I'm thrilled to be on SETT, so we can get more discussion going, more input, and good threads.
Today I'd love your thoughts on a tradeoff I think about -- being philosophically disposed vs. being focused on winning above and beyond all.
What a philosophical disposition? It's hard to define, but easy to recognize. It's something like an orientation around placing your internal happiness and satisfaction on developing your values and living in accord with those values you developed.
It's maximizing your internal self and your gearing around what you believe in, and resting your happiness and health on that.
It has many advantages, and it lets you endure many trials. A great number of successful people have had the philosophical disposition. Fortune comes, fortune goes... you endure and keep living in accord with your values. You fall into fashion or favor, you fall out of it, you keep going. The external circumstances are fleeting.
And yet -- isn't it true that oftentimes the man oriented around winning, winning, and winning exceeds the philosophically disposed man?
Take Boetheius as an example. In the year 524, Boethius was a loyal member of the Ostrogoth King Theodoric's court. Boetheius was a hard-worker, an intellectual, he was intensely anti-corruption and pro-humanity... and then, due to politics, he was falsely denounced, falsely imprisoned, and executed on specious charges.
While in prison for a year before his execution, he wrote "The Consolations of Philosophy" -- a beautiful and brilliant work that's worth reading, something that a man can rest his heart and mind on during hard times.
And yet -- Boetheius was executed. He didn't escape, he wasn't able to counterattack, counter-denounce, or otherwise win his freedom.
Is this the higher way? Boetheius consolated himself to his fate that he was a good and just man... and then died, horribly. The work he left behind is incredible, but wouldn't it have been better for Boetheius to escape somehow? To bribe a jailer, to get the right petitions written, to have a sword or dagger smuggled into his prison and to fight his way, or to at least die trying? Philosophy be damned if they want to execute you, no? Isn't an orientation around achieving, and winning, going to produce more of that?
So there the goes the tradeoff. Where do you stand with it, when you can orient yourself fully around philosophy, or fully around results, or somewhere in between?
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