practical advice

Effectively using philosophy in everyday life has four main requirements.

  1. Learning some philosophy, wanting to use it, and frequently trying to use it. You're going to have to do some reading and care about this stuff. You don't have to do a ton of reading just to get started though. You can read gradually over time, as you go along and decide it'd be useful.
  2. Learning some philosophical skills, such as how to explain clearly, how to recognize illogical statements, and how to read what people literally wrote without making assumptions so that you can engage with their ideas.
  3. A rational attitude. That means being open to new ideas, putting the truth before your ego, not taking things personally, and being able to accept and learn from criticism. This can be pretty hard, but even if you can do it just a little bit you can get started. It's a skill that you can learn, and with practice (and some time thinking about your attempts so far and how to do better) it gets easier.
  4. An attitude that's a little harder to describe. You need to be calm and self-aware. You need to think first and react second. If you can't do this, you could still do everything else over email and learn a lot, but real life situations will be problematic. People have habits, and they have strategies for how to behave which they do automatically without thinking about it. If you live that way, it doesn't give you much opportunity to change anything. In order to improve much, you need to be able to think of an idea that'd be an improvement, and then actually do it. That means acting in a thoughtful enough way that you can consciously decide what to do, rather than acting on habit or pure intuition.

If you can meet these requirements, then you'll be able to create good ideas, act on them, find flaws in them, create better ideas, act on those, and constantly improve in a perpetual cycle of awesomeness. And you'll improve a lot, fast. If you can sort of partially do these things, you won't be superman in a week, but you can certainly make your life better too, and in the process get better at these requirements.

Details follow.