a few others will want to embrace it too (ahem).

7. Hakuna Matata from Africa

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It literally means what the song lyrics in the Lion King song say--quote, “It means no worries, for the rest of your days.” Its first use was in 1982 by a Kenyan band called “Them Mushrooms” (Uyoga), and it is mentioned in their song “Jambo Bwana.” You are still singing the song in your head aren’t you? Next time you’re prone to stress out about something – sing it.

I find that a common thread running through these is acceptance – accepting even the crap that life throws at you, if you can’t do anything about it. That leaves you free to concentrate on what you can influence. Which do you most identify with?

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