Why are you doing what you’re doing?

Here’s an interesting post from Seth Godin.

In it he talks about something it’s been difficult to ignore in recent years: the primary factor driving the vast majority of decisions is the acquisition of money.

Is that good or bad? Neither. There’s no such thing as good or bad. But I think this quote really brings it home:

Economics often trumps good intent, particularly at scale and over time. Decision-making power accrues to those that spend and make money, one reason that industrialization and time suck the art out of so many things.

Being clear about what we’re doing and why is the first step in doing it better. If you’re not happy about the honest answer to this question, make substantial changes until you are.

That’s a great question to ask and a damn hard one to answer. There might be many reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing, and some of them might clash with each other, but if you haven’t examined that part of your life with a microscope, you might want to, even if the things you find aren’t to your liking.

To paraphrase Seth, if you don’t know what game you’re playing how can you possibly play it better? The game might be ‘making money as quickly as possible’, but it might just as easily be ‘get creatively fulfilled’, ’emigrate’ or ‘prove my dad wrong’. I think there’s a good chance many of those games are hidden, which is why it often feels like we’re winning when we’re actually losing, and vice versa.