Living Wisely as Humanists

Do Humanists really know something others don’t?

I don’t think so. It’s more the combination of what we know with how we choose to approach life that seems to work so well.

For instance, almost every self-help coach selling their “wisdom” in the market place is teaching concepts familiar to Humanists.  I am always amused at how often Humanists are quoted by motivational experts for instance  (Helen Keller and Albert Einstein appear to be favorites).

What annoys me is that almost all these experts use the motivational aspects of the Humanist philosophy and ignore the decision making aspects of the philosophy.

Don’t get me wrong, the motivational aspects of Humanism are hugely important. Without proper motivation, we aren’t motivated to do much of anything.  The problem is that these motivational experts don’t teach the rest of the philosophy. It’s not enough to be motivated to do good, if you can’t figure out what a good thing to do is. It’s not enough to take personal responsibility to making your life better, if you have no idea how, exactly to do that.

And that’s the real problem we all face.  The question is not whether we want to lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. Almost everyone does.  The problem is very few know how exactly to do that.

Which is why Humanists don’t spend a lot of time on motivation, except to remind ourselves to not wait for someone else to solve our problems for us.  Instead, we spend our time figuring out how best to solve our problems using our intellect.  Once we have a good idea of how to solve our problems, the rest is just doing it.

Just do it – is a nice slogan, but it’s probably best if you spend some time thinking about what it is you want to do before you do it. That way, when you do do it, the results are likely to be good.

If you are in the market for self help, don’t limit yourself to feel good woo based options. Seek out Humanist self help so that you can actually learn the critical thinking skills needed to make wise decisions.

(see for more information on programs you can benefit from.

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