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Essays on How to Live
The Basic Question in Life
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.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Essays
- Purpose in Life
- What Does It Mean to Thrive
- Human Nature
- On Status
- Reconciling Secular and Religious Perspectives on Moral Codes
- Is Controlling Desires a Key to Happiness?
- How to Be Good
- Virtue and Character
- What I Learned from Studying Kant
- What I Learned from Reading Aristotle
- Lessons from the Stoics
- How to Respond to Wrongdoing
- The Value of Adversity
- Seek Knowledge and Wisdom
- Knowledge in Our DNA
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.