What do I want in life?

At the most abstract level, I see life as a resource acquisition game

  • so goal is 1) figure out what you value 2) get as much of those things as needed

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?

  • health: live longer and improve quality of my life for that duration
  • sense of safety: knowing someone/something can't just come and hurt me
  • acceptance: feeling respected, appreciated, remembered those i love & respec

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.