The purpose of this post is to force myself to reflect on my life decisions, have a record of my decision process as a young adult on the internet forever, and help someone.
I tell myself and the world that I will start a company. But why? How does that align with my passion? In this blog post, I hope to clarify my reasons for going down this path and how I align my murky inner realms with the reality of pursuing a career.
I have chosen that I want to start a company in the biomedical space because it links my need for external validation with a cause that my family, friends, and peers will respect. Vanity is the only force that consistently pushes me to act in ways that impress those around me. Luckily those around me are high-quality individuals.
For most of my life, I believed my vanity indicated I was evil and doomed to failure. Now I disagree; I think the vain are a reflection of those they seek validation from. In the 4th grade I drew profanities on playgrounds. In high school I volunteered at hospitals and took honors courses. At both times in my life, the primary motive was to fulfill the craving to be accepted by those in my social circle. It would be great if I could be the same person to everyone I encounter, and I do try, but it doesn’t happen.
As I explored meditation I aimed to find my noble innate drive to do something; but to my frustration, I don’t have one. Nevertheless, reflecting on my feelings did reveal that my day to day emotions cannot guide me through the length of a career. Most of the time my emotional state is blandly neutral, and when I feel strong emotions it is typically reactive and acting would be self-destructive. In contrast, I can consistently make decisions that seem to benefit me by considering how I would be judged by those closest to me. Indulging my vain, paranoid, side has led to me feeling like a generally good person. At this point, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people whose respect can only be earned through virtuous actions. I am old enough (maybe) to know the difference between short term pleasure and longer-term happiness. I am learning to use my vanity as a driving force while carefully selecting the people whose respect I strive for.
I believe starting a company to be the ultimate indulgence in my vanity. To seek the respect of others so single-mindedly that they invest in, work for, and believe in the possibility of an idea I put forth. I want that. I want to bring positive change to the world and for the world to know I had some part in it.