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What is your philosophy of life?

https://medium.com/the-weekend-reader/what-is-your-philosophy-of-life-e422c4b4f1d4

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What is your philosophy of life?
What if you went into an interview and someone asked you, “what is your philosophy of life?” How easily could you answer that question? By “philosophy of life” I mean a mental framework for…

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Philosophy of life

Philosophy of life

A philosophy of life means a mental framework for understanding how the world works and how you fit into it. It would include how you decide what is good and bad, what you mean with "success" and "purpose," whether there is a God, etc.

You may feel that you could summarize your philosophy of life with labels such as Libertarian, Feminist, Liberal, Conservative, Buddhist, Christian, Entrepreneur, and others. But our actual philosophies of life are more complex and not so quickly contained.

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Three groups of philosophy of life

  • The True North Group: You have a compass for life and know which direction is the correct way. When asked about your philosophy of life, you could explain it immediately and concisely.
  • The Dusty Compass Group: You have a compass for directing your life, but you don't always know how to use it. You may have a loosely organized philosophy but may not use it to filter and direct your experience.
  • The Inbox Group: You may not have a compass. Life may be about something, but you don't know. Your approach is to deal with life the way you manage email: You are just directing your attention to whatever lands in your inbox.

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The True North group

The difference between the members of these three groups is internal. You won't be able to spot them instantly.

In general, it is better to live as a member of the True North group, provided you remain humble, curious, and open to the possibility you may be wrong.

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Directing the philosophy of life

If you are in the Dusty Compass Group or the Inbox Group, a brush of near-death has a way of improving your philosophy of life. You may be jolted into living on purpose and make it count. In the face of mortality, we think hard about what matters. But, as the weeks and months pass, you may drift back to distraction. Without the vivid orienting direction of a clear philosophy of life, it becomes easy to do whatever's easiest instead of living the way you'd want your obituaries to read.

That's why reflecting every now and again on the reality of death is a good thing to do to make the most of the reality of life.

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How we perceive philosophy

How we perceive philosophy

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Bertrand Russell

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."

Defining philosophy

Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:

  1. Metaphysics - What is true about existence.
  2. Epistemology - How we can know that it is true. Epistemology has given us science, logic/reason, economics, psychology, and other theories of knowledge.
  3. Ethics - What actions we should take as a result of this knowledge. Ethics contains concepts such as democracy, human rights, the treatment of animals, and the environment.

When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.

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Nihilism

Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.

  • Moral nihilism argues that moral facts cannot exist.
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Existentialism

Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:

  • What is the point of living if life has no inherent purpose? 
  • How do we face the knowledge of our inevitable demise?

Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

Stoicism

Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.

Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.

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