“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” - Epictetus
American philosopher Henry David Thoreau conveyed the problem of modern western philosophy in his book Walden, Life in the Woods.
“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, [. . .] but to so love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically."
In other words, modern philosophy has become a discourse about philosophy.
Philosophy is a practice not a theory.
The Askesis cultivate Prosochē (attention, focus - discussed at the end of the section on Ethos, “Words to live by”).
"When you relax your attention for a while, do not fancy you will recover it whenever you please, but remember this, that because of your fault of today your affairs must necessarily be in a worse condition in future occasions". -Epictetus (Discourses 4.12.1)
In time, as you develop and deepen the attitude and practice of prosochē, you will become a prokoptōn (one who is making progress).
The practice of self-observation, does not demand perfection. It demands that one does it. Prosoche requires attention and focus. The goal of the prokoptōn is continual progress - “Ever to excel” (Greek: “Αιέν αριστεύειν”)
NOTE: THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK "FROM FEAR TO FREEDOM"