Means and Ends

I want to talk about means and ends. I define means as those activities that we do to achieve certain goals or ends. I define ends as those things that we seek to achieve through means.

What is the highest end to which all ends go?

Happiness.

It is what we are all seeking for. It is what we are all doing these things in our life for. It is what we are all living for. To achieve this state of well being. To live well and feel right in all aspects of our being. It is an inner state of harmony with life. It is a sense of being awake, aware, and vibrant.

The highest end is simply being happy.

Don’t you think so?  If it’s not happiness, then what are we all doing these activities in life for anyway?

The question then now is, how do we get happiness?

First, let us look at how unhappiness happens.

Unhappiness happens when we postulate that we must achieve a certain end for us to be happy.

If we are making our happiness conditional on achieving an end, what if we can never achieve that end? Then one can never be happy.

So now, let us look at how happiness happens:

When means become ends, and ends become means, one flows in happiness.

Think about it. We all want to use means in order for us to be happy.

But when we see that the happiness we seek is not in achieving a certain end but in the doing of the activities for the sake of themselves, then we have found happiness right here and now.

This does not disregard the fact that the doing of these activities can achieve certain ends that also evoke a sense of well-being, but seeing both as already means and ends, here and now.

The way to happiness is in seeing reality in a way that things and people are not just means but ends in themselves.

If we focus our time in doing activities that are means to get to an end that we think can make us happy, then we cannot use that time to do activities that we find pleasurable and enjoyable in and of themselves.

A simple walk with your lover.
A warm shower.
Playing with your pet.
Listening to music that you like.

People need to slow down in their lives and see that many of these activities that they can enjoy are already available to them here and now. Then they got to go do it and enjoy. That simple. What is life for, anyway? Don’t we all just want to be happy?

As for people, if we treat them as mere means to get to ends, we cannot appreciate the wonderful dynamism and creativity that each unique individual expresses.

If you look at people as merely means to getting more money, fame, power, or privileges, then you’ve missed the point of relationship.

Because relationship in its ultimate sense is an end unto itself.

When you really love, you don’t use a person as a means to an end. You actually see the person as an end unto himself or herself.

You relate because you relate. You love because you love. Happiness happens, and it happens when you don’t even use means to get to the end of happiness. You simply treat things and people as ends in themselves.

If you need to work for money to get certain ends you feel you will enjoy, then maybe you can actually find work that you enjoy doing for the sake of itself. Ask yourself:

If money were no object, what would you be doing?

What is it that makes you come alive when you do it?

Don’t make money the priority. Of course you need money, but you also need to come alive. Because what is the use of having the money to live, but feeling dead because you don’t like what you’re doing? Which do you think is a deeper need?

I suggest you factor that into your decision making too. Money isn’t the only thing you need. A deeper need is to live in a way that makes you come and feel fully alive. If not, what is life for? What’s the use of having all that money and security in life if you don’t even like how you’re living?

So go and do what makes you come alive. Life is short.

You don’t want to spend it saving up money and then end up realizing that you don’t have much time left to do what you actually want to do and what makes you come alive.

——-

What are your means and ends?

Why I write

I write. I put symbols on this digital medium to form words that have meaning, and those words put together make meaningful sentences and paragraphs.

There are several reasons why.

1. I need to express myself.

Writing is my way of flowing out the thoughts inside. We are flow. We inspire or breathe in, and we also must expire or breathe out. This is my way of expiration.

When we receive impressions, we must give expressions. Problems happen when we repress or suppress things inside. Life is a flow. Death is stopping this flow. This is my way of flowing.

I don’t presume to be a good writer. Whether I am a good writer or not will be up to the eyes of whoever reads my words. But I simply write to try and express what I perceive, what I sense, what I think, what I feel. I don’t know if my way is a good way or bad way. Hell, I don’t even know where my thoughts come from.

Whether or not people will be able to read my thoughts, I don’t know.
Whether or not people will like my works, I don’t know.
Whether or not my writing will be good, I don’t know.

But what I do know is that I have something to say.
I do know that I need to say that something.
I know I will try to say it.

