Why do we care so much for productivity?
One of the insane points of modern society:
We are so hyper-focused on productivity (for the sake of it).
But why? What are the downsides to this line of thinking, and life philosophy?
The protestant work ethic
The basic notion of the ‘protestant work ethic’:
If you’re not working and making money and spreading the glory of God, you are sinning, and you are thus a despicable human being.
And this is the funny thing: most of us are no longer religious, yet we still have this protestant work ethic embedded within ourselves.
For example a lot of my American friends (who aren’t religious) follow this line of thinking. They don’t go to church or believe in God, yet they still follow Christian-Protestant morals/ethics:
- Be humble
- Work hard (industriousness seen as a virtue)
- Strive to make a lot of money “honestly”, yet don’t be overly extravagant with your spending behaviors.
- Don’t show off too much, yet you are permitted to buy some nice things for yourself.
Now, are these ethics we desire to follow? Are these ethics good for humanity?
Why is productivity seen as a virtue?
Productivity is generally seen as a virtue because of American-British notions of utilitarianism:
To maximally benefit the most peoples is the highest good.
This means the individual is only a means in order of empowering the maximum number of human beings. This means the individual isn’t the end goal; humanity as a whole is the goal.
But the question is:
Is improving the happiness of everyone by 10% more important than increasing the happiness of a small percentage of people by 1000%?
Empower a few.
My personal belief:
Perhaps to maximally benefit humanity, we actually must maximally-empower a small number of individuals, leaders, and brazen individuals.
What is society’s goal?
For example when we have a society “run by committee”, we just get a lot of (slightly above-average) mediocre individuals. The word ‘mediocre’ actually just means “middle” (although it has a negative connotation in modern times).
Do we want a society of lots of middle-class “average” people, or a society of a small number of great individuals?
Then comes the question:
Is it possible to have a society of LOTS of great individuals?
Tough to say. I think every individual (no matter how rich or poor) has the potential to become great, but very rarely do great individuals come into existence. Why? Perhaps it is the “general leveling-down of mankind” which prevents a few great individuals to come into existence.
Your life’s task is to maximize your own personal greatness
I will refrain from getting too much into this rabbit-hole of critiquing ‘society’. I think more effective is this:Let us become hyper-focused onto ourselves, and make it our own personal life’s task to mould ourselves into the most epic individual (whatever that looks like to you).
How to maximize you
What are practical strategies in terms of maximizing your own personal greatness? Some ideas:
- Creative isolation: Hyper-ignoring of the outside world. Focusing on building your own inner-world.
- Brazen thinking and living: Ruthless self-experimentation of how you live. Constantly tweaking your own lifestyle, to create the optimal conditions of your personal thriving.
- Valuing yourself above others: This sounds evil, but I think this is one of the most ‘selfless’ things you can do. Focus on building yourself into a great individual, then naturally let your hyper-abundance spill unto others.
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
- Why Do We Prize the Rare?
- The Joy of Uncertainty
- How Should I Best Use My Time and Life?
- A Life Without Pain or Suffering Isn’t a Life Worth Living
- Free or Unfree?
- What Do You Really Care For in Life?
- Anti-Satisfaction in Life
- Why Think?
- The Eternal Return
- Only Do What is Best for You!
- Why Be Happy?
- Permissionless Living
- In Praise of Unconventional Wisdom
- Become the Change Which You Wish to See in the World
- Beyond Freedom
- Idolize People, Not Stuff
- What Makes You Stronger? What Makes You Weaker?
- Why Hate?
- The Secret of Happiness
- You’re Constantly in a State of Becoming
- Life is about Choices, Not Obligations
- First, Do What is Best for You.
- Live Dynamic
- How to Prosper
- Is the Point of Life to Be Satisfied?
- SUPREME EFFORT OF WILL.
- How to Become more Idealistic
- Thrivival 101
- Create Yourself
- How to Live a Heroic Life: Dare the Heights!
- Human Augmentation
- Happiness: Do What You Want to Do (And Don’t Do What You Don’t Want to Do)
- Avoid Vain (Empty) Pursuits in Life
- Modern Slavery
- Kill the Leeches
- Wisdom Augmentation
- Why We Need Friction in Life
- Straight Line Philosophy
- What’s Your End-Game in Life?
- Create Your Own Happiness Today
- Desire Both Pain and Pleasure in Life
- Try the Impossible
- Anti-Social Extrovert
- Never Blame Anybody But Yourself
- Human Flourishing
- Simpler, Not Better.
- How to be Free
- Embrace the Extremes
- Cultivate Your Own Culture
- Inner Power
- How to Live a Purposeful Life
- My Definition of Happiness
- Why Change is Good
- Why Work?
- How to Live the Happiest Possible Life
- The Two-Pronged Approach to Maximize Joy in Your Life
- You Always Have Another Option!
- Never Stop!
- What is Your Self-Directed Purpose in Life?
- Live Today Like it Were Your Last
- Do You Photograph to Live, or Live to Photograph?
- Live Life to the Fullest!
- In Praise of Selfishness
- Why You Must Be a YAY-SAYER to Succeed in Entrepreneurship and Life
- Why I Love Walking
- Live Life Like a Video Game!
- Simple Luxuries in Life
- Treat Your Life Like a Fun Experiment!
- Only Prove it to Yourself
- You Don’t Always Need to Feel Joyful to Live a Fulfilling and Meaningful Life
- Life is Too Short to Be Bored!
- Money Cannot Destroy Boredom
- How to Find Inspiration in Life
- Why You Must Ignore Haters to Succeed and Win in Life
- An Active Life is a Happy Life
- My Simple Joys in Life
- Never Stop Striving
- How to Motivate Yourself in Life
- How to Be Optimistic in Life
- How to Dictate Your Purpose in Life
- In Praise of a Dynamic Life
- How to Enjoy Life
- Photography Therapy
- How to Conquer Regret
- Take Your Play Very Seriously.
- How to Prosper
- Memento Vivere
- Destroy in Order to CREATE
- Trust Your Body More Than Your Mind
- Make Photos to Make Meaning in Your Life
- Seek Knowledge, Not Information
- The Purpose of Human Life
- How to Overcome Impedence
- Why I Love Death
- How to Be Centered in the Eternal Now
- How to Be Happy
- Why Do You Care What Others Think of You?
- Why I’m Happy
- Why I’m So Prolific
- How to Reduce LAG in Life
- How to Be a Stoic Street Photographer
- How to Use Photography as Self-Therapy
- How to Free Your Soul From Disturbance
- How to Be a Zen Street Photographer
- Zen in the Art of Street Photography
- How to Find Tranquility in Your Photography
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