It's Tuesday evening and I still haven't written a post for this week. I thought about writing posts one week in advance but my brain doesn't seem to happily agree with that decision. What a surprise.
Anyway, as I was looking for a topic to write about I thought I'd share my perspective on life. Partly because, as this blog is in its infancy, I think I could introduce myself more, and also partly because I didn't find a good enough topic for a blog post yet. :)
So what I want to describe here is hard to define. I guess that could be defined as how I see my life in general.
I don't know when this habit started, but what I often do when I get a moment to spare, alone with my thoughts (like during my daily commute to school), is I look at the day that elapsed and my life in general.
What did I do today? What could I have done better? How can I move towards my goals, and how will I organize my actions tomorrow to do so?
This last question always gets me by surprise. I want to move towards my goals, yes, but which goals do I have in my life?
You see, I never had a desire to do something very specific with my life. I've always seen people my age coasting through life as though they didn't care about their work, and I knew that it was so because there wasn't anything they were looking for in their life, except for getting home this evening to watch The Voice on TV.
I knew real action-taking was goal-oriented. People who take action do it because they were motivated to do it, often because they wanted to reach a specific goal. So I knew goals were the primary factor for a life of action.
And I knew I wanted to do something with my life. So, in order to achieve that, I needed a specific goal. One that would drive me and give a sense to my life.
The only problem is.
I haven't found a specific goal in my life yet.
It makes me feel kinda disappointed. I thought having a big, lifelong goal in life would be the key to focus, achievement and overall getting things done. Yet I still don't have one, and I probably never will. So what must I do now?
What I thought about is, I could choose a few values I'd like to base my life on, and work my way from there. Because I valued (and I still do) community contribution so much, I thought I would base my life around trying to give as much as I could to the community.
There were two main problems with this philosophy. First, this goal wasn't specific enough because there is an infinite number of ways one could contribute to the community. I didn't specify the means by which I would do so.
Second is, by trying to follow this goal religiously, I became obsessed with work. The word "workaholic" doesn't exactly fit the definition of my mindset at the time (because I wasn't enjoying my work), but I could have been described as someone who didn't give himself permission to have fun because he always thought he should do something more productive with his time, such as working.
This led to a drop in happiness in that period as I couldn't bring myself to do what I wanted to do (which was working hard) because I wasn't enjoying life enough to be happy. By trying so hard to avoid the kind of life I hated, I actually became less happy.
Eventually I realized the mistake I made. This method of thinking is a failure, so we stop it. We're back to square one.
Sigmund Freud's teachings we saw in philosophy class talked about the existence the id, the ego and the super-ego. Roughly, the id represents a human's instinctual drives while the super-ego reflect the internalization of cultural rules. The ego's job is to act as a mediator between the id and the super-ego in order to make both parties happy.
According to Freud, I was basically ignoring the id in order to let the super-ego rule my life. Like he said, the consequences were disastrous. The only way to have mental balance, he said, is to have some kind of balance between the two.
So I knew I had to inject fun back into my life. What if I designed myself a life where I would strive to be the best at my work, while allowing myself time to have fun when the opportunity arises?
This is the place where I am now. I try to make a happy balance between work and play.
I still haven't found a goal for my life though.
Maybe I'm not able to find such a goal because I'm too much influenced to the nihilist idea that life doesn't have an explicit goal or purpose, and that prevents me from picking a goal which I know would be quite arbitrary. Maybe.
I'm still waiting to find myself a goal. So what I do until then is I view my life as a series of choices which define who I am and may help me find a goal. For example, I like programming (and computer science in general), so I attend a school about computer science because I know the goal I will find will surely be about it. Other choices I make because I know they are very helpful in my life regardless of what my goal will be, such as doing some exercise or writing this blog.
I hope I will find something which will drive me to achieve great stuff, because I don't think I'm moving fast enough in my life right now. The question is: where do I want to go in my life, then?
The french version of this post is located here.
I hope you enjoyed this post. It went way longer than expected and I may have touched too many topics at once.
I'm not that inclined to write about myself on this blog because I think it would lead to less actionable points being delivered to you, the reader. What do you think about it?
Anyway, see you next week!