2. To contribute to the discourse of ideas in existence.

I think. You think. We all think.

All of us have our own ideas and ways of thinking about reality and all things in it. I acknowledge my ideas and know they are part of the many ideas that are interacting with one another and giving birth to new ones every day.

My sharing of my ideas through this medium is a way of sparking other people’s thoughts according to my individual way of thinking that otherwise wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t shared my ideas.

Every act of expressing one’s thought is taking part in the conversation between all the thinkers in existence.

With the advent of literature, one can behold the thoughts of thinker that was once long dead, and critique, converse, and build upon his ideas. Being able to write makes an immense help for man’s memory. He has achieved the continuity of thought that mere oral tradition did not afford him.

With the advent of the internet, one can now even hold discourse with contemporary thinkers that are across the world instantaneously. The rapid exchange and astounding availability of information makes ideas grow so quickly with all these thinkers conversing. Man has achieved a rapidity of thought that was otherwise absent in mere literature.

All men have their own minds. I believe they must insist on their own thought that is original to them. They draw from the thoughts and words of others, but they have the ability and creativity to express that information that only they will be able to do.

This is my own unique part in the discourse.

3. It feels right.

At the end of the day, your purpose is not just something that makes sense, but something that you feel like doing out of the depths of your being.

I feel that way in writing. We have different talents, perspicacities, abilities, quirks, preferences, desires, dreams, reveries, goals, and ambitions.

I believe each of our purpose is not just something head knowledge or borne of rational thought, but something that resounds with your head, heart, gut, and hands. It resounds with your whole being. It makes you come alive. It makes you awake to life.

Again I wish to reiterate what I believe captures the essence of passion and purpose, and how it relates to the world:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

– Howard Thurman

Going beyond just asking what the world needs, go ask what will make you come alive. Then do it. Because when you come alive, you will serve in the way that is effortless to you, in a way that is natural.

This is me following my heart and intuition. This is me living my life by the call of my soul. This is me doing what makes me come alive.

—–

So I write.

Why I chose to maintain a free WordPress website over a paid website

I made a website and paid for the domain and the hosting.

The domain was http://www.bitesizedphilosophy.com. It cost me about 1500 pesos for a year’s worth of domain and hosting.

This blog right now of http://www.bitesizedphilosophy.wordpress.com is basically the free version of my previous website.

I chose to discontinue my paid site and to replace it with this free wordpress site.

Why?

1. Simply because it was more than what I need.

I didn’t need the features that the paid site could provide. I didn’t need that much memory for my site. I didn’t need the paid site.

All I needed was a simple platform through which I can express my thoughts.

It’s great. This free site even looks and feels better from my previous theme. I really appreciate that this service can be given for free.

I don’t regret the experience of creating a paid site, because it has taught me a lot about how to make a website, buy a domain, use a cpanel, code a bit, etc. But it’s not necessary for my purpose, it’s too much.

2. I could use the money for other things.

1500 pesos for some might not be a big amount, but as to me, I really pay attention to the smallest details like these. 1500 pesos per year would equal to 15000 pesos in 10 years.

This is a project that I wish to sustain, and given my needs and resources, it’s not wise to sustain the paid site.

I want to be able to maximize the use of all my limited resources. I have other dreams and goals that I would like to fund with the money I save from this.

Knowing what is actually essential and what is superfluous is key to maximizing the use of one’s resources. In my case, I only need the essential services of the free service.

3. I don’t get paid for it.

The site that I share my thoughts and insights is not something that I am doing for profit. I wouldn’t bar the possibility of making money from writing though, but this is something that even if I wasn’t paid to do, I would still do.

If money was no object, writing would still be a part of my life. Even if only I or a few friends will be the only ones to read it.

I don’t get paid for this website. But what I do get is another thing: a fulfilment of my purpose. I feel alive when I write things like what I write here. I feel especially fulfilled if even just one person is inspired by the stuff I write.

4. Best part is, it’s all for free!

Yeah. It’s everything I need for my purpose, and it’s for free. Awesome, right?

