[Epistemic status: old truth, still seemed to deserve to be repeated a zillionth time in different words]
Really, I’m just going to state the obvious here. Most people have know and applied this very well for decades. On the other hand, it’s an obvious thing I personally forgot for a very long time, so, maybe I’m not the only one in need of a reminder.
You shouldn’t focus on who you want to be, but on what you want to do.
I did say it was obvious.
As you may have noticed, the general idea of ‘doing things’ is already very present on LW. Like, very, very, very present. Everyone knows that if you want to improve the world, your life, or the life of your pet hamster, you’ve got to get off your chair and do something at some point. It’s true. It’s obvious. And it’s very hard, and so there are lots of posts telling you how to do more of it and how to do it better.
And I read those, and I saw that they were good. Even tried to apply some of that advice, for a while. However, I had read them to solve a problem I had, and after reading them, I still had my problem. To be precise, I still had some anxiety, in the form of an ugly little minx sitting on my shoulder, whispering into my ear: [ominous voice] "What are you going to do with your life? Will you be a doctor, an archeologist, a cashier at Starbucks?" "Are those people friends or foes? Are you with them?" "Are you happy?" "No, seriously, just what are you going to do with your life?" "Do you want to be like them?"
(Ok, Anxiety, you can shut up now, I think they’ve got the idea)
Anyway. Do stuff, and then see what you become and how happy it makes you. Then do more stuff. That’s pretty much the end of this post already. The only thing I have to say in this post is that doing things you find interesting or useful is better than LARPing someone you think is cool. It’s not just that it seems obvious, it’s, like, a contender for the Most Obvious Statement Ever Awards. Yet, we keep forgetting it (At least I do?).
By the way: seems like the anxiety minx put a curse on this post. Anyone who reads it has 30 seconds to come up with an idea of something to do that they wouldn’t have done unprompted, and will then feel compelled to do it straight away.