The danger that circumstances will decide your occupation instead of you choosing yours

Today I had a philosophical conversation with a stranger. He asked me what kind of job I wanted to do later. I gave him my answer, but said I am not sure yet and that I hope I will find more out along the way. He asked me: ‘but won’t circumstances than decide what you will do?’. He further said the following. All kinds of factors could force you to do certain things. Maybe a lot of people are like that. Maybe a lot of people don’t do the things they really want to do. Giving thought to what he said, maybe that means we should set our minds to some goal the sooner the better. We should decide what we want to occupy ourselves before circumstances will decide for us. (And believe that in it.) (Oh and he had the feeling God exists, I kind of have such feeling to some extent as well. For example because he showed up.)

A quote from Bruce Lee

I would like to add a quote from Bruce Lee. This is a quote that you can find on one of those posters. It’s useful because all these insights you know, you easily forget them and lose them out of mind. Solution: apply immediately and transform them into concrete change. Here it is:

“Knowing is not enough,

you must apply.

Willing is not enough,

you must do.”

Ps: I just saw on a website that it is also a quote by Goethe. Maybe Lee just took it from Goethe (he takes freely from all). Or maybe coincidentaly they thought of the same thing?

The greatest danger for the philosophical mind

The greatest danger for the philosophical mind is: arrogance. Thinking it is enough to stay in your room and study all day or think all day. Not realising the walls are not instructive enough. Not realising above all that we need the world to shape and teach us. Not realising that that it is the enivronment rather than our ‘will’ which is most important for our development. Arrogance can make you overestimate your own beliefs, ideas and thinking capacities. ‘Maybe I am wrong’ is a thought that should always be kept in mind. Indeed, you could be completely wrong. Your ideas are only just that. I hope your experiences have shown you that. You should realise the trickiness of a situation in which you think you are right and the others are wrong. Arrogance can also lead you to not take interest in the contingencies of the world. ‘I don’t need to know that.’ ‘I don’t need to be able to do that.’ This is fundamental. Arrogance is a great danger for the philosophical mind.

The world as my teacher

With philosophy I can do anything, but I can do nothing. I can in principle do anything. My philosophy study didn’t aim to teach me any particular skill or practical knowledgde. Now for my further development, I must adhere to the Chinese saying: a thousand kilometres of road teaches more than a thousand scrolls of books.