When it comes to maxims on how to live, solve problems, or lean into the unpleasant duties of life, it is important to understand that we do not live in a world of absolutes (aside from the fundamental laws of physics).
When we seek advice in the form of a maxim, we often make the mistake of colouring it in with our bias. While it’s true that only we ourselves understand which problem exists that we must solve, it is also true that we will be narrow in our approach to doing so and will inevitably seek out some form of short memorable counsel that can be revisited as needed. Enter Philosophical Maxims.
Consider the following maxims and contemplate each of them carefully in relation to their relevance to you.
– Plans are useless, but planning is everything.
– Take notice of core motives in all things. If we lie to ourselves, our failures will be the first to tell us the truth.
– Costs are a matter of perspective.
– Success is an opinion, failure is obvious.
– Morality isn’t about being a saint, it’s about knowing the appropriate time to be a monster.
– All is art that has been done with great care and with great struggle.
– Be as you like, but don’t ask others to be you.
– One who provides a service from the heart is genuine, one who does so out of greed is a liar.
– Far better to meet an angry fool with silence and walk away untainted than to become one ourselves.
– If one is still breathing, one has already won the day.
Each of these maxims are a basic examples of philosophical principles that attempt to allow each person to grasp a virtue that is both understood as well as unique at different points of revision.
Each time one is revisited, they may take on new meaning and justify a new perspective. Be warned, however. There are no situational markers of performance nor individual requirements of morality; only the outlines of them.
When reviewing a maxim for answers to life’s great obstacles there is a maxim about maxims that should always be considered; a tyrant can convince themselves they act morally and with due cause, but one who is humble will always remain in some doubt over what is to be done.
Philosophy doesn’t teach us how to be right, it teaches us to always question if we may be wrong.