7 Important Lessons We Can Learn From Eastern Philosophy That Tells Us About Life

Arzu Dokuzoğlu

Arzu Dokuzoğlu

İTÜ-Kimya Müh.

22 September 2021

Eastern philosophy is not different from other philosophical teachings in terms of its general purpose. Its purpose is to enable us to become smarter individuals and ultimately guide us on how to live well.
Eastern philosophy focuses on the individual or self and the individual’s role in society. It explores how we can achieve inner peace and our relationship with nature and the cosmos. Eastern philosophy has many branches. But as a whole, it gives us general and useful information on how to live a good life based on these themes. These simple ideas have the potential to enlighten and enrich us when we are stuck or having a hard time because of problems in our lives. Here are 7 life lessons we learned from eastern philosophy that may still be useful to us:




1) Life is full of pain and trouble

This Buddhist sensibility may seem incredibly bleak, but after a while this thought can start to seem strangely paradoxically comforting to us. Whether we want to admit it or not, our lives are filled with constant and recurring pain and anxieties. By seeking happiness in material things, we may be trying to get away from this reality and forget it. This is quite common, especially in a modern age. However, failing to accept and face this reality can unintentionally increase our suffering.



The sooner we realize this truth, the sooner we are prepared to address and understand the reality we have. Begin to understand the pain you are now facing and the pain you will inevitably face, and take action. Thus, you will understand the value of the times when you are happy. At the same time, it will provide you comfort in your difficult periods.


2) Be humane

Confucianism teaches each other the importance of being human. We all endure the same being. Probably everyone has been heartbroken, grieved, or betrayed. We must be conscious of this fact. Showing compassion to someone in need will partially alleviate the suffering of those who are in pain. It will also help us maintain our moral character.



Confucius believed that being humane towards each other was as important to an ethical society as it was to individual morality. If individuals treat each other ethically, this will form the basis for a moral society.


3) Let things flow

When things don’t go our way, we frustratingly try to make things right. We also try to prevent certain things from happening. Our attempts to try and force it go in vain and we wear ourselves out in the process. Instead of trying to change or prevent inevitability, sometimes it’s better to look ahead.
This thought is prominent in Taoism, and Taoism places emphasis on letting life and nature run their course. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu believed in the importance of being in harmony with nature and the universe. This is an important part of Eastern philosophy.
We must accept our place in the universe and stop resisting the inevitable forces that come our way. Only then can we have a calm mood.


4) Life is in a state of constant change

Our lives are always changing, in many different ways. We lose our job or get a new job offer, lose a friend or make new friendships, get old. Knowing that the past is unchangeable and knowing that our lives will go in different directions can cause sadness. We may regret past mistakes or opportunities we didn’t invest in.
Instead of despairing about these issues, we should gain a different perspective on them. Yes, our lives will continue to change rapidly. And that means our pain is not permanent.
As the trees around us grow, plants die and landscapes change, just as our lives are constantly changing. However, this change prepares us for a future where the dark times in our lives will pass and we can build better days.


5) Our self is in a state of constant change

Our selves, like our lives, will always change. There is a lot of pressure in modern society that we need to “discover who we are”. But the direction of our individual selves is constantly changing. Our dream job can be continuous improvement and discovery. Our ideal partner’s vision can change frequently. Finally, our political beliefs can change over time.



Strict adherence to self-imposed or socially imposed restrictions frustrates us and gets us in trouble. Don’t be afraid to embrace your changing ideas and beliefs. This is a sign that your individual self is constantly evolving. Exploring such changes should be exciting and give you the freedom to choose what you want to do.


6) Always go forward

Confucius reminds us of the importance of continuous progress. If you’re dealing with an obstacle in your life or struggling to reach a goal, it’s important to keep moving in the right direction, even if your steps are small.
If you’re getting into a stalemate, change something about your life actively but minimally or drastically. Sometimes making a change is all that is needed for your own well-being. Make sure you’re moving in the right direction to move forward.




7) Get strength from your pain

As Buddha said, life is full of suffering. There may be moments when we feel like our being is falling apart. This is one of the most important truths we need to be aware of, and being aware of this fact is part of how we deal with it.
We must try not to forget, hide, or object to our pain and failures. Instead, we must recognize them, accept them, and learn from them. As a result, when we are broken or damaged again in the future, we will be better prepared to rebuild our lives.
We all get hurt sometimes and somehow we struggle with it. We can all be healed and repaired. It is important not to get angry about what has happened to us and not neglect the reality of the difficulties. This will only leave our wounds open and intensify the pain we feel.
If you are offended by a painful event or betrayal, you will be hopeless for a while. Yet despite our anger and frustration as a result of these events, we must accept, learn, and learn to forgive no matter how difficult it may be. Maybe then we can sew our lives back with stronger stitches than before.

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