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Veritas

What is "Appreciations" relationship to "Value"

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If I want to get to the top of a mountain, two possible options are available to me. I can take a helicopter or a can climb it.

What is appreciations relationship to value? Does appreciation come necessarily from struggle or from something else?

My end goal is to get to the top. From an emotional standpoint will I appreciate being at the top if I do so at the expense of the struggle to get there (there will be a lot of secondary accomplishments ie; muscle growth, a better understanding of climbing) or will I appreciate being at the top simply because I have accomplished my goal.

In other words what role does the amount of struggle place in achieving my values? Does struggle enhance the achievement of my goals or is it negligible to the achievement of my goals?

 

So in a another example, a person that is given enough money (given the have values to sustain it) vs a person that has earned it through hard work....

Edited by Veritas

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8 hours ago, Veritas said:

My end goal is to get to the top.

My end goal is to have the greatest life I possibly can. Taking a helicopter ride does little to help with that. Climbing a big ass mountain all by myself, on the other hand, just might...

So we're in agreement, it's not about getting to the top, it's about personal achievement.

Edited by Nicky

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10 hours ago, Nicky said:

My end goal is to have the greatest life I possibly can. Taking a helicopter ride does little to help with that. Climbing a big ass mountain all by myself, on the other hand, just might...

So we're in agreement, it's not about getting to the top, it's about personal achievement.

Does that mean I should take the hardest path in every endeavor?

 

In this scenario, all I want to do is get to the top. I will use my local gym for my fitness needs.

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3 hours ago, Veritas said:

Does that mean I should take the hardest path in every endeavor?

In this scenario, all I want to do is get to the top. I will use my local gym for my fitness needs.

Well then the problem is your method for choosing and defining goals. A rational man's goals are part of a hierarchy, with the ultimate value, one's own life, at the top. This goal has no discernible connection to that hierarchy, you just randomly picked a pointless goal.

There are a few ways in which you can identify whether a goal is connected to your hierarchy of values, or not:

1. Is it challenging? Going sight seeing in a helicopter is not an achievement. At least not unless it's your first time in a helicopter. Then that's a new experience worth having, because you are leaving your comfort zone, and that is a challenge in itself. But if you spend all you free time being a typical tourist, avoiding challenges, then it's just lazy.

In general, over-achievers don't engage in lazy activities. Even when they're on holiday, they are wired to do challenging things. It's not a habit you can turn on or off: if you're lazy when you don't work, it's gonna make you lazy when you work as well. And if you're challenging yourself in your free time, that's a habit that will carry through to your work as well.

So doing challenging things, no matter what they are, automatically serves that higher purpose.

2. Re-define it, make it more clear what the motivation really is behind it. For instance, if you're taking this helicopter ride with friends or family who are physically limited, or with kids who are experiencing it for the first time, then the mountain isn't your goal at all. Your goal is to socialize or be a teacher. If you're taking it with an attractive girl, your goal is to get in her pants...even more important to be honest then, because that's the only way it will actually work.

Another way to re-define a goal like this is: I just want to waste a day. Because, if you can't find a way to connect an activity to your hierarchy of values, that's precisely what you're doing: wasting time. More exactly, you're doing meaningless tasks as an avoidance mechanism (you're avoiding unpleasant problems that require your attention).

 

Edited by Nicky

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21 hours ago, Veritas said:

Does that mean I should take the hardest path in every endeavor?

 

In this scenario, all I want to do is get to the top. I will use my local gym for my fitness needs.

What will make you happier.  Having the ability to climb a mountain or just being at the top of it?  

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8 hours ago, Craig24 said:

What will make you happier.  Having the ability to climb a mountain or just being at the top of it?  

I know this is for OP, but I'd personally just want to see the view from the top of the world and would be fine with taking a helicopter to the top to do it, as I'd classify a chopper ride as much safer than attempting to climb a mountain for that experience. 

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5 hours ago, EC said:

I know this is for OP, but I'd personally just want to see the view from the top of the world and would be fine with taking a helicopter to the top to do it, as I'd classify a chopper ride as much safer than attempting to climb a mountain for that experience. 

I don't think a helicopter will take you to any reasonable definition of " the top of the world". A combustion engine tends to run out of oxygen after a few miles above sea level.

Edited by Nicky

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54 minutes ago, Nicky said:

I don't think a helicopter will take you to any reasonable definition of " the top of the world". A combustion engine tends to run out of oxygen after a few miles above sea level.

Well, not anything like Everest, but it's possible on a much smaller mountain. Just meant that I could appreciate being at the top or one without the climbing. Way too scared of heights to attempt a huge climb. Just watching someone do it in a video get's me panicky feeling.

Edited by EC

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On 12/3/2018 at 3:06 PM, Veritas said:

So in a another example, a person that is given enough money (given the have values to sustain it) vs a person that has earned it through hard work....

It is a bit of a paradox: that we want certain values and 

  • the easier they come, the more of them we'll be able to achieve, yet
  • if everything is super-easy where's the mental satisfaction to come from?

Evolution "made" us feel positive about the work that goes into creating/achieving value.

