Everyone wants to be successful. Humans, unlike many creatures, are given the gift of ambition and the tools to fulfill it. While this can make us prone to greed, it can also be used to make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place.
Our planet is a lot different today than it was a few centuries ago. In recent years, the human impact has become so large that some scientists are proposing that we call it a new era. This overwhelming effect on our planet comes from our endless pursuit of power without regard to its effects; it can be seen by the millions of acres of destroyed natural habitats and the hastening of global warming from our fossil fuel use. Thus, it can be easily argued that our impact is for the worse.
Yet many aspects of life have been drastically improved. Consider our new knowledge and treatment of disease, infrastructure like plumbing and sewage, and the greater focus on human rights across the globe. It’s impossible to consider life today without these tools and ideas that make our life so much healthier and safer. These aspects of our modern-day world are large-scale examples of the importance of ambition and the pursuit of power in the service of the well-being of humanity. These beautiful examples also show that it is important to keep a clear understanding of our purpose in action.
Performing Actions with Purpose
The essence of finding power and purpose in life is learning how to choose actions that are in line with maintaining the well-being of the world. In this way, we are staying true to the concept of sustainability, explained in greater detail in our post about the golden rule. It’s easy to see the importance of sustainability if we take a step back and look at the bare bones of who we are: humans—dependent on the fruits of nature for sustenance and people for fellowship.
As we see individuals and corporations repeatedly prioritize greed over sustainability and emerge victorious, we start to feel like these types of actions may be required for success. However, they never truly are; any action that that undermines human connection, the functions of society, and the harmony of nature is unsustainable because it degrades the integrity of our most important relationships. Thus, performing actions sustainably is required for living with power and purpose.