Beyond Purpose

Purpose is planned. It is calculated. Our core motivations transcend purpose, they well up inside of us waiting to burst forward. Most of the time it sits there, dormant, as we buy groceries it yawns, and while washing dishes it goes for a nap.

Sometimes, though it is rare, it wakes up. Life is about finding those ideas that stir you inside. These feelings go beyond the purpose; they tug you towards an exhilarating future. For me at least, Space is one of those items.

Watching this gave me the chills. Not only because some day people will gaze over the same sights, but because right now those sights exist. They are out there at this very moment doing things. In our minds eye we can look at them, and perhaps one day we actually will.

Part of the appeal is to be outside of ones’ element, to look up at the sky and see the stunning Rings of Saturn or the swirls of Jupiter. We love to exist where we are not supposed to, and it is this spirit that pulls us forward. It makes us wonder what the sensation of flight feels like, or ponder the contents of the depths of the ocean. It’s these wonders that give us the urge to achieve new things.

There’s a quotation from Elon Musk about the matter:

Life has to be more than about solving problems. There have to be things that inspire you—that make you proud to be a member of humanity. The Apollo program is certainly an example of that. Only a handful of people went to the moon—and yet, actually we all went to the moon. We went with them vicariously. We shared in that adventure. I don’t think anyone would say that that was a bad idea, that that wasn’t great. We need more of those things—at least we need some of those things.

Elon Musk

Being proud to be a member of humanity is an important phrase, and also probably why people are willing to work ridiculously hard at SpaceX. They do it because SpaceX has a shared mission that taps in to the human psyche at a fundamental level. It’s a mission that is so critical to what it means to explore, and to be adventurers. It taps into our guts and makes our spines tingle with excitement.

It’s important to try to find these things, and if all goes well you will feel them.