Dear Doctor of Philosophy

As a Philosophical Consultant I presuppose that everyone’s worldview is true for them at any given time. We all get stuck when things don’t make sense or “don’t compute”. These stuck bits are like knots in the memory process and can be untangled and combed through by using the techniques and practices I’ve developed as a Philosophical Consultant. More than 30 practices have proven invaluable for clients in gaining an understanding of their particular worldview and choosing how they want to move forward. Below are examples of situations in which I have helped people become unstuck.

Q: I dread reading the news but can’t seem to avoid it. I feel the world is becoming a hopeless place with so much pain. How do I maintain a positive outlook when everything seems so bleak?

A: The world can appear to be a big bad place at the moment. Philosophers have been analyzing such questions for centuries. To begin with, I recommend Life Practice Zoom in, Zoom out.

Q: Now that things are opening up again, I worry about what the new normal will be like. I hope it will be better than it is now.

A: What you are saying makes perfect sense. Uncertainty and major changes can be worrisome, especially when we are not in control. Life Practices Approach, and Boonism provide ways of dealing with uncertainty.

Q: I feel as though I missed out on a handbook of life. What is really going on?

A: This is not an uncommon feeling. For starters I recommend reviewing a couple of Life Practices: Know that there is a Social Construction, and Relationship and Content.

Q: I am having an existential crisis. How do I find my project in life?

A: You’ve come to the right place. Existential philosophers have much say on this topic. Life Practice: Existential Crisis and Values

Q: I notice that my dreams tend to come in waves. Sometimes I’ll go for a week without recalling any dreams, then several days in a row I’ll have vivid dreams. Is this relatd to what else is going on in my life?

A: Research has shown that sleep time is when we create long term memories. My own research indicates that emotionally significant events during the day definitely feed into our dreaming experiences as our minds makes sense of how to interpret and remember important events of the day.

Q: I thought I would feel much happier to be approaching retirement but to be perfectly honest I’m feeling stressed about going through such a big change. 

A: Retirement is more than just stopping paid work. It makes sense to think about it beforehand. Life Practices: New Practices and Paradigm Shifts, and Frustration and Knowledge.

Q: I am in my twenties, and due to family circumstances at the time, I missed the opportunity to follow the mainstream route through post-secondary education. Now I am working two jobs and share an apartment with a couple of others. I feel stuck and I’d like to figure out how to make moves towards getting an education, a higher paying job, and be able to afford to rent my own place. Can you help?

A: Your situation is not uncommon. There are options available to you to help you move towards your goals. Generating choices is just the beginning. Life Practices: Process and Outcome, and Reasoning and Decisions

Q: I am in my forties and feeling trapped in my job. I’m too far along to change careers at the same salary, yet I can’t imagine another twenty years at the same job. How can I change careers while maintaining the same lifestyle?

A: It is frustrating to look ahead and feel stuck. You are wise to plan the change you are seeking. Life Practices: The Way Out is through, and Simplicity and Complexity.

Q: Is there an afterlife? I feel there must be something more rewarding to look forward to.

A: You are in good company, and you’ve come to the right place. For the past couple of millennia philosophers have been analyzing the question of the immortality of the soul. There are both logical and faith-based answers to your question. That you ponder the immortality question shows you are a bigger picture thinker. Life Practices: Reasoning and Decisions, and Emotions and Value.

Q: Life’s not fair. I have all of the credentials and experience yet the jobs I apply for always go to someone who seems to me to be less suitable. Why?

A: This happens a lot in the work world. Often there is more to getting than job than meeting the requirements. Life Practices Actions and Words, and 5’s and 3’s and 9’s and 10’s, are a good place to start.

Q: What is happiness and how do I find it?

A: An age old philosophical question. Defining happiness is tricky as it tends to be subjective yet involves other people. Life Practice Happy for Others, Happy for You, and Existential Crisis, can help you to frame what it is you might be looking for.

Q: How do I cope with negative people? My partner is a very sweet person but the first thing they say about any subject is negative.

A: It’s tough to have to listen to so much negativity, especially from someone close to you. As a start, I recommend agreeing with their first negative comment of the day. This will help them to feel heard. See also Life Practices: Pace and Lead, and Giving Feedback, Receiving Cooperation.

Q: I am fairly new to this country, I have a successful in my career and I am fluent in two languages. However, I feel sometimes I am misunderstanding and being misunderstood. It’s hard to describe but it’s as if there is something else going on besides language and behaviour.

A: It can worrisome to feel uncertain as to whether the messages you are sending and receiving are getting there in the way they were intended. For this I recommend Life Practices: Context and Perspective, Content and Relationship, and Pace and Lead

Q: I’ve recently found out about upcoming layoffs, and a couple of friends are on the list. I want to warn them but if I do I will lose my job and we are single income family. How do I determine the right thing to do?

A: It is definitely a tough spot to be in having to choose between loyalties. There’s not always an obvious choice when you’re faced with an ethical bind. Life Practices: Power and Love, and Beliefs and Change.

Q: Why are holidays so stressful? I look forward to spending time with my family but I feel exhausted and end up just going through the motions until it’s over.

A: Striving for the picture perfect family holiday celebration is something many people try for but few achieve. We don’t get extra pay or time off for holiday celebrations. Life Practices: Tradition and Privilege, and Under Stress we regress.

Q: My partner and I are discussing moving in together and blending families. I want to make this work but I find I’m getting cold feet the more I think about it. How do I know I’m making the right decision?

A: Listening to yourself and naming the feeling you are having is a good first step, and you have taken that step. Life Practices: Emotions and Values, and Information and Stress Reduction