Thursday, September 23, 2010

Who we wanna be

I stumbled over this comment from F.I. under a 2008 post:

"I always find that my own self-development projects just peter out. [...]
For instance, I have wanted to "be the sort of guy who" does certain things -- gets up early to go for a run; writes a play in his spare time; takes a class in basic life-saving... But I never "end up" doing any of these things."

I have a theory that all those things, those guys that we want to be (for example, I want to be a writer who writes a lot in cafes, but it never happens), if they continually don't appear, may not be What Should Happen, no matter what we believe.

It may be similar to Douglas Adam's hero Dirk Gently's method of navigation in his car: he follows the first car he spots which seems "like it knows where it's going". Dirk says: "I may not end up where I wanted to be, but I often end up where I should be" (or words to that effect).

Most of us feel that it's a good thing to be a Strong, Willful person. And a Strong, Willful person has a very hard time loosening the reins on their fate. Learning to go with the flow. To do things intuitively and follow the Higher Self. But... did Hannibal really get to be a more fulfilled person by forcing an army and elephants across many mountains? Did Napoleon feel happy and satisfied before he died?

Steve Jobs mentioned something on the lines in his well known Stanford speech. He talked about how those seemingly random things he did when he was young did not seem rationally to fit into any pattern or aim, but they ended up in remarkable things.


Bronislaus Janulis said...


Thanks for the Steve Jobs speech.


Ivor Tymchak said...

It is axiomatic that the people who deliberately strive to achieve anything in life are dysfunctional in some way.

eolake said...

Well, apart from anybody being dysfunctional if you look close, I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense, sorry.