What do you want?
We know we want to feel good. This is natural. No one wants to feel bad, right? We seek pleasure. We avoid pain.
In the end, it all comes down to maximizing pleasure, but pleasure isn’t necessarily good. And neither is it good to avoid pain all the time. Pleasure is consumptive, requiring something external to you. And avoiding pain is protective.
Is that it? There must be something greater to human experience, which goes beyond the drives of consumption and safety.
What is that greater desire?
It is contribution. The feeling… no, more than that…the tangible production of something, the providing of value by you. How is something valuable? Of course, you can value what you made, and that is one valid measure.
But others need to benefit from it, so they need to see it as valuable, too.
If we don’t get appreciation from others for what we have done, our internal valuation is pretty meaningless. So this contribution is actually consumptive, like pleasure. But the difference it has from consumption is that it first requires production of something valuable from you.
Without our contribution, and appreciation for it from others, whether it’s in the workplace or in the home, we are left alone and lonely and isolated, and ultimately, unfulfilled.
Is there something you can contribute? I think so.