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Turn timeless philosophy into practical habits

Throughout ancient history, the concept of a “warrior-philosopher” was a ubiquitous occurrence in civilizations around the world.

Many of history’s most renowned thinkers, like Socrates or Sun Tzu, were career soldiers or generals who used their experiences in war to color their philosophy. And in turn, their teachings have been utilized both by future warriors and philosophers.

But it isn’t enough to simply agree with or ascribe to a particular philosophy. For actual impact to be felt, we have to put those principles into action.

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It’s not enough to consume a quote, catchphrase, or inspirational slogan, nod your head in agreement, and go on with your day. It is essential to embrace the core principles through manageable, practical steps and implement them into your daily life.

One such example might be Bruce Lee’s oft-quoted phrase “be like water,” which originate from the teachings of Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching.

It is all very well to proclaim this idea, but turning it into a daily habit will cement this idea into your lifestyle. Taking a few moments out of your day to meditate on the practical application of this philosophy can help put knowledge into action.

In other words, you may not need to “be like water” right now. But reminding yourself to be like water every day will ensure that you can quickly adapt when you most need to.

Knowledge alone is not power.
True power is the application of knowledge.
– Marc Pollak, Dragon Society International

Philosophy itself implies practicality, and practical tasks require an underlying philosophy. Everything has its purpose, and everyone we do is a combination of both, whether we realize it or not.

Throughout history, figures such as Marcus Aurelius were well aware of this complementary yin-yang application. Great generals or Samurai had often written great poetry and expressed profound wisdom, as well as being able to succeed in battle.

In today’s world, it is not necessary to become either a world-class general or ace philosophy student. But the practical application of knowledge gained from some of history’s greatest minds can be incredibly beneficial.

The next time you see an inspirational quote that particularly speaks to you, think about how you can practically incorporate it into your daily life.

The mountain does not judge the river because it is low, and the river does not judge the mountain because it cannot move and flow.

Some of us are naturally philosophical and creative, others are predominantly practical and productive. Both are equal and can learn from each other to cultivate the best results.

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