Philosophy is my more or less intuitive sense of what life really means to me. Intuition comes before analysis anyway. It's the first step toward thinking about the meaning of life.
That's why we have to learn definitions, for example. They're not already there for all we encounter.
What is true about this universe I'm in? What should I do? What do I want? What do I expect? What is my final destiny? Is immortality possible? Would this life affect any possible future one I might have? Why is everything a struggle, including the struggle to think through these questions? What am I, anyway? What does all this mean?
It's easier to come up with superficially plausible answers to these kinds of questions than it is to discover answers based on convincing reasons from organized analysis. But only post-experience reflection uses evidence and possible answers to fill in an already-existing system.
No limited mind has the complete structure. For that reason, my thought is episodic, uneven, and disconnected. So to develop my thought, I must attack it comprehensively so that it will include a more complete integral system of compared possibilities.