Life as a resource acquisition game

I see life as a resource acquisition game

This means the goal of living things is to

1) figure out what resources they value most

e.g.,money, power, truth, status, happiness, health, intelligence, etc.

2) get as many of those resources as they feel they need

What resources do I value most?

bodily autonomy: live longer and improve quality of my life for that duration
  • e.g., strength, flexibility, endurance, reduce chronic pain
  • ideally i need to not die because dying limits my growth horizon
  • money: i can use it to get the other things I value
acceptance: being respected, admired, remembered positively by those in your community.
  • was tempted to not include this because it sounds kinda like status seeking and people who seek status tend to sound superficial. But then I asked: why do I care if I look superficial? Well, superficial people are often looked down upon; they aren't accepted by many. Hence even the thought of not including acceptance in my journal is based on my desire to be accepted. I assume this is core to how I think regardless of if its good or not.
  • truth: I want to increase the correctness of things I know, and reduce the % of beliefs I have that aren't true. Knowing what's true or not helps me maneuver through the world with purpose and reason.

How to gain resources: make good decisions

Every day we "decide" to invest our resources in order to gain more resources

you invest your time to go to the gym to workout and gain bodily autonomy

you invest time and energy to build positive relationships so you gain acceptance


you work to gain money

A decision is good if it returns more resources long-term than you invested

e.g., spending 2 hours of time on instagram for no return, probably a bad decision

e.g., spending 2 hours at the gym to gain strength: helps you gain bodily autonomy, probably a good decision

e.g., spending 10 hours at the gym to gain strength: probably having diminishing returns + might get injured, more ≠ better

Common ways we gathered resources throughout history

conquering: pillaging villages, looting were traditional ways to gain power
  • main setback is that you are competing against others in a zero-sum game and they will similarly attack back. Most people don't just let you have your way. Hence you'll end up sending more and more of your resources just fighting off the growing set of people who resent you. Most famous pillagers of the past were eventually killed.
working: hold a steady job, support family
  • linear gain, but pretty good approach for those who value stability.
  • training: gain strength/bodily autonomy
  • exploring oneself: finding inner peace through religion etc

I think creating value in the world is the best way for me to gain the resources I value long-term

  • Value creation lets you gain billions of dollars in the current western economy (capitalism)
  • Value creation lets you gain social acceptance by helping more people around you
  • I can use money from value creation to buy the other resources I value
  • I believe there is infinite value that can be created in the world, so it's something I can continue to pursue endlessly. Given I see life as a resource acquisition game, I don't want to run out of things I can do to gain resources. I can always create value.