Philosophy: Etymologically, it's the love of wisdom. And an object of love is an interesting thing. When you lack it, you pursue it. When you find it, you embrace it. Such love has its own fascination. It's not a soft, warm, glow of feeling, or a giddy infatuation. It's a committed pursuit, an arduous adventure, a voyage, a quest, a stripping away of illusion and everything that's false to get to the beauty of truth, goodness, and unity. The excitement of the pursuit can be great, but the thrill of discovery is even greater. And then the deep satisfaction of using real wisdom and seeing it work to build something stunning can be overwhelming.
True philosophy dips into the mystical to bring us the greatest of the practical. True philosophy breaks all idols and opens us to the absolute numinous behind and within all things. True philosophy empowers us uniquely.
I can't imagine great business devoid of great philosophy. And that's the missing link for so many who have extraordinary products or services or structures to enable new ways of living, but have not yet grasped the deepest wisdom that could propel them to that epoch making world changing success that we sometimes see. That's why I recently wrote up a little book on Steve Jobs: Socrates in Silicon Valley. It's an example of what we can discover when we look at the use of philosophical ideas and techniques and realizations in the world of business. Even for people like Steve, who had so much going against him inwardly in the deep and convoluted wrinkles of his personal struggles, a few philosophical realizations could conquer all. Plato brought us the idea of the philosopher king. I like the idea of the philosopher business builder, as well.
In the end, it's not about how to make your money, but how to make your impact, your difference, and even your soul. Why should we ever settle for anything less?