Aim High

The superpowers from my Spiritual Awakening have well and truly faded. I’m back to the old me who often struggles with motivation and discipline… and yet still yearns to fulfill his potential.

I know that God (or my Higher Power) won’t test me in ways which I can’t handle. The more I’m tested, the stronger I’ll become.

Each day, I’m actively trying to choose ways of spending my time which will take me a step closer to the person I want to become.

As Jordan Peterson advocates, the antidote to depression (and have a meaningful life) is to take on responsibility.

I know that time spent idling browsing Facebook, playing videogames, watching YouTube videos… these are all ways of escaping responsibility. They give me cheap hits of feeling good, but they don’t make any meaningful, lasting improvement to my life.

Well, I’m pleased to say…

  1. I no longer have a Facebook account.
  2. I haven’t played any videogames in about 3 weeks.
  3. I’m being more discerning with YouTube videos, only watching ones which feel genuinely meaningful and useful.

Recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the Jordan Peterson section of Reddit. I’ve tried to avoid needless controversy and arguments with people who have no intention of changing their position. Instead, I’ve focussed on helping people asking genuine questions who are looking for advice and help.

But I can still feel Reddit’s claws and hooks sinking into me. It wants to keep my attention, draw me in, addict me in the same way I was addicted to Facebook.

I look at my “Karma” score going up on Reddit and feel a sense of pride – other people are voting up my contributions to show they’re worthwhile. And yet… that Karma score is manipulating my ego. It’s similar to getting Likes on Facebook. It’s a trap to get us more invested in using the platform. It makes us feel good about ourselves in quite a shallow way.

I’m trying hard to stay focussed on what feels meaningful as I’m using Reddit (and ignoring the rest). I’m definitely helping others… but I still have the nagging feeling that using Reddit isn’t the best use of my time. It’s a cheap way to make myself feel better… as a by-product I might be helping others, but I’m not aiming particularly high.

Anyone with an ounce of civility and a decent brain can help answer questions and provide advice on Reddit. But I want to aim higher.

What should I aim at?

I don’t know, but I know it needs to be more than this.

[UPDATE: For a follow-up to this post, check out … Or Aim Lower, If You Want.]

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