Mud Pies

March 29, 2011

I never trust anyone who is more excited about success than about the thing they want to be successful at.
xkcd

I was perusing through my twitter feed a week or so ago, and I saw this quotation.  It really hit me hard.  I had been thinking about this here and there, wondering if most of my efforts in life were aimed at getting other people to notice me or to be impressed by me.  I think that it’s true that I do this even in the most basic things of my life.  I’ll give you an example.  If I come home and see that there are dirty dishes in the sink or trash overflowing the wastebasket, my inclination should be to clean the dishes or take out the trash to ensure a clean and sanitary apartment that smells nicely and is welcoming to guests.  There is some element of joy to be found in an orderly kitchen and an element of overall well-being.  For me the motivation is instead found in knowing that if I do these things my wife will be happy with me.  So the natural connection of duty to pleasure is severed because the reward I’m seeking isn’t the natural reward of the activity.  This is a problem for many reasons.  The least of which is my wife probably isn’t thinking that I’m doing these things to impress her, instead she naturally thinks that I am doing them for the natural result of doing them, which is leading a normal, healthy, orderly life.  This then leads to unmet expectations and will likely cause some sort of conflict, large or small, and will probably end with a last ditch effort to impress my wife by boasting about my thoughtfulness.  Oh the irony.   The more detrimental implications, though, are that there is something gone awry in my heart.  There is something in me that longs to please other people, which robs me of joy found in any activity.

More to come tomorrow…

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One Response to “Mud Pies”

  1. That is a bangin’ quote. Glad you are back around too!

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