Ideal Foundation for the Producer’s Mindset
We need to stand on the shoulders of the greats, when it comes to the amount of effort we put into our producing. This has already been solved for us. Its done. All we have to do is connect the pieces.
It’s incredibly simple:
(Darwin & Dawkins & Sagan)*(Camus) = Ideal Foundation for the Producer’s Mindset
(Grounded Perspective)*(Drive) = Ideal Foundation for the Producer’s Mindset
Any worthwhile starting point must be about who we are and where we are
Grounded Humbled place in Nature
(who we are)
We are apes, not particularly different from our brothers and sisters in the savanna and in the jungle. This keeps us grounded, and helps us appreciate that we are not gods, and everything we see has not been built for us. Darwin and Dawkins are instrumental here, and the more we know about them the better. If there is 1 book that in an exciting and revealing way embodies these thoughts and helps us acquire the appropriate humbled mindset it would be “The Ancestor's Tale” by Dawkins, which takes you on a beautiful quest of understanding us and how we’ve changed over the millennia.
An important note, incredibly worth making in these difficult times, when people may feel a sense of despair and dejection, is that we are not inferior to other animals. We are not crueller than other animals, we are not more amoral than other animals, we are not slimier than other animals. We are not a nuisance to nature, we are nature. Sure, we need to strive for a more harmonious relationship with aspects of our surrounds, but the argument that the world would be better off without humans appears misguided and almost impossible for us to fully appreciate as an argument. Without humans there would be a reshuffling of the cards, in a way that nature likely does not care about, with some life that would blossom in this new context, and other life who enjoyed having us around (cats, dogs, cockroaches, rats, mosquitos) who might do less well.
Grounded Humbled place in the Cosmos
(where we are)
Appreciating that we live on a planet, which is not at the centre of our solar system, nor is it at the centre of our galaxy, nor does it appear to be particularly important or impressive to anyone other than ourselves, can definitely help sedate our most arrogant of thoughts and beliefs. Carl Sagan, and the great astronomers and physicists who came before him, can remind us that we are finite individuals, living fleeting lives and that all of our plans of domination and grandiosity appear somewhat comical when we consider how little we actually count in the cosmos, how little our own personal history ultimately matters to all surrounding events. The differences between human civilizations are smoothed out by such a grounded perspective, just as the successes and achievements of individual humans appear almost trivial from an detached inter-galactic perspective. And rightfully so.
So what to do? We have acquired this necessary perspective, that keeps us grounded. We know its difficult to argue that we are more important than anything else we see around us, and we know our plans and ambitions are those of a primate, with completely understandable primate urges and needs. We ask the Universe questions, about our purpose and what we are doing here, to which we will never receive an answer. Camus thought about this greatly: if we are not special, if we will never get these answers, and if ultimately we are going to die, leaving little to no trace of ourselves, just as all the other human specs of matter that have come before us, what is the point of trying? What is the point of putting Effort into life? If you take this argument to the extreme, which Camus rightfully does, the question becomes What is the point of Living, and ultimately, Should we opt for Suicide given that we know there is likely no real meaning to any of this?
Choosing to Play the Game
(what we should do)
Our only option is to fall in love with the tasks we do, these human tasks we carry out, and to appreciate our way of doing them, giving the things we do full attention. Our own little way of doing things, our signature on the pages of life, were what Albert Camus advocated for. While sometimes we will leave our signature in sorrow, other time we will leave it in joy, and that is fine. That’s what we do. By acknowledging our marginal place in the cosmos and our unimportant place in Earth’s nature, we can taste the finiteness of our actions, and we can be distressed by meaninglessness of it all. However, out of that meaninglessness comes a realization of all that we are and all that is human. We can realize that we only have this stab at the game. We can realize that our signature on the world, though ultimately meaningless, is all we are and all we can do. And out of this comes a mindset that raises rocks. A mindset that allows humans to shove boulders all the way to the tips of mountains.
Camus teaches us to avoid Godly delusions and to stay close to our human identities, but he also gives us the recipe for avoiding getting depressed about our meaninglessness. That recipe revolves around doing, putting effort, and appreciating our signature on the world. We choose to play this ridiculous game even though we don’t necessarily have to. And by saying Yes, we agree to the unceasing effort that will accompany us to the end of our days.
...so what next?
Camus tells us to play the game, but he doesn’t tell us how to play it. At least, not very well. How much effort should we put into the game? How do we square notions of putting maximal effort into life, with notions of a harmonious balanced life? How do we reconcile a drive towards an all-encompassing production, with visions of ourselves constantly running about without fully taking time to sit and be?
Maximal Effort into our Tasks
(how we should do it)
People with talents and abilities, and a desire to pursue such talents and abilities, should put maximal effort into life. They should appreciate that every moment of their lives they are not dedicated to developing their abilities and talents, honing their craft, may be time badly spent. The bars are full of sad looking people who wanted to write books, wanted to compose music, wanted to play a sport professionally, wanted to start a business, but somehow didn’t. Fear gives humans wings, and the fear of becoming one of these people in the bar should be enough to terrify those with a true desire to produce.
This is not a philosophy or a method.
Its just a basic realization that if you are an ambitious person and do these things you will be better off, intellectually, financially, and mentally. This is completely undeniable, and the only catch is that many people are not equipped to live in the way that producers do, and for that reason its best they don’t.