2 min read

subconscious destiny vs. active optimization

a new friend of mine explained this really cool idea to me. he was talking about how it's possible your subconscious subtly influences your desires and behaviors and what you sow/reap in life. so your subconscious potentially drives your destiny in the way that religious people might think God drives your destiny.

if this is true, or at least something you can believe, you can try to accept what's unfolding in your life, instead of fighting it. instead of your life being something you actively shape and optimize and maximize, perhaps your life, or at least large swathes of it, are pre-ordained (by your subconscious).

the example i thought of in conversation was when my friend James wanted to launch a product newsletter. he talked about it for a good amount of time, planned a lot around it, but couldn't quite fully motivate himself to launch it and really do the work for it. it ended up being one of those things that on paper he really wanted to do but in practice did not. one way to read this situation is that his subconscious was pulling him away from this product newsletter in some mystical kind of way, and he was destined to do something else.

imo this is a really freeing mentality. it lets you accept what is unfolding your life, and accept your desires often instead of fighting against them.

now there are some objections or questions here. if you always just accept what's unfolding in your life, accept your desires and behaviors and never change anything, would you just manifest your destiny?

ok i'm getting lost here but i think i'm conflating:

  • rolling with your desires (or lack of desire) instead of fighting them
  • a larger sense of fate, as driven by your subconscious

i'm just going to focus on the former cuz i'm getting lost in the sauce here. basically i believe that rolling with your desires is great at the macro level. i definitely try to stick to one thing, or certaing things, but at the macro level i feel like for me, that's a losing game (outside of my main career). on this level i feel like life takes its course, it has its own plan for me, nad i'm just on the ride.

(i'm a self driving car, where my subconiscous self is driving, and my conscious self is just a passenger)

on the micro level, though I think you do want to plan your tasks for the week or day, instead of just entirely going with what. you feel like doing in the moment. i think i would bias towards trying to get the shit done that maps to your longer term desires. and if you have a massive inclination to not do the shit, maybe lean into that, that might be right for you. but overall, prefer active optimization in the micro