What should you do with your life?
Has anyone ever successfully answered the question of what we should do with our lives?
I feel like ever since the Industrial Revolution began, mankind has struggled to construct enough meaning to satisfy their souls.
In our ingenuity, we’ve solved some of the problems that previously gave our life meaning. Food is freely available. How should spend our days then, once we have enough to eat?
Why not go back to Nature? Why not live like our ancestors? Why not grow a garden?”
I think it’s too late for that — for anyone who’s been raised in modernity at least. Culture has impressed on our brains all sorts of obligations we can no longer refuse. We structure our lives and for goals none of us agreed to. We watch what others do and start believing we should do the same.
I can’t live like my ancestors. I feel bored at the beach. I feel bored on hills. Bored with mathematics, with tragedy, with money. Tremendously and unceasingly bored with everything.
I’m not the only one. I feel a sort of hazy, malaise has swept over my life. And try as I might, I have been unable to construct a challenge that sufficiently engenders my life meaning.
Perhaps my expectations are too high. Perhaps I expect a profound sense of ecstasy every morning. Why should this be guaranteed to me? Whoever said the world should be fair? I have my health. I should count my blessings and be grateful.
I am grateful. But I feel like something is amiss.
Why is it every time I construct a goal, it disappears from me? Not out of lack of discipline, but out of a sudden lack of interest?
I work out. I’m reasonably intelligent…I hope. I understand I have my burdens and I will take on responsibility so I do not create uncessary suffering.
But at night, I can’t help but feel a sense of malaise.
Again and again, the days repeat, endlessly, and I feel trapped in a local minima I can’t will myself out of.
Why is that?
Is it modernity?
Is it this environment? Has it become too distant to the biological systems that orient my life?
If so, what’s the solution?
Perhaps we can construct the question another way, a more technical way:
What are the set of actions I could take to become interested in life again?
As far as I can tell, the most viable answers so far are drugs and video games.
But drugs aren’t an optimal solution, because they decay. The pleasure is fleeting. And at a long-term scale, pain ensues.
Video games bore me. I play them, but I don’t feel like I’m playing them. It’s a chore that’s slightly more interesting than mopping the floor.
Every day, I work hard. I’m trying to build my own business. I go to the gym. But there’s always this incessant buzzing in the background…this feeling that something is wrong and I’m looking in the wrong places.
My only wish now is that one day I be consumed by a fanatical obsession.
I’ll keep searching for it. I’ll read more books. Ask more questions. Let go of the need for more answers.
For now, though, everything comes and goes, like a hazy dream.