Foundations of a Life Philosophy | Section 1.7

Note: This article is one part of a series, "How to Rethink Your Entire Life | Foundations of a Life Philosophy"

Here’s what to expect from this point.

In the earlier sections, we’ve mapped what we’re doing and why. The ultimate aim is a sturdy life philosophy that won’t collapse under life’s tests and trials.

Beyond this point, it’s time to jump in and actually get to work.

This means actually going through the process of “thinking life through,” starting from an (almost) blank sheet of paper.

We’ve boiled it down to eight basic steps.

Given this, we should clarify a bit more about what going through this process will do – and what it won’t.

Here’s a basic outline of what’s ahead.

First Step: we’ll bring up a few basic questions.

We won't try to answer them at this point. When it comes to answering questions like these, a number of people decide to “wing it.” Our effort here is to “wing it” as little as possible.

This will bring us to the Second Step, where we’ll gather some tools to help us wrestle those questions down into something a bit more manageable.

The Third Step will then consist of using those tools on the questions.

Armed with the results of these first three steps, the Fourth Step will mean driving this new machine around the block a little, and revisiting the questions from Step One.

On the Fifth Step, we simplify. We’ll boil all of the questions down to just one.

At that point, we’ll arrive at the Sixth Step. Based on your answer from the previous step, we’ll extrapolate additional answers that fall into place in subsequent categories.

We can now take the Seventh Step, where a new phase begins. This consists of an additional level of “following the threads” or working out the practical implications.  This will result in drawing out useful answers to The Big Questions of life based on your initial answer from Step 5.

At this point, a foundation has been established. Beyond here, the ball will go back to your court. Having taken the seven steps, the process now consists of testing your results. Here, things are ready to evolve and strengthen in a way that’s more personal and unique.

To be clear, this process is meant to provide a comprehensive, beginning-to-end guidebook that makes sense of every situation in life, or explains what anyone should do in any situation. This isn’t a map to the top of the mountain. The aim here is to establish a solid base camp – a foundation to start from. It can provide a floor under our feet that stops us from falling into nihilistic confusion. For anyone wandering aimlessly though a foggy wilderness, it can offer some food and water, a warm bath, a few maps and compasses. A good base camp makes exploring higher up the mountain much more accessible and likely to succeed.

That’s the basic process.

With that in mind, we should clarify two key questions.

First, is this process one of discovery, or creation? Do we "discover" a life philosophy, or "build" one?

And second, does this process consist of “telling someone what to think”?

The next section will answer both of these.

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