I agree that there’s a serious concern there. A lot of retired people don’t do much, too.
Those issues are not where I’d start.
People often look at this issue in terms of emotions which they lack much direct control over. Trying to directly control it is called using “willpower” and often doesn’t work very well.
I think it helps to look at non-emotional problems. A lot of negative emotions are responses or consequences of something else. You can solve the something else and then, often, the emotions change naturally.
There are many something elses, many of which are easier to work on than emotions. It can be hard to tell exactly how relevant they are, so a good strategy is to improve a bunch of them and don’t expect big results from any particular one. Also, improving them is often beneficial in other ways.
What sorts of something elses or underlying causes could be relevant? Here are a few but you could brainstorm many others.
- finding reading hard (many people don’t recognize that they could be better readers who read with greater ease, but they could be. a rough indication is whether reading 5 novels in a month, for fun, would be a major outlier for you or not. another indicator is how much you gravitate towards audio books, podcasts and videos over text, or find them more fun or easy.)
- not knowing grammar well. e.g. not knowing if you’re using commas correctly when you try to write
- not having a bunch of good writing policies automated, such as good sentence and paragraph organization (how much content goes in a sentence or paragraph, where do you end it, how long should they be, how do you connect them together, etc).
- not having a lot of writing experience
- not having much debating experience, not being confident in debates, not knowing how to stand up for your ideas against arguments
- not being great at logic (or being slow, inexperienced, having to stop and think things through a bunch)
- social anxiety (which is partly emotional but there are lot of non-emotinoal underlying causes)
- lack of background knowledge (so a lot of stuff to catch up on keeps coming up)
One of the themes is you need a ton of skills and intellectual tools to be mastered/automatized rather than just be things you can do. That lets you focus your attention on the philosophical content itself and have more fun instead of all those skills requiring work to use (or worse, requiring learning them better before you can even use them effectively).