2 min read

Work in Progress: My Life Philosophy

Buckle up, this one is popping.

  • Core tenet of Buddhism: Change is inevitable. Either you accept it, or you suffer. Pain is certain, suffering is optional.

You can train your mind to accept things as they are through meditation.

  • Core tenet of Stoicism: There’s what you can change in the world, and what you can’t. You shouldn’t care about the stuff you can’t change, cuz that just makes you sad and it’s pointless. Just focus on what you can change.

You can train your mind through premeditated pessimism (fearsetting in Tim Ferriss parlance).

I like the philosophies a lot, but my issues with them:

  • Both philosophies are sound in theory but both would have you not bat an eyelash at your firstborn child dying a horrific death in front of you. If you've reached their pinnacle of detachment.
  • Also, you can use Buddhism as an excuse to not be attached to loved ones. That’s not healthy (obviously), see avoidant attachment style.

“Oh, no, friends and family are ephemeral, can’t get too attached”

  • Stoicism tenet sounds more reasonable than Buddhist tenet. But still, ignore the things you can’t change? See this quote:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Doesn’t this make you feel there is something undesirable about being the reasonable man?

Nietszche has a similar bone to pick with Buddhism/Stoicism. As I learned from a drunk philosophy student in Rome, Nietszche sees both as life-denying.

Paraphrasing the Nietszche episode on Philosophize This:

Why don’t you become as powerful as you can to have as much control over world as possible

Think of a bear in the woods. When bear comes into conflict of interest with other bears or nature over prey or honey or whatever it wants

Should bear go meditate in the mountains in an orange robe


Exert your "will to power"

Go get what you want teddy!!!

Why should we  train our minds for 30 years to accept we are powerless over our circumstances. No, if there’s something you want go get it.

  • Nietszche went through a lot of suffering in his life. Not a privileged dude making these comments. He elaborates a lot later on why you should do shit and give your life meaning in a post-religion world.
  • Now, having these tensions in mind between these schools of thoughts, enter Mark Manson’s Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Ignore the book, I’m focusing on the article.
  • Giving fucks = having desire / earthly attachment. Buddhism/Stoicism were about getting rid of these.
  • Mark Manson says don’t give a fuck about most things. But do give a fuck about certain things. A simple and profound answer.
  • Most answers to questions are some kind of moderation between two extremes, and I guess, same here.
  • Don’t give a fuck about most things outside of your control. Defs don’t give a fuck about the past. Probs give a fuck about loved ones.
  • Naval says something similar. Only have one big desire at a time, because a desire is a contract with yourself to be unhappy until you get something. Have but one desire.
  • Feel like next step of all this is to come up with robust framework or general guidelines for what to give a fuck about and not give a fuck about. Maybe answer is, give fucks about loved ones on friends (psychology supports that), don’t give fuck about things out of your control MOSTLY (stoicism), if there are some things you really want you think are important go get em (nietszche?)

I have re-derived what is common sense, yay