I think that having a life-goal in life is important to me. For me, my main goal in life can be envisioned as the top of the fractal which represents the goal of my life (see figure below), with what purpose am I living? To increase my commitment to my highest goal, and to share my goals, I decided to write them here on my blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the knowledge, power and money to reach my goals directly, therefore my life-goal is broad and vague. I still have to figure out a lot before getting there. But I am on a curvy road that meanders into the right direction. I can live with that.
1. Having a positive impact
First of all, I care about the world, and I am afraid it will turn out into something quite bad. Currently, I hardly have a (positive) impact on the world and I believe that Climate change (1) is the most pressing problem, on what I am not specialized. Luckily, 80.000 hours (an organization that focuses on High (good) impact career’s) states that you don’t have to focus on climate change if you want to have a high impact. In other pressing area’s which are more neglected you can (sometimes) even have a higher impact. When an area is more neglected, it is easier to have a larger positive impact, because you can contribute more. Currently, climate change gets a lot of attention (and I am not specialized in it) therefore, I am unlikely to have a lot of impact in that area. Thus, I can focus on other (pressing) things that also have a positive impact. The organisation “80.000 hours” has risks posed by artificial intelligence (source) as number 1 pressing area, which is more related to my area of interest. With applying machine-learning on my data and seeing the effects of that on me, I can feel, and show (some) of actual risks of it. Quantified Self (and personal analytics) touches a lot of area’s that are important to the worlds developments and should be highlighted, these are; (data) transparency, data control, implications of personal analytics, open data, and (new) science. However, I think that the poorest classes of the world shouldn’t be neglected. A lot of the Quantified Self related area’s are exclusively for the more privileged humans with the money and time to buy smartphones, wearables, and apps. I have to keep to poorest in the world in my mind while attaining my goals.
2. Being happy with my life
Although, I want to have a positive impact, I also want to be happy (hedonistic happiness). In order to be happy I need to spend time with my partner and friends. According to my personal science, this area makes me most happy. Also, I want to stay healthy and feel energized. Sleep, nutrition, activity, and relaxation are very important factors in order to stay healthy, and energized.
Balancing and combining the two goals
Currently, I don’t know how to balance or combine my two life-goals. The most optimal will be of course combining of both. For example; if having a positive impact makes me directly happy, I am good to go. However, sleep and relaxation are required for a happy and healthy life but have no positive impact. Thus, there is some level of balancing between the two goals.
I made a simple fractal like model to represent my life-goals. I see myself as successful when I achieve my life-goal. However, I admit that this goal is unreachable, I can always have a larger impact, I can always be happier. Thus, a fractal shape is appropriate here (the top of the fractal is unreachable). The two largest branches; having a positive impact and being happy, come together and make my perception of being “successful”. Beneath each branch there are certain sub-branches on which I want to focus on. These activities either have a large impact, increase my happiness, or might do both. The figure shows some examples, but not all possible activities are mentioned in it. Life can change, and branches can change. Some of the activities written down here are more suitable than others to be combined when focusing on impact and happiness. But I have to figure those out.