Courageous Wants

If proper effort is committed, much of what we “want” will be achieved. Now, energy expenditure of course varies quite a bit based on both the want and the abilities of the wanter, but an input = output sense of order, of fairness exists regardless of want difficultly. And even if the want is never fully satisfied, one necessarily grows closer to the coveted outcome through proper inputs; you may not lose 100lbs, but if you cook every meal, you will lose something.

There exists, however, another category of wants (titled Courageous Wants) where the input = output formula cracks. The #1 CW is love. Almost everyone contests this judgement, because by placing love in CW, one’s agency is apparently swindled, because there are no “right things,” no “proper inputs,” no “blueprints” for CW, because more effort (however defined) does not necessarily get one any closer to the want. Sure, one can seemingly tilt probabilities – going on 100 dates instead of zero – but this is mostly an illusion. In non-CW, nobody “accidentally” loses 100lbs; in CW, people routinely “accidentally” fall in love. Hence the courageousness of wanting love: you are throwing your well-being into a grinder of luck that can’t be conquered by self-will.

There is another standard beyond coveting that must be met, though, for love to truly be a CW. Upon accepting the capricious nature of love, nihilism may well feel entirely justified. Why summon any energy at all putting yourself out there when it’s just a spin of a quite cruel wheel? Enter the death spiral of self-pity wherein one competes to have the saddest story ever while claiming to not want pity (but actually wanting it desperately). In the throes of a death spiral, it’s stunningly easy to be convinced that you actually suffer more than a starving child, that you are unlovable, that nobody can possibly understand your pain, and, well, that fuck everyone. Nobody can be blamed for entering this state from time to time, but for love to truly be a CW, one’s de facto identity cannot be linked to the death spiral. For CW is not just about chasing, but about dignity.

In the face of randomness, will you hold your head high? Will you do what you can do, and march on regardless of an unfavorable outcome? Can you make it such that you have a strong preference – to be in love – but that in the universe where an alternate is dealt, you thrive in a different way? For you, the answer is Yes 3x. If a “blueprint” were crafted for finding a partner, you’d be asked to give speeches supporting the MLM scheme that would surely arise to exploit said “blueprint”:

  • Get educated
  • Get a job you can be passionate about
  • Get involved in the community in multiple ways
  • Get interesting
  • Get fit (at least be able to throw a tight spiral)
  • Get friends
  • Care about family
  • Excel
  • Put yourself out there

As should be clear by now, this isn’t a “blueprint” for love. What it is is guidelines to living an enjoyable life regardless of CW satisfaction. And if one can do that, one has the best chance to be dignified in the face of even the most unfortunate outcomes. Furthermore, guideline adherence represents the ultimate defense against settling (which will inevitably be exposed as fake want achievement).

So, I have no idea if you’ll find what you are looking for. But, I do think you have the ability, without changing a single thing about you, to continue being exceptionally fine regardless. And that, my friend, is most impressive.