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Working Philosophy

Common misconceptions are that philosophy is just for academics and that it is a waste of time.
I disagree.  A philosopher is literally one who has "a love of wisdom".
How can that be wrong?

Why might you need a philosophy?
I would say that in every interesting life there will be times when enormous life changing decisions are required.
My suggestion is that you develop a working philosophy before you hit these complicated parts of your life.
When there are no clear choices, no precedents, insufficient information and foggy confusion, a working philosophy can help to guide you.  

 

Where to start? 

For me, philosophy should have practical application that benefits you, and ideally others.

This I call a working philosophy.

If you have lived learned, loved and lost, succeeded and failed then you most likely already have some sort of a philosophy forming at the back of your mind.
Develop your own beliefs, values and guiding principles that work for you.
Have you made your philosophy explicit yet? Most people have not.
Have you written down your deepest values, your most basic beliefs, your red lines and major points of reflection somewhere?


If like many people you have not started, here's a simple guideline to start you thinking:
Think about the crossroad or pivotal events in your life and reflect on what happened and why. What influenced you and why?

 

What to avoid.

Your answers to lifes complex issues won't be found in case study, on the Internet or in just one book. 
Don't follow or believe people who say they have 'the answer'. 

Each one of us is the complex sum of many unique experiences
- so it is highly unlikely that someone will have a generalised answer that is specific to your needs.

Go find your own answers.  
Test them. Reflect on them.
Check that what you find works in a beneficial way

Your answers will then be much more authentic.

 

When faced with something complex you may find that
true and helpful "absolutes" are rare. Absolutes leave no room for flexibility