But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Note 14 at Php 1:22: The New International Version translates this verse as "If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me." Other translations follow the same thought. However, it seems clearer and more in line with the context to interpret it differently.
Paul had been speaking of his imprisonment throughout this chapter. He was saying, "My present circumstances (imprisonment) are the result of my life in the flesh, yet I am torn between two choices. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is best for me, but it is more beneficial for you for me to stay here with you."
Despite the fact that Paul suffered more than most (1Co 4:9 and 2Co 12:7), he was willing to bear that pain for the sake of others.
Note 15 at Php 1:22: "I wot not" is an old English phrase for "I don't know." Paul was having trouble deciding between life and death. Not many people struggle with that choice. Many of those who long for death are not doing so because of a desire to be with Christ but because of a desire to escape some hardship in this life. Paul was different. He had such a vibrant relationship with Christ that he had to use his faith to stay in his physical body.
This was one reason Paul was so bold and effective. No one could intimidate or scare him. Paul had already resolved the issue of death. He wasn't afraid to die; he was looking forward to it. This made him fearless and focused. We should be like him.