What is worthwhile?

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Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 01:43 pm
In your opinions, what is worthwhile in life? Are more 'useful' and 'permanent' things like improving the lives of others more helpful than doing things for your own enjoyment, such as watching t.v. and films? Are you similiar to me in that you'd rather be doing something more rewarding rather than having fun, because what does it amount up to when we have to not have fun again? It just seems like an endless and pointless cycle? I realise my life is not infinite (I am an agnostic but highly sceptical of life after death) and I am not certain which I should focus on? What do you do to solve this problem?
 
Sevis
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 02:37 pm
@BennySquire,
When I can, I do my best to choose to do things others wish for me to do -- failing that, things that help me achieve that which I wish to achieve -- failing that, anything that develops me in some way, anything challenging -- and failing all that, whatever my no-good mind desires this time. If even that is impossible, I have no choice but to endure idleness.

I must say that the ideas of Nietzsche have greatly changed -- improved, I would say -- my view of what I should do. Putting doing something challenging above doing something `fun' has not dramatically changed my routine: but I am now much better at seeing when I am strong and when I am weak, and I can direct myself in the direction I prefer.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 05:33 pm
@BennySquire,
I think it's a pretty fundamental problem, and a difficult one.

Something like eating is fun while you do it, but you don't remember it all that well. Something like exercise might be a pain while you are doing it, but when you think back about it you are happy you did it. And it brings rewards.

So we have the idea of "worthwhile" things vs temporary pleasures. But I don't think that gets us very far. We aren't good at predicting what will make us happy, so pursuing "worthwhile" things can backfire if we choose wrong. And how much of your day do you spend remembering things? You may go on a two week vacation and only spend an hour remembering the rest of your life.

I don't think the question is answered by looking at various activities or things you can do. Your attitude is the key. With the right attitude, worthwhile things become associated with happiness, and you enjoy doing them. And that kills both birds.

Using your willpower to make yourself do worthwhile things instead of just enjoying yourself is a dead end street in my opinion. Exercising self control requires energy. We don't really have the perception of the brain using energy like we do for our legs (we know they get tired after running), but it does. The more you have to exercise self control, the less energy you have remaining for other mental activities. And why would you want to have to force yourself to do things anyway?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 07:50 pm
@BennySquire,
It is very easy to fall prey to outside demands for sheer experience at any cost, for easy entertainment at many different levels, and for losing oneself in endless babble about transitory events of little merit or importance. You are lost if you allow yourself to be duped by these herd temptations wanting to guide your life entirely.
 
wayne
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:05 am
@BennySquire,
Being worthwhile seems to be of greater importance than doing worthwhile.
The concept of living in the now comes to mind. How easily might our behavior become selfish when we have become focused on doing that which appears worthwhile.
Being worthwhile entails availability on our part, to be prepared, at any time ,to give of ourselves.
Too much planning only serves to make ourself less available.

A little faith goes a long ways toward being worthwhile.
Trust that by living happily, we will be made useful and worthwhile.

Could it be that the most worthwhile activity is listening?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 02:06 am
@Sevis,
Sevis;161371 wrote:


I must say that the ideas of Nietzsche have greatly changed -- improved, I would say -- my view of what I should do. .


Holy perspective, Batman!
 
Sevis
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 08:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;161611 wrote:
Holy perspective, Batman!


I'm not sure I understand what you mean, could you please clarify?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:12 am
@Sevis,
Sevis;161681 wrote:
I'm not sure I understand what you mean, could you please clarify?


Doesn't matter. ,,,,,,,,,,

---------- Post added 05-08-2010 at 12:15 PM ----------

I'll settle the matter right now. The answer to the question, "What is worthwhile" is (ready for it?) it depends on what what is.
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:19 am
@BennySquire,
For me what is worthwhile is to make potential to do a great variety of things and not to limit yourself.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:21 am
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;161759 wrote:
For me what is worthwhile is to make potential to do a great variety of things and not to limit yourself.


Example, please. Potentiality without actuality is nothing much.
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 11:03 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;161761 wrote:
Example, please. Potentiality without actuality is nothing much.

E.g. learning more languages to be able to communicate with a larger range of people.

I speak, other than English, French, German and Mandarin as well. English isn't actually my first language. And I believe this has definitely opened my mind to more possibilities and trains of thought.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 09:57 pm
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;161779 wrote:
E.g. learning more languages to be able to communicate with a larger range of people.

I speak, other than English, French, German and Mandarin as well. English isn't actually my first language. And I believe this has definitely opened my mind to more possibilities and trains of thought.


Fine, but how is that potentiality without actuality?
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:40 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;161966 wrote:
Fine, but how is that potentiality without actuality?

Forgive my stupidity - but what exactly do you mean "potentiality without actuality"?

Do you mean simply not practical in the philosophical sense?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:54 pm
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;161983 wrote:
Forgive my stupidity - but what exactly do you mean "potentiality without actuality"?

Do you mean simply not practical in the philosophical sense?


An acorn has not yet become an oak tree. Anyway, all this is your suggestion. But I agree, it is all too vague as it stands to make anything much of it.
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 11:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;161993 wrote:
An acorn has not yet become an oak tree. Anyway, all this is your suggestion. But I agree, it is all too vague as it stands to make anything much of it.

Well guess what, not only do I have an acorn. I have many acorns. Oh, and not only that, I have many other seeds too, believe me Wink

Some will bloom. Some won't.

But with my overwhelming sunshine personality (lol), all have bloomed into beauty.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 02:39 am
@BennySquire,
BennySquire;161347 wrote:
In your opinions, what is worthwhile in life? Are more 'useful' and 'permanent' things like improving the lives of others more helpful than doing things for your own enjoyment, such as watching t.v. and films? Are you similiar to me in that you'd rather be doing something more rewarding rather than having fun, because what does it amount up to when we have to not have fun again? It just seems like an endless and pointless cycle? I realise my life is not infinite (I am an agnostic but highly sceptical of life after death) and I am not certain which I should focus on? What do you do to solve this problem?


Be the best you can be but do it for the sake of others as well as for yourself. There is something to be said for being someone who others are proud to know and be connected to. This isn't to be confused with external validation and pleasing everyone. Take care of yourself and do something with your life. Do it for yourself and do it for everyone else too. You will have some fun along the way I'm sure. Other people, even the annoying ones, are what makes life worthwhile.
 
BennySquire
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 05:13 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;162082 wrote:
Be the best you can be but do it for the sake of others as well as for yourself. There is something to be said for being someone who others are proud to know and be connected to. This isn't to be confused with external validation and pleasing everyone. Take care of yourself and do something with your life. Do it for yourself and do it for everyone else too. You will have some fun along the way I'm sure. Other people, even the annoying ones, are what makes life worthwhile.


Thank you Deckard, this consoles me Smile I suppose a question to follow would be 'Is philosophy worthwhile?' - i.e. will the time taken thinking serve any purpose? I think an argument for this could be that your philosophical beliefs come through in your actions/words but I foresee this getting VERY complicated and requiring a lot more philosophy :rolleyes:

platorepublic;161779 wrote:
E.g. learning more languages to be able to communicate with a larger range of people.

I speak, other than English, French, German and Mandarin as well. English isn't actually my first language. And I believe this has definitely opened my mind to more possibilities and trains of thought.


I'm inclined to agree here also - I hope to study French and Spanish at university and perhaps other languages too Smile
 
 

 
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