III: a personal philosophy [2005]

physicality – (noun) body, matter, material.

People become tired during their working day. This could be due to lack of physical activity (we do not work has hard as we used to). When energy is not used the body must find ways to burn the surplus, thus we become lethargic. The ability to work effectively in this state is minimal.

Physical activity is essential to the body and the mind.

Philosophy – (noun), 1 pursuit of wisdom. 2 study of realities and general principles. 3 system of theories on nature of things or on conduct. 4 calmness of mind.

“He who has a why to live for can bear any how.” (Nietzsche). The discovery of the ‘why’ is vital in understanding the ‘how’. Victor E Frankl writes of each person finding reason for living their lives. Before one can pursue a personal wisdom it is worth discovering the realities and principles of past and present philosophers. This should help us to construct questions that are relevant to our life in this world.

As the body requires consistent exercise, so does the mind. Creative thinking is obstructed by routine and very little time is spent ‘thinking’. The human brain is powerful but grossly underused.

performance – (noun), 1 the act of performing or carrying out. 2 the execution or fulfilment (of a duty etc).

Performance can be gauged by the completion of a thing and what it has accomplished or if the subject’s desires have been fulfilled. However, too much emphasis can be placed on the ‘completed thing’. Success is a confusing word in modern terms and is measured in contemporary society in a base fashion.

Cervantes said that the road is better than the Inn. A goal, as an outcome, should not be the only thing measured. Being on the journey towards a worthy goal is just as important as completion. Preliminary work can be as beautiful (or more so) than the final thing itself.


Motivation is difficult if no goals or outcomes are apparent. Therefore it is vital to ask ourselves exactly what it is we require from life, i.e. what is our philosophy?

People want to be happy but fail to recognise that happiness is not a goal.

Pleasure is, and must remain, a side effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree that it is made a goal in itself. (Frankl, 1959)

Frankl states that there are three ways in which we can discover meaning in our lives:

1) By creating a work or doing a deed;
2) by experiencing something or someone; and
3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

Existential understanding comes from our ability to question. Having this ability should never be taken lightly.


    © Paul Glennon 2005