Ambitions 2

I've recently tried to formulate and articulate exactly what my ambitions in life are. When I was young I had a unique view of how life should be lived. I wrote an article on it called "Living in Reverse". That worked in many ways, but now I want to transition from collecting experiences to building something. I'm not sure what that looks like, but I'm working on gaining clarity.


In the first "Ambitions" article I laid out the ideas I have about my three key areas in life: business, art, and philosophy. Here is what those look like, then I will attempt to dive into three other key areas that are important supports for the big three.

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Art ambition - remake the literary hero as non-reactionary, change how and why people value literature (an experimental and playful hyperreality for the development of enhanced behavioral patterns, our lives are narratives), make the implicit explicit for all (write on writing while writing), include essays explaining the fictional representations, expose the idea of structural and stylistic variation, with focus on self-transformation and self-deception, humans need heroes, Scrooge and Billy Bixbee as heroes of self-transformation and self-deception.

Business ambition - to be the most important means to the most important end in someone’s life.

Philosophy ambition - restructure the ideas surrounding grief and meaning in life, invent useful tools and frameworks for living, reframe the study of literature.

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I pointed out in the last article that it seems like some key areas are missing, but that they were less important than these three. That's true, but I've run into a few problems since.

Even though I know my health is important as a means to any of the big three I still let it slide if I don't keep it as a main focus. And, my health is a bit fragile with the digestive system damage from Africa and the spinal deformities. So, health needs to be on the list as a secondary focus of immense importance, as a means to other ends.

Politics, I don't like politics. I would prefer for everything to do with politics to just leave me alone and let me live my life. Alas, that's not how existence works. The farm that I buy goat milk from has recently come under attack from the township that I live in. It's the classic case of corrupt politicians doing harm to good citizens. I can't let that happen when it imposes itself into my life and there is something I can do about it. I started a campaign to remove the corrupt politicians from office. That danger, the danger of corruption in the government attempting to ruin your life, is always a possibility. Governments corrupt from the bottom up, not the top down, so it has to be on the list because without a stable and reasonable political structure human society falls apart, and so do my big three. Protecting universal individual rights, especially in your community, is the responsibility of every citizen. (Along a similar vein, I would propose that everything you do in life matters.)

The final area is romantic entanglements. A woman named Sharon recently pointed out to me that you could view romance narratives as the process of mutual transformation. That's a powerful idea. I knew immediately that I had to think about that more. I had never formulated it that way before. Now that I've thought about that romantic idea for a few weeks, I think it's even more powerful. I think that I might need to incorporate it into my art ambitions, adding a focus on mutual transformation and mutual deception. There's a lot to that.

To each other, people in romantic entanglements are significant others. The approvals and disapprovals of our significant others are what forms a lot of who we are. Ideally, both people are more knowing others for one another, as in they know something the other doesn't that will be valuable in that person's life. (Those concepts are from Harry Stack Sullivan and Lev Vygotsky, respectively.)

A romantic entanglement is almost the opposite of the generalized other. A romantic relationship is an encounter with the personalized other, the intimate other. I'll have to think about the impact of that concept more, but I can tell it's important. (The generalized other concept comes from George Herbert Mead.)

Alright, let's see if I can simplify these down into a similar format to my big three ambitions.

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Art ambition - (addendum) with a focus on the process of mutual transformation and mutual deception.

Health ambition - maintain the necessary physical and mental energy levels and abilities to allow for the facilitation of the art, business, philosophy, political, and romantic ambitions.

Political ambition - to defend universal individual rights when I encounter such infringements in my community and I can do something about it.

Romantic ambition - to actively engage with an intimate, significant other in a process of mutual transformation towards the betterment of both partners through an encounter with the personalized other.

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Yeah, I think that seems pretty decent. How do I prioritize and manage these areas? Well, I'm still working on that.

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You can find more of what I'm doing at http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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