Benjamin P. Hardy:
Most people will never be successful because most people remain children, consciously, and never evolve.
They remain purely self-indulgent and self-absorbed.
They never develop convictions that drive them to dedicate their lives to a particular service and audience.
They aren't willing to learn and transform themselves for a commitment. Instead, they only commit to something so long as it benefits them. Once things get tough, their "commitment" disappears.
I couldn’t help but read these lines and think back to my first reading of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. My mind was so immediately opened after reading it, Hesse provided the perfect metaphor to transform my superficial knowledge of self (and religion, one of my major’s at the time) into something more profound. I still get goosebumps thinking back to it.
This little, tiny connection has thrown a wrench in my morning. The crux of Hardy’s article rests on a binary between consumptive “taking” and creative “giving” as a lens to evaluate your life. Each sentence is short, koan-like, and focused on prodding and provoking.
So I ask: What is your core approach to life?
It's a simple question. It's one most people wont answer honestly.
It’s all too easy to commit the sin of being untrue to one’s self, to unwittingly lie and say I focus my priorities on giving back, not just working for my own benefit. I should know, I’m in the midst of one of those internal conversations. One of my current goals is to transition from one industry—that shall remain nameless—back into design and development. Prima facia, not an issue, yet the reasons behind my move are mostly self-motivated. I want more control, I want more freedom and I want more... well, just more.
There are ways to reconsider my choice in terms of giving but perhaps it is a solution in search of a problem. I know there’s nothing wrong with making some (many? most?) of your decisions in a “for me” way, but shouldn’t my largest commitments be made with some consideration for my deepest values?
I'll have to think on this one.
I’d love to hear your thoughts via Twitter: How do you evaluate your life? Does this model work for you?