He conceived many projects from the joy and love of a particular vision, but in general he only actually carried them out because of fear.
This reminds me of the Replacing Guilt series of blog posts I recently started reading, particularly “Should” considered harmful. Those posts have useful advice on fixing this feeling.
The author says “I have the lingering feeling that I ought to be ‘doing something with my life’”. He sounds only mildly worried that he isn’t doing something with his life, and he is able to enjoy his life despite that mild worry. But for those who feel guilty about not doing something with their life, the Replacing Guilt series’ beginning posts also talk about shifting that guilt to a more specific, actionable kind of guilt.
It sounds a lot like the author reached the point that he recognized that his identity had slowly been replaced by a new one, a la the ship of Theseus. All of us change constantly. Every new factoid, every new idea has an impact on our thoughts going forward (maybe not for long – some things are quickly forgotten – but the butterfly effect makes things unpredictable).
Something I keep remind myself is that I am not the same person as I was. Attach any time interval to that and it is still true. I was not the same a moment ago, a day ago, a year ago. Honestly, an hour can feel like a lifetime ago in terms of identity shift.
I first came to grips with this out a particularly traumatic emotional experience that shook the foundations of everything I believe in (not even joking; I grew up in a semi-fundamentalist christian household and hadn’t allowed myself to see or believe how much doubt I had about my ‘beliefs’). I found myself self-examining in much the same way as Eby does. I have come to embrace my shifting identity and overall directionlessness as a freedom: I find myself unbound from long-term goals and allow myself to choose things that I think I will be glad I did long-term, instead of things that align with any one plan. I am happier now than I was then. I am less assertive and more confident. Ultimately I am at peace with the fact that I change (and thus the implication that I am constantly wrong) and that the world also changes.
Maybe this mode of thought isn’t for everyone (and maybe it really isn’t for anyone and it’s just a load of bollocks), but I’m pretty happy with it. That’s enough for me.
Yeah. I relate to this view about change, quite profoundly. To me, it’s a relief to know that I won’t have to be the same person forever, and don’t have to be the same person I used to be. In fact, it’s a lot of why this world feels worth living in.
I have strong feelings on the topic which don’t translate very well to words, so I’ll leave this brief. :)
The change-centric worldview is definitely not for everybody; I’ve seen it be fairly upsetting to people. But it’s for me.
Well, at least he ditched Morphic.