Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Be honest; Why do you want to achieve something?
10 points by spartan37 on July 23, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments
According to George Orwell - Sheer egoism (be popular etc), Aesthetic enthusiasm (art), Desire to discover something and boast about it, Desire to change the world - are the only motives for achievements.

I will add a few more: Make lots of money and join elite club, To help the needy, To make your people happy, To get yourself out of misery, To have some pleasures for yourself. I hope I haven't duplicated the motives.

So, which of these push you and how much?




Money. I hate to be so cliche but money is the absolute #1 driving force for everything I do / learn / work towards.

People say money can't buy happiness, and that may be true, but money can help buy life. Without money you can't see doctors, you can't receive cancer treatment, its more difficult to get a good education without money, it's difficult to do fun things without money.

Yes, we're programmers and you don't need to goto school to learn a language, but my kids may not necessarily be programmers. Hopefully they want to become doctors, or dentists, or lawyers or engineers. And those jobs require degrees and those degrees require money, sometimes, lots of it. Can they earn it on they're own and get school loans like everyone else? Absolutely - but if I can help them accomplish their goals, all the better.

Having my name known in some obscure group only known to programmers - meh. Walking into a room and people recognizing my face and coming up to talk to me? meh. Putting snow tires on a $250,000 sports car and driving around in a NY winter? hell yes - because I can and because I earned it.


For me money is a tool. It is an important factor in any major decision, but not my main motivation. However I will tailor what I do to take into account the importance of money.

There are bills to pay and mouths to feed. There are also short vs. long term money issues to resolve. And retirement and unexpected future health costs to consider.

Having a $250k sports car is not important to me but having a few million in property investments so I don't need to work is quite appealing. But if I have to lose 10 years of my life away from my passions to achieve that then ... well meh!


I think your priorities are closer to what they should be for a natural biological being.

Also, I think people who work extra hard to just to move from their ordinary social circle to elite circle are missing the point. The goal is not to change from being an average person in one social circle to being an average person in a higher social circle, but to stay in the same social circle and become the best in that circle - doesn't matter which circle it is.


I don't know what "I think your priorities are closer to what they should be for a natural biological being." means.

Social circle is of no significance to me - having a nice house and car in the city or suburbs (where I live, the suburbs are the place to be, not the city) wouldn't matter to me. The upper class here lives in the suburbs, but to have the same house in the city would be ok with me, so long as it's a house that I like. A nice car was specifically mentioned because I'm into cars. Some people love sports; I love cars. To own a hand made Ferrari or Lamborghini or ... is a great achievement IMO.

Some people and some I know could care less - they strive to go on great relaxing vacations. Some strive for security with money in the bank. Everyone has their own goals. These are mine.


I agree. Money is my motivation, but not in and of itself. I am motivated to acquire money because it is necessary for me to live, enjoy myself, and also create more achievements that are personally gratifying but also ideally feed back into the cycle.


Honestly, it's the growing realization that despite all of my efforts, I haven't done anything worth feeling proud of. To me that feels like I've lived a waste of a life.

As you can tell, this is an ineffective strategy for motivation.


Because it's a fun game to play. I view life as mostly a game. I like seeing how far I can go. I work hard because it's fun.

I also like the feeling of helping people around me. It's a great feeling to teach people something they don't know or pulling people up with you, or simply inspiring them through my actions.

Really I don't have any specific motive like "success" or "fame" or "money". I barely even look at my bank account tbh (though I should probably sit down one of these days and analyze my financials and do some stuff I've been putting off).

I'm generally a pretty zen guy these days. I haven't always been like this, but I really really like my current state of mind. I'm enjoying life a ton, because I removed all external expectations.

How did I do it? Exercise, Diet, and Sleep. That's really just it.


For me it's a desire to change the world and to some extent aesthetic enthusiasm. Wanting to change the world always sounds a bit grandiose but the most significant changes are brought about one step at a time through everyday effort. I try every day to make the world a better place in various, sometimes mundane and often tiny ways.

This doesn't mean I don't care about money. Quite to the contrary. Money up to a certain degree is a more or less accurate gauge of the value you create. It buys you freedom but it is no end to itself. So, making money for buying luxury items? I couldn't care less. Making money for the purpose of being able to do what I care about? Absolutely.


I read Simon Sinek's book "Start with why" last year and realized that my why is "happiness".

This made it much easier for me to choose what to work on, and currently I am using my time and energy (and all of my surplus money I get from my consulting business) to create and spread the word about TimeBlock - a new way of working that has made me happier, my employed Makers happier and our customers happier!

My goal is to help Makers, Managers and customers become just 1% happier if I can do that I will feel very priviliged.


My reasons to achieve a given goal X are to follow a vision that I have of my future. Those visions if I follow their reason, probably come into all 3 of the orwell categories. Which I guess is a good sign - it is very motivating if you can make your own life better, and others, and at the same time it feel like you are creating (being artistic).

The downside is I find it very hard to achieve a goal Y that has been pressured on to me by someone else. I just try to find ways to avoid that goal, or just passably do it :-)


I want success so I can have a more interesting life. If you are stuck in the rat race, you are a chess piece. If you have made it, you are the player.


To create something that survives me and a couple of decades after my death. Something that brings computer science forward (just one step on the ladder though).

How much does it push me? Not much, but enough to get my ass up every other day and program on some projects. Because I do realize in the end everything will disappear.


I enjoy creating, it is sort of my way of proving I exist https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum


So I can make my Mama proud.

She and Dad were heavily into that I did some of the work on the Mac I gave them for Christmas back in the day.




Applications are open for YC Summer 2018

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: