Worldview, it’s one of the biggest buzzwords of the twenty-first century. But what does it mean and how does it help us? Worldview is our set of beliefs about the nature of reality. It is an internal doctrine that answers the biggest questions of life and guides our responses in specific circumstances.
The late Leo Apostel of the University of Brussels gave a framework of worldview that consists of several key components. These are some of the biggest of life’s questions. A person’s responses to these questions will determine how they interact with their world and therefore establish how much impact they will have.
Here are three of the most critical worldview questions which also determine your potential:
1. What is the nature of life?
This is the most fundamental of the worldview questions. It seeks to define our place in this wonderfully complex and expansive cosmos we live in. At one end of the spectrum, a person’s worldview could be that life is fragmentary, isolated, random, and meaningless. This is a prolific view academically but can be uninspiring.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, another person’s worldview might say that all of life is ordered and filled with purpose. This is readily observable in nature and proven by science. Systems of every kind, from ecosystems to all of the systems of the human body, demonstrate order and purpose.
The impact of this particular worldview is staggering—if the universe around us is structured and purposeful then, by default, so are we. How we view our world in this manner empowers us to live with purpose, dignity, and inspiration. It frees us to reach our greatest potential in life.
“Consciously and unconsciously, intentionally and involuntarily, willfully and unsuspectingly, our beliefs are the sum total of our lives. It’s that simple.” – Patty Houser
2. Where are we going?
This defining question of worldview has two major aspects. The first is our expectation. Based on where we, as humanity have been, and what we believe about our world, what do we expect to accomplish? In other words, it answers some of the following questions:
- Is the future a hopeful place?
- What good things does it have in store for us?
- How much can I personally contribute to that future?
With a healthy expectation, we look longingly to the future in earnest hope for humanity’s highest potential.
The second is vision. If expectation is about where we believe we are headed, vision is about where we intend to go. With a compelling vision of the future, the greatest leaders in history have moved countless souls to create lasting and significant change. A healthy worldview believes the future has a place for us and that we can impact it. Truly, what we believe about—and intend—for the future can unleash tremendous possibility for us.
“I have a dream that ONE DAY this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
3. What do I believe?
This question regards our values, the things we hold dear to us and that mold our concept of right versus wrong. The promotion and protection of values are some of the most motivating forces in humanity through the ages. Consider the greatest wars, revolts, and movements of history, they were founded on passionate positions regarding values.
Values lead to conviction and conviction is what provides the “fight” in life. A true understanding of our values, or what we stand for, provides an urgency that conquers the common ailment of complacency. By having a clear picture of what you believe in, you can find the internal motivation to push forward through the adversity of life and make a significant difference in the world.
How do you wake up everyday and push forward? Let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com