Originally Posted by impaul99
THat is why I said:
Steve has realized that even if his work didn't contribute to the world, but it made him absolutely happy, that would be enough. Because if you make yourself happy, that's contribution enough. Pardoxically, the more happy you make yourself, the more you contribute to the world anyways. We're just wired that way.
I think that, we should keep an eye both our own happiness, our own self-actualization, AND the actualization of humanity. They can go hand in hand, but the strongest contributions can synergize those two elements. You become one with spirit of humanity, and your self expression and actualization helps the rest of society as well.
Often these will go together, not always necessarily the case at first, but if you sharpen your objectives and values, and get your work into line with both what makes you happy AND the rest of society, you have the strongest contribution there.
Originally Posted by apwbd
I recently read "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand. The character of Howard Roark seems to me a great example of a person who puts create self-expression above all else. However, most parts of Rand's philosophy of objectivism seem fundamentally different from the ideas Steve puts forth. For example, she is for objective reality, rejects putting faith (and perhaps intuition) above reason, argues for selfishness above selflessness, says that man should be an end unto himself, and is against altruism. While all this seems totally "wrong", the Roark character himself didn't seen anti-social to me. He does what Steve says in the podcast: focuses solely on the heart, and simply does not bother about the rest. The other areas of his life do get balanced, but he does not consciously try to do anything about it.
again, this is often, but not always the case-
when you're sharpening your objectives and deciding what is the best medium to channel your energy to the world, you should know what both makes you happy AND makes the greatest positive contribution to the world.
You can have the 4 areas in positive territory, but not be making a positive contribution to society.
For instance, there are plenty of artists and creatives who think that making negative or violent art is the best outlet for them, because it makes them feel better and because it sells. This satisfies their house- wealth is made, heart- they feel good with this psychic release, mind- they have the skills to do so, and spirit- creative expression, though with a limited perspective.
Think for instance about the movie industry. There are plenty of successful hollywood movies centred on low consciousness and violence. The production of these movies makes the producers happy because it sells to millions, they get critical acclaim within their creative circle, and they make money from it.
But this is a short-sighted kind of happiness, which does not ultimately contribute positive value to society.
To remedy this, add the 5th category- societal actualization- see your work from the top down- do that which makes you happy, AND contributes positive value to the greatest number. If everyone in the world acted with the kind of values that your work displays, would the world be a better place?
To make a truly valuable contribution, you must look both at your own happiness and actualization, AND that of society.