Well, I believe that things, in reality, are for free. We are the only creatures in this world that actually have to pay to live. Money only exists because two or more people believe it exists. This also applies to the relative values that are placed upon different things.

Money is something that is used in a system to exchange goods and services, but the way it is used right now makes a lot of inequality and suffering happen, because human and involved relationships become inhuman and detached transactions.

I believe that eventually we as a human race will evolve towards a system that is beyond money. For these ideas, I recommend checking out Daniel Suelo, who also operates a free blog and Mark Boyle with his freeconomy ideas and moneyless manifesto.

I think that eventually all of us will learn to see that a system where everybody gets what they need and are happy living together is possible – if we only learn to share.

This website is one of my ways of sharing freely.

——-

This website is one way I come alive, and I wish to share it. I hope that some may be inspired by these words that flow through me.

Be Selfish

Think only about yourself.
Make yourself the number one person in your life.
Care only for what you want.

You read that right. You might be wondering now, “what the hell is this guy saying? Isn’t he about sharing happiness with other people and stuff?”

Simply because…

Being selfish is the most unselfish thing you can do.

Now, how can that be? Here are the reasons:

1. It is only when you put yourself first that you can truly share happiness.

You have desires. You have wants. You have needs.

Longings inside you that make you genuinely happy when you have them fulfilled. Don’t be ashamed of them! You deserve to be happy as much as the rest of people.

When you become truly happy, that is the only time you can share that true happiness with others. That happiness is the result of you knowing yourself and loving yourself. You cannot share with others the happiness you do not have.

2. Being selfish is human nature.

Humans may be social creatures, living in communities, but those communities are made of individuals – selves. Well, guess what? You are a self. Being selfless is denying the reality of who you are. And you won’t understand what other human selves need because you haven’t accepted your own self as reality.

If you’re selfish, you know what it means to have your own personal needs, goals, wants, dreams, hopes, aspirations. If you’re selfish, you know that other selves have the same desires as you do.

If you don’t acknowledge and accept yourself for who you are – the things you like, things you don’t like, your dreams, hopes, wishes, preferences – then you won’t understand about other people in the things they hold important to their happiness.

You cannot help others with their happiness if you don’t even know how it feels to do things for your own happiness.

3. Being selfish makes you happy and this naturally flows to others.

If you’re happy, then you don’t even have to think about how to share your happiness. Your understanding about happiness becomes intuitive that you feel how to do it and have the natural motivation to make others happy.

In fact, sometimes being happy is just enough sometimes that when other people get close to a happy person, they are infected by that person’s happiness.

4. Coming alive with your selfish passions, you inspire others to come alive.

When you put yourself first, you can be passionate. When you’re passionate about something, then you would do great in it. When you do great in it, people will be inspired by you. People will see that spark of life that makes them want to do what makes them happy too.

If you feel like you have to do something and do something out of duty, it’s ugly.
If you feel like you WANT to do something and do it out of your own selfish joy, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.

There’s a great quote on this:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

– Howard Thurman

Those who we consider some of the greatest in the history of humanity I believe, are those who have come alive because they put themselves first. It is in being selfish that they have become the most unselfish people. They have contributed to the life of the world by first coming alive.

5. Because you teach other people to be responsible for their own happiness.

If you become selfish and take charge of your happiness, then you empower people with that realisation. When they see that you do things for yourself and make the most of your situation instead of waiting for others to make conditions right, they see that it is possible for them to do the same.

The realisation is that they are the ones responsible for how they feel about life, not others. They are responsible for their happiness or their sadness. This makes them take action and have a pr0-active perspective that their life is in their hands. Other people cannot make them feel happy, sad, angry, frustrated, etc. unless they want them to.

For me, this blog is selfishly unselfish. Why? Because it makes me happy when I get to somehow inspire people and share my life. I’m not doing it because other people told me to do so. I’m doing it because of putting myself first. I do this because I’m able to express myself, I do this because it gives me an opportunity to be known for who I am. I’m doing this because I want to be good at something.

So be selfish. It’s good for you. It’s good for all of us. It’s good for life.