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Jun. 4th, 2014 @ 12:17 am A Moment Aside
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Hey, guys:

For those guys outta the loop, I've been working two jobs (sometimes seven days a week) for just over two years now. I doubt there are any loyal followers, but that's why there hasn't been much of an update. That aside, I wanted to take a couple seconds and share a new thought that I've had blooming.

The idea is that there are two kinds of actions. I know other philosophies and religions sorta take this on, but I came across it independently. They take it on as "active" and "passive" behavior. That's all still well and good. My actions are "giving" and "taking".

So, let's loop back up. I work a lot. In the beginning, they were "taking" actions. I couldn't contribute much when I started at Millennial. Now, I think it's a giving action. I'm pretty sure I'm putting in more than I'm getting out. And that's what generates fulfillment. Working at the library, needless to say, is a very giving action-- it's getting hard to answer that age-old question of why I'm still working there.

Now, there are limits. I'm not saying that doing something that's kinda painful for the advantage of others and giving up great swathes of your life makes fulfillment, but some margin of discomfort is totally rad. Letting others take advantage of you: that's a giving action for you and a taking action for them. Too much isn't healthy anywhere.

I'm working a little intuitively here. Let me spill some beans: "giving" actions are for the benefit of others. "Taking" actions are for your own benefit. Playing games, reading, watching TV, downloading music... that's all "taking." Writing (code or literature), I think, falls neatly down the middle. Giving actions are pretty much limited to doing nice things for others "just 'coz."

It's important to have a balance, and this is how I sorta dreamed this up: If you take art, literature, writing, and programming as a "giving" action, then "taking" actions can help with inspiration. For real. I went a great length of time coding games without playing them, and drawing for a webcomic[webcomic.com] without reading them, and I found that I was at a loss. Balancing it up totally helped keep me fresh, and, if I assume folks are inspired by the crap I do (this is all conjecture, since my stuff is largely irrelevant to most decent people), then a bigger, communal kind of balance can happen.

Anyway, I'm not particularly good at philosophy or motivational speaking. Feel free to tell me I'm nuts.
--Mark