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What's a Daemon?
Knowledge -> Security -> Money -> Freedom -> ?
At different stages of life, we find ourselves motivated by different things.
In youth, we explore the world to obtain knowledge. In early adulthood we pursue higher education in pursuit of security. In early independence we pursue work to fulfil the money incentive and so on. At the top of this ladder, I think you find freedom. I also think though that there are calls to action that run deeper than freedom itself.
When progressing up the incentive chain, people may often become stuck at a certain level — trapped at money pursuing endless wealth or even freedom pursuing endless novelty.
You can continue to follow this thread to an end, and when you reach that end is when I believe you are truly enabled to pursue meaningful work.
The Thing at End of the Chain
Members of our network for The Vance Crowe Podcast have latched on to a pattern language that Vance uses commonly on the show, ‘daemon.’
In psychology, the daimonic refers to a natural human impulse within everyone to affirm, assert, perpetuate, and increase the self to its complete totality. In our network, we may refer to our daemon when talking about a course of action that feels aligned with our subconscious desires. The daemon drives us towards the person we are born to be vs the person we measure ourselves to be at present.
This is something I think we read in many places under different verbiage depending on the medium. The Bible might call this 'God's work or following in his footsteps', I interpret it as what Cal Newport calls 'Deep Work' in his book, Deep Work or what Steven Pressfield refers to in The War of Art as 'Listening to his muse'.
I wanted to drop this note on a weekend to challenge you to find out what you’re being called to do, separate from your incentive mechanisms.
If you manage to transcend the chain of incentives to find meaningful work, you might surprise yourself at how one by one, you will give up what you once sought out to stay in line with the path that you have found.
You may give up freedom first as you become a willing slave to your new calling. Then money to feed the beast, security as the latter wanes and finally, you may give up what you know to know something entirely new.
When you align your actions in the world with the calling of this daemon — you may find yourself beginning to do some truly remarkable things.
Next week, I’m going to talk about how chaos gets measured by explaining a variable used in thermodynamics.
Seize the day.