Created: 8 Oct 2018 | Modified: 1 Dec 2018 | Importance: 2/10
I like to think that my goal in life is to do as much good as I can. Probably in some kind of utilitarian sense; I have yet to read a lot more about utilitarianism. Since I don't know what I want to mean by "good" (what I want to want), and even less how I can do good, I am currently learning about relevant topics as fast as I can.
It's quite easy, however, to show that what precedes is not my only goal in life. Consider for instance the alternative: live and have impact +I vs die now and have impact +1.01 I.
So I'd better admit that what I want in life is a combination of the following: doing as much good as I can; seeing the results; getting happiness, knowledge, power, fame, a sense of meaning and intelligence; interacting with smart and interesting people; deferring the moment of my own death (going as far as I can in the future to see what it's going to be like); and more things I have yet to acknowledge or formulate.
During a long time, I did not have any goal in life.
Then when I was still fairly young (perhaps 10?), I figured out it would be: "be happy and make people around me happy".
Aged 17, I entered the French system of prépas. I was confronted with some really smart people. I decided I would become a genius (by the "exceptional achievements" standard). This turned out to be a huge cause of frustration, because although I have been exceptionally lucky compared to most people in the world, I have also been exceptionally unlucky compared to the people I wanted to emulate and even outperform.
This lasted about one year. I finally changed my mind and decided my new goal would be: "do as much good as I can".
It then took me some time to realize that I was partly lying to myself, and arrive at my present conclusion described above.