The stoic who achieves value too easily keeps piling on more "to-dos" on his list. This is a good approach, but must be done consciously and by questioning whether one really wants to achieve that value and why. There's a yarn about a young, ambitious MBA vacationing on a small island, chatting with a local fisherman about his life-plan.  "I'll join a great company"... "And then what, senor?" ... "I'll form my own company" ... "And then what, senor?"... "I'll go global"... "And then what, senor?" ... and it ends with "And then, I'll buy a plot on this far-away island and retire here to fish for the rest of my life". 

The epicurean, on the other hand, tells people to chill out and enjoy life. Don't be lazy, he says, but don't be in the rat-race for fame or fortune either. True laziness, in this perspective, is to work so little that you cannot provide for a comfortable life: a nice home, nice food, ample wine, time to relax, and throw in a good bunch of close friends. This approach too makes sense, but can leave the stoic feeling unsatisfied: will I die having done nothing to be super-proud of? The point that's missed in the fisherman's yarn is that the young MBA has a lot of fun (or at least he ought to) through the process of his achievement. Chances are, he'll never even retire the way he dreams of. He'll have the means, but it'll just seem too boring.

As an individual, one has to think this through, and make the choice that suits you.

 

Edited by softwareNerd

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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 3:06 PM, Veritas said:

So in a another example, a person that is given enough money (given the have values to sustain it) vs a person that has earned it through hard work....

This example is quite different from the first.  Any assessment necessarily depends on who gave the person the money, and WHY?  Was it part of a trade for spiritual value with a very close friend of loved one?  Was it a gift to a wife who raised a billionaire's family,  and although she did not directly earn it "out in the marketplace" , she surely earned it from the very hard work expended for the family...  Was it simply charity given not for the virtue of the person but specifically for their vices (odd I know)?

 

Let's move on to the first hypothetical (two variants... helicopter and climb) and assume that the person got to the top NOT as a result of any charity, i.e. ONLY because of their own effort.

 

On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 3:06 PM, Veritas said:

What is appreciations relationship to value? Does appreciation come necessarily from struggle or from something else?

1. Be careful not to set up a false alternative between appreciation and value.  Values are objective, but appreciation itself can be a value.  Moreover, and this is obvious, you can appreciate values.

Much of the value in "being" at the top of a mountain IS "appreciating" being there.  In fact, one could argue there is little to no value in the sheer act of locating oneself at the top of the mountain (for example blindfolded and comfortable in an environmentally controlled box), and most of the value is in virtue of the act of experiencing and appreciating being at the top of the mountain.

"Appreciation" is both emotional and cognitive, it is a state of "awareness" of the full import of something, I would say, at all levels.  (here I divest the appreciation from any mystical sense of "thankfulness" to the universe). The value of "appreciating" a loved one is of a different nature of the value of appreciating the dangers of mowing the lawn while sloshed, and it depends much on who you are, who your loved one is and what kind of lawnmower you have, so too, the kind of value IN appreciating being at the top of the mountain varies from person to person.

 

2. Although an assumed "goal" is not the same as the "means" of its "achievement", in reality, all of the consequences of the means are achieved, not just the goal.  In this sense "how" you got there is a part of the "end results" which have real consequences psychologically, financially, physically, etc.  Those consequences, might separately be values in their own right.  Moreover, those separate values might also be appreciated.

 

3 Notice that your capacity to achieve values, whatever mental and/or physical skills, abilities, capabilities, expertise, etc. useful to achieve values, IS itself a crucial value.  Interestingly, expending effort often increases your capacity to expend that kind of effort.  The pursuit of values then, increasing your capacity to achieve values, ITSELF becomes a value.  In such a case one can and should appreciate and be proud of the act of pursuing values.

 

4. Struggle, as such, is not a value, and should not be "appreciated" as a value.  Achieving values sometimes require struggle, but they always require some effort to be spent.  But choosing to slash one's finger off to use it as a paper weight rather than simply using a normal paper weight because its "not enough of a struggle" is simply wrong. 

Now, your capacity to achieve things despite struggling, or your capacity to endure through a struggle, THAT is a value, and that value should be appreciated.

 

5.  Man and individual men have struggled with achieving values and maximizing his productivity, his capacity to achieve those values and to live.  One should keep in mind that the value represented by the achievement of a helicopter ride represent a host of efforts and achievement and their trade among free men.  The best brain surgeon in a hypothetically free country might work for months on a multitude of desperately ill very rich people to earn enough money to buy a helicopter and learn to fly it.  Compared to a starving pioneer forced to make a several months journey through the mountains against his will, with the only moment to "appreciate" being at the highest point on the mountain, perhaps the brain surgeon's journey, starting with all the work he has done over all those years and then continuing into flying himself to a nice perch on the mountain, AND his appreciation of the place and how he got there are just as, if not more, sublime.

To summarize:  Values can be appreciated and appreciation can be a value.  Results include the original intended goal along with all the consequences of how one achieved the intended goal.  The capacity to achieve goals is a value itself, and the act of fortifying and increasing those capacities through the pursuit of values is itself a value and one to be appreciated.  Struggle is not itself a value.  The capacity to achieve despite struggle or enduring through struggle is a value.  Men who achieve goals though different ways though their own effort, should appreciate themselves and how they got there, and that appreciation itself is a value.

 

One's own efficacy in action is the currency of pride and appreciation of one's self - one's self-esteem - and that pride is part of the reward of every achievement. 

 

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