Good Life

Good life is achieved by transitioning from being motivated by negative to being motivated by positive.

Choosing to be motivated by good rather than being imposed upon by bad.

Greatness of character, of deed, and of work can arise from terrible things. War can produce glorious courage, scarcity and famine can produce admirable work ethic and innovation, despair can produce profound insight and beauty. But these things are still terrible.

If one could be that gloriously courageous without needing war, disciplined and ingenious without needing scarcity, and insightful and artistic without despairing, this would be even better.

And the best way to do that is to be and do these things not merely to avoid the negative, but because they are good and desired themselves. In order to do that, a stronger motivation than the terror, suffering, and misery of war, famine, and despair is needed, and it needs to be chosen. Terror, suffering, and misery push, they are influences exerted from without, external to the self. The greatness and good the produce are reactive.

What is needed is something willingly chosen, and active impulse from within, something that is not merely a counter-action to external conditions and impositions, but is instead always present and is a source of motivation that is not contingent. At its core this is love, and is expressed in thought, action, and work in myriad forms of the Good–truth, beauty, and virtue.

This means subordinating negative, reactive motivations of fear, anger, and misery to the primacy of Good; not suppressing them, fleeing from them, opposing them, trying to ignore them, but just not acting from them as motivations. Fear can be information that warns, anger can rouse, misery can focus, but they should not be put in charge. In their right places, they are useful helpers.

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