Conceptual Aids For Knowing What You Want

January 31, 2007

Life philosophies, that is, sets of ideologies that govern our goal selections, tend to rest on a certain axis. Its one pole lies at “Carpe Diem” and the other at “Ad Veritas”, which is a term I made up to signify the pursuit of naught but the ultimate universal truths.

These two extremes are absolutes which none can fully implement, nor is there merit in picking one and striving to reach it. The trick is to figure out which of the two sides appeals more to you, personally. There isn’t a choice that is applicable universally. But once you have chosen, you can attempt to locate yourself on the axes; or rather, figure out where to place yourself on it, after some introspection.

I am, for example, heavily on the Ad Veritas side, sometimes to the detriment of fleshly and interpersonal concerns. Visualizing myself on the axis helps me nudge myself a bit toward more quotidian affairs that are nevertheless quite important.

So, what’s the point of this exercise? Sure, it’s very exciting to know that you’re somewhere on a nebulous axis, but there doesn’t seem to be any immediate use for the idea. But of course, there’s a point. This conceptual aid, as the rather obnoxious title points out, is meant to give you feedback. Visualizing, feeling, or otherwise simulating the axis in your favorite manner will allow you to better find out from where your goals are coming. Take the picking of goals out of the realm of either complete spontaneity or dry self-deliberation and let you these decision flow more easily and naturally.

A tad hackneyed but worn-through-use advice is “Know Thyself”, or rendered pretentiously in greek: Gnothi Seauton.

Conceptual Aids For Knowing What You Want - January 31, 2007 - Michael Katsevman