Just as a doctor checks your physical health, your philosophical life can go through the check-up and prescription process. The following guide is set up to help you assess your philosophical health, give you elixirs to reverse any philosophical maladies you may have caught or been injured by, and suggest mentally invigorating exercises to synapse xt bring your mind up to peak performance.
While you are following the following prescriptions for your philosophical health, don’t forget to take care of your physical health. Your brain is the muscle that you use for philosophy, and your brain is fueled by your body. Feed your body well, and keep it in good shape so that your brain can do it’s job well. One nice way of thinking about keeping your whole being healthy is to think of taking care of your body, mind, and spirit (or body, intellect, and emotions, if you prefer). Philosophy mostly works on your mind and spirit. But don’t forget your body, too.
One last request before we begin, please, take your time with this guide. Remember, The Wise Turtle became so wise because she takes her time. Why hurry and miss life? The best way to get where you want to go really is to take one step at a time. (It helps to have four feet like a turtle, but two feet will do!) So start with the first step, and go mindfully and purposefully along your path.
Basic First Aid and Annual Check-Up
1. Assessment of physical/intellectual/emotional state. What needs attention immediately? Administer soothing aid before doing anything else! Thinking suffers when you suffer. So take care of your basic needs for health first and foremost.
2. Assess what is going right. Make a list of all the good stuff that’s happened in your life recently. Big stuff, small stuff, any stuff you honestly appreciated.
3. Ask yourself what would you like to see in your life in the future. Consider what your overall goals, dreams, ideals, and purposes are. Write these down too. They can be simple or highly detailed.
4. As an intellectual game, take the conclusions from #3 and use them to create a slogan for your life. Pretend that you have been invited to a philosophical theme party and you have to display your essential life’s purpose on your t-shirt. Try to make your slogan answer the question: “Who am I and what do I want to do with myself in life?” Make your philosophical slogan no longer than a sentence or two if you can. Don’t worry, you never have to show this to anyone if you don’t want to! But do write it down somewhere you can find it easily. This slogan is meant to be your touchstone or mantra – your philosophy of life. When you are feeling terrible about your life, the world, or whatever, take a look at your mantra to remind yourself of what you are all about. (If it doesn’t make you feel better, then you may need to tweak it a bit.) Make a real t-shirt of your philosophical slogan if you want, and wear it when you are feeling particularly thoughtful.
The Wise Turtle has her mantra smack dab in the middle of her home page on her web browser, so that she sees it every time she gets on the internet. Some people like to make art that represents their life philosophy on it, either literally or metaphorically. If you are feeling really silly, you could make up an actual “First Aid Kit” for your mind, with nothing but your mantra printed on the inside in big red letters. You could keep it on your bathroom shelf next to the band aids and aspirin!