Although I am a student of real world philosophy, I realise that knowledge is useless if we don’t put it into practice. I therefore consider myself a lifelong practical philosopher.
Practice is in fact the correct term, as we first learn, we then put it into practice and we then train/improve/optimise by doing it over and over again in our daily lives or a dedicated simulation or practice environment.
From one of my favourite books I quote...
“The root of philosophy is to seek out “why”, the word philosophy comes from the Greek words “love and truth. Philosophisers are naturally deep dive people as they seek the “truth”. I understand and appreciate that there can be multiples “truths” as context always plays a part in what we see, however the practical philosopher is not only seeking the answers but also looking to solve the problems and to share the solutions, the outcomes, hoping that it can help other fellow mankind.
When faced with adversity, the practical philosopher will look at why something happened and look to learn something from it.”
I look for the “good out of everything bad”. I also look to learn from others experience as we are in many ways the sum of our experience. So if we can learn from others experience then we will learn more in less time.
I will admit that the first person to gain from this outlook is me. I have gained the most from questioning, solving and sharing. However this knowledge is then leveraged by the many others that can gain something out of the shared knowledge.
Philosophy is not about “I am right and you are wrong”. The context will always dictate what is right and wrong but the process of questioning is what is important as you apply the knowledge to your own experience. Use the knowledge not to reinforce what “happened to you” but more to see how you had some role to play in what happened and therefore could affect the outcome next time if you took on the practical role rather than the innocent bystander, letting things happen to you.
"The practical philosopher can only correlate the various events, causes and effects, when they are in a state of “peace of mind”. In that state, you are not self absorbed and “feeling the pain”. With peace of mind you are able to see the events unfold and without judgement, analyse, questions and correlate the events to a solution or outlook that ensures you don’t repeat the experience. It is also in the state of peace of mind that you are prepared to share the outcome, the experience, hoping that it will help someone else as it helped you. You do soe not in anticipation of reward, even though reward will follow, you do so for the sake of improving the lives of someone who is ready to improve their life.
The philosopher is not able to foretell the future but by understanding the underlying fundamentals, can expect a repeat of behaviour and events if the knowledge of the past is not shared.
The philosopher knows that peace of mind is critical to making an impact, so they will not sacrifice peace of mind for short term gain. Patience, and staying true and consistent is the way to gain and retain peace of mind.
The practical philosopher looks to build other philosophers rather than followers. By encouraging others to understand their “why” is he only way that they can stay true to themselves. Therefore the philosopher should not be seen as knowing the answers but more like knowing the questions that gave him his own answers. Do not idolise philosophers, do not emulate, copy or idolise philosophers. Real world philosophers are everyday people that have learnt to deep dive in order to understand more about themselves. Encourage others to deep dive but only when they are ready and willing to action it for themselves."
I consider myself a practicing philosopher and yet part of being a philosopher is to share experiences to encourage others to become philosophers themselves in order to better understand how they are motivated and how they can become the best version of themselves.
Source - Napoleon Hill Grow Rich with Peace of mind – published by Napoleon Hill foundation 1967