Broken promises

There's a certain mode of being, I think of it as seeking, motivated not by the joy of the moment, or the satisfaction of achievement, but by the thrill of the chase.

It's easy to tell the difference: what happens on that fateful day when you finally get what you want? The hedonist says, "this is just like every day." The achiever says, "this is a wonderful day and I feel proud of what I have accomplished." The seeker says "yeah, good, okay... what now?"

I often feel this when I'm deciding what to buy, researching a broad topic, or surfing one of the internet's infinite waves of mild stimulation. Look at all these choices! What's this— ooh, wait, what's that? Just one more turn? One more click? What if number 7 really does surprise me? It's good, but never good enough. Close, but never quite there. So I keep seeking.

And you can see how the power of the chase was meant to help us stay motivated in pursuit of our dreams. It would be a rare gift to keep your faith in every tiny moment, to laugh at your frustration, to sing through your doubt, to live as if you were already free. Far more reliable to stop staring out at the distance, look down at your feet and just keep going.

Seeking is an abstraction: a concentration of meaning. Abstraction draws a big chalk line through the universe and says "stuff on this side you care about; stuff on that side is just details." So, seekers, what do we care about? "Doing!" And what is just details? "Why we're doing it!"

This makes seekers immensely valuable. You can motivate an achiever with promises of success, but you have to actually deliver or they'll stop doing what you want. The seeker doesn't care whether you deliver; it's the promise, not the success, that motivates them.

And so today we see such a wonderful flourishing of promise factories and promise farms, promise networks and promise feeds, all to cater to the seeker's insatiable appetites. All built on the abstraction they once entrusted with their dreams. All singing that same sweet song:

Just keep going.

Just keep going.

Just keep going.