Philosophy -- How to Live

Why Philosophy?

Philosophy often seems esoteric, complex, and irrelevant to daily life. What does philosophy have to do with how to live and thrive? As a young adult, reading and thinking about the fundamental questions of life was important as I tried to figure out my place in the world and meaning for my life. My interest waned as the demands of work and family dominated my time. Philosophy also seemed less relevant. I concluded there was no answer to my big questions and thinking about it was simply a waste of time and self indulgent.

I renewed my interest in later life. I found, unexpectedly, that studying philosophy was far from a waste of time. It has provided direction and peace. I wish I had not abandoned it years ago.

We live with a framework about how the world works, our purpose and place, and what is right and wrong.  We may not be conscious of that framework, or our philosophy of life, but it guides our actions all the same. We benefit as individuals and as a society from a examining the principles guiding our thoughts and actions. More importantly is gaining the wisdom and experience necessary to act in accordance with our principle.

This part of my website contains my thoughts on this important topic. It focuses broadly on the topic of how to live with an emphasis on ethics and moral philosophy. Perhaps my efforts to refine my principles for living and to act accordingly will interest or help others.

Kant Philosophy
Immanuel Kant

Essays on How to Live and Thrive

This collection of essays on how to live and thrive address one of the basic questions: How should I live my life? How should I live to be happy and thrive?

Most of us at some point think about the meaning of life, the goals we should pursue, and what is most important. We develop, whether we know it or not, our philosophy of life. Often we do this when young and least prepared to answer the questions. Yet it is a time we are most in need of the answers. One of the many ironies of life that we get better at learning how to live as we have less living to do.

Many abandon efforts to understand how to live when, as they say, life happens. The daily routine takes over. Just keeping it all together takes all our time and energy. Deeper thoughts about purpose and meaning get pushed aside.

That is unfortunate. Many would experience more peace and happiness if they continued examining the question of how to live. I am fortunate. I’ve had a good and enjoyable life. But I realize now in the third trimester of life how much I had not thought about. There are important ideas about living I missed or simply got wrong.

What follows are essays on the theme of how to live. There is some structure and organization to the essays. Most will benefit from the context of the other essays. But each, hopefully, provides value standing on its own.

Part of the inspiration for writing is Michael de Montaigne. When I read his essays I knew this was the type of essay I wanted to write. He was not an academic or a philosopher. He wrote initially for himself and a few friends. He wrote simply and based on what he learned and thought about during his life.

Following is the table of contents for the essays.

Table of Contents

A Work in Progress

This is a work in progress. I am posting these essays as I write them. Most are not in final form and will be revised as I think more about the topics.

Feedback is sought and appreciated. Please feel free to contact me at

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