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I like to learn a lot of things. Like dance , magic tricks , business , physics , geography , chemistry , biology , maths. Just everything. Definitely , you understand that all of these topics take time as well.

Let’s hypothetically assume a person like me who is 28 years old , has a good salary , works at SpaceX with his degrees in Aerospace engineering BSc & MSc. I have friends , I go out on weekends. Life is going good.

This guy has a interest in learning all the above things I mentioned. Learning these things take away your time. If this guy just keep on learning these things , his time is also going to go away. The problem I find is that as a human , I am dying every second. I feel I should just tell someone else to study this & that subject so that I can save my time. But if I do that , then I won’t have the idea which I can get from that subject. I feel empty not knowing that knowledge. I feel sad not knowing that.

Let’s say I tell myself that , you don’t really need to study all of it. Life is meant to just enjoy & I do enjoy with my friends & go partying. But I still feel emptiness. I feel empty when I see someone doing research work in biology or someone doing dance or someone talking about geography (How the winds blow from country to country). I feel the need to study that. But If I study that , I feel my time to be getting lost. I see myself getting older.

Q: What is that life really wants you to do or have. Is it that 1 person should really study everything if he likes. Should he not fear the time getting lost.

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  • Life gives you the freedom to choose anything that could the void that you feel. Some people join a cult, some people with hard, some people are full time parents, some people become artists. Some people study a lot. There is no choice that you should do, nor a single guide for what will work for you. That's what freedom looks like.
    – tkruse
    Feb 2, 2022 at 1:56
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    The topic to read about us generally known as "the human condition". If you feel depressed, take care of yourself. Typically staying healthy, eating healthy food, drinking enough, doing some sports and getting enough sleep are good for you, but if you still feel depressed, talk to a professional counselor.
    – tkruse
    Feb 2, 2022 at 2:01
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    Life does not want nothing. The only entity that might want something is you, and you can want whatever. There are people that want to drink all day and avoid thinking. Others prefer sex. Whatever. If you want to learn, just do it, take a firm decision, but be consequent about it, so you'll have the opportunity to get far in your choice.
    – RodolfoAP
    Feb 2, 2022 at 4:25
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    You feel you are losing time because you disperse your energy. Read my previous comment, take a solid decision and start the task never to abandon it, to die doing what you have decided; you will soon be enjoying the fruits of your effort and feel completely focused and productive.
    – RodolfoAP
    Feb 2, 2022 at 4:32
  • You should first study the book of Ecclesiastes, and realize that this is a very old, commonplace, "0th World" problem. Then you should study Nonduality.
    – Scott Rowe
    Jun 5, 2022 at 12:29

1 Answer 1

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The drift of causation here is having competing motivations. On the one hand, your will to knowledge and fear of missing out are reminding you of gaps in your worldview and experience. On the other hand, your will to preserve is reminding you of your mortality. The solution can be found in marrying these two motivations, by finding intersections of instrumental convergence.

An agent, such as yourself, takes actions to satisfy goals of survival and reproduction. These goals can be divided into those having intrinsic value and those having instrumental value, sometimes called primary and secondary motivators.

From a survival standpoint, curiosity, or the will to fill gaps of understanding, is an instrumental goal. This means that its value, upon reflection, relates to its ability to satisfy primary needs and wants.

A problem arises if one gets stuck in the pursuit of knowledge without sufficient connection to the primary needs and wants of survival and reproduction. Here, the instrumental action of learning is unbalanced by a lack of intrinsic value in the end goal, leaving no pot of gold at the end of the educational rainbow. The rabbit of curiosity chases its carrot-on-a-stick, with salivation, but no salvation.

The solution, as hinted above, is to find overlap between one's insatiable curiosity and one's intrinsic values. Each person has specific and often elusive idiosyncratic motivations stemming from both nature and nurture. A person might need to step back and reflect on both personal problems and personal desires to uncover these core values. Problems are things present that were better gone. Desires are things that were better here. In making a list of both, one might discover trends, which can infer inner values.

Once these values have been found, the set of most beneficial learning becomes that which joins curiosity and purpose, offering twice the pleasure.

Intrinsic value gives the pursuit of knowledge its sought happiness.

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  • Life is like a slow suicide. I know that I’m good. I know I can study. Still , after achieving so much. I feel void. Sth is incomplete & the fact that life is going away every second , makes me even more sad. It feels like I’m wasting time but I also feel I’m not because I am addressing a very general feeling which is present.
    – S.M.T
    Jan 31, 2022 at 19:47
  • Being in this feeling. I feel I need to sacrifice everything. TV , insta , comedy shows , partying to achieve sth bigger in life. But if only do 1 thing , I feel it doesn’t mean the other things are wrong.
    – S.M.T
    Jan 31, 2022 at 19:49
  • Are you familiar with terror management theory?
    – Michael
    Jan 31, 2022 at 19:50
  • No sir , I’m not. I’ll check it,
    – S.M.T
    Jan 31, 2022 at 19:51
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    Another page that may apply here is need for cognition, which is a personality construct related to curiosity. I believe I am high in this trait, and I used to struggle for years with the desire to learn practically everything. My solace in this matter was to figure out my inner values and then use those to filter my learning pursuits. The learning may never end, but I feel more grounded and meaningful in this path.
    – Michael
    Jan 31, 2022 at 20:30

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