When the motivation and inspiration to become a better person stems from the attention you covet from another person, and if indeed you feel good while performing said tasks to improve yourself, is it better at times you start this endeavor (such as physical fitness goals, developing musical skills, being well dressed, etc.), for social advancements or for personal reasons based on your beliefs? There still lies the question, do you not do it for yourself, or for the sake of its intrinsic value? Is there a significant difference between social values and personal values, albeit they are not mutually exclusive? I understand that having a coach, parent, spiritual leader, or someone with an expertise should be sought out to meet some of these goals, but my interest is in the differences between the distinction I have noted above.
The ends justify the means for some people. My notion is the consideration on the root underlying motivation that we act upon before we engage in some activity may indeed lead to an emerging ego defense rather than a purer direct resolve. Splitting hairs some may agree, but there may be something to be said about a deep seated self-doubt that motivates someone and not an honest cognizant assessment. Even if the result has a similar outcome, the internal motivator that wins out sill be subject to a harsher scrutiny if there is any dissonance in these decisions that come back to haunt us later. Example, If I choose to go through the appearance of attending church for social approval as opposed to an internal ambition to better oneself and unify with a religious experience, can that have implications? If you look at all the hypocrites who do not seek such instruction for their own betterment in their heart, and instead go because it is socially sanctioned, there seems to be a disconnect to the reason for going. They therefore are giving the appearance to others that they are attending because of an internal drive and maybe not because of the external drive that prompts them to be present.
Why is having another person gain your approval more important than having a reconciliation with self-approval? Are they both inconsistent ideas, goals, with different values assigned to them? Maybe because they have different rewards attached to the prospect of having someone like you for you in comparison to your own internal reward by doing what you like to do?
Does this possibly imply that a self-approval is in need of reevaluation, and that possibly the need for others in our lives is more powerful than our own appraisals because we have doubt enough to seek other opinions about such matters? If we invest in the time to show others strengths we may be working on, their observations and interest somehow have gained a higher priority than our own judgement because we have not yet learned the ability to truly calculate a balance in our self-worth enough that we seek outside validation?
I remember when I began to work on my physique by working out in the gym. I had for some time wanted to develop my body to show a positive healthy shape that met my idea of looking fit. After some time in my investment of a steady routine I was able to see and feel the physical benefits of such activity as I discovered the psychological benefits apart from the physical benefits which were also a complementary bonus. But if I were to check my motivating factors at the age I began this routine, I think that it was for reasons that many young people begin such endeavors, to look better to attract other people into their lives. We are attracted to others that like the same activities, we are attracted to those who share the same goals and aspects of our perception of what is attractive, and possibly it is simply that we have similar traits, but the underlying motivation for many still begs the question do you work out because you wanted to attract more people by adjusting your physical appearance to do so as part of your strategy? This may seem to be a matter of intention!
I have always wanted to develop my inner sanctum, my personality and disposition to the world, my soul or ethos that guided me through life because I felt it was extremely important for one to express themselves authentically and meet the world without any depreciating factors of perception. To have a beautiful soul, to be someone of value, to not carry the pitfalls of what our ego, and human frailties often prevent us from seeing in the world. I have personally seen how people with unhealthy approaches to the world have dispositions that are very unfavorable and how they can distort the experience of their life and those around them.
I have grown up with the notion that by going to school and doing well, our opportunities will avail themselves to us depending upon our efforts and achievements. What I did not see growing up is the concerted effort to have much emphasis placed upon our approach in educational curriculum’s to include ethics, and just how important ethical conduct truly matters. I have experienced this in my career paths through-out my life for the last 35 years in the business world, and my own personal experiences in the entirety of my life. Even more shocking is the everyday conduct outside of the business world; our personal relationships where some of the most poignant kinds of human conduct are detected and are astoundingly distressing if taking notice of these results. I work with the public everyday and see countless cases of poor conduct; ego centered, self-absorbed, and selfish behaviors that make me wonder about the futility of this conduct.
Somehow we have attended to areas in our lives that focus on our ego wants above the needs of others. The possession of ego is a universal principle that we must all negotiate within ourselves and with the projection of other egos upon us.
My feeling is that though I am as guilty as most other people on my root causes for engaging in activities come largely from social acceptance, I can clearly distinguish at times we must dig deeper and look to a purer form of inspiration because it just may be that we are living under false pretenses that could have problematic reverberations.
Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin and they end with no lasting memory made in between. Most days have no impact on the course of a life.
~~(500) Days of Summer
Like the quote above, most days are not all days in a year, a month, or a lifetime. At times there will be moments that are contrary and we find ourselves in a situation we must resolve.
I’m not sure if I totally agree with the statement below. Brilliant movie, but I’m not resigned to say that “everything” is just mere coincidence especially if we are discussing the dynamics in human relationships.
If Tom had learned anything… it was that you can’t ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence, that’s all anything ever is, nothing more than coincidence… Tom had finally learned, there are no miracles. There’s no such thing as fate, nothing is meant to be. He knew, he was sure of it now.
~~(500) Days of Summer
Given my argument presented here, my suggestion is that we have situations that are more involved than this screenwriters commentary on relationships. I think there is vast differences in our approaches to the world, and that I tend to believe that there is more than just coincidence if living an examined life. If we employ the maxim “Know Thyself”, then one can certainly see my contention for this argument. On the contrary if one is living without examining anything but blind luck, than maybe this screenwriter’s commentary makes more sense. Just a thought!
― George Clooney
― Shannon L. Alder
― Joseph Campbell
― Arzum Uzun
― Robert Frost
― Leo Tolstoy
― Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work