Once upon a time, David Deida wrote a great book: Way of the Superior Man. He made for a strong analysis on masculinity and how to find purpose and meaning in your life. It was a powerful book, written with an aura of spirituality, that certainly gave some considerations and new insights to meditate on.
It was an excellent precursor to later reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, where without David’s unique perspective, it would have been extremely difficult to understand the full dynamic between the two main protagonists. The male protagonist, Howard Roark, is Deida’s epitome of the Superior Man. His seduction of the female protagonist, Dominique Francon, serves as a powerful contrast to the rest of the world’s attempts to win her over. Howard shows the type of character necessary to seduce what Ayn considers to be a perfect woman, due to the boldness and drive that comes from an internal state. Deida teaches us that the pursuit of our purpose is the highest way of life. The pursuit brings us a state of Zen by itself.
However, Howard is a fictional character designed to hyperbolize the characteristics of excellence and integrity. Human beings are rarely so one dimensional, though perhaps there is something said for such dedication and devotion. Nonetheless, we rarely see such commitment, and it is awe inducing when we see it done well. It makes us wonder why aren’t we more like such individuals, why we let pointless distractions divert us from our life’s purpose.
Luckily, a third philosopher enters the picture which helps ease the rough edges provided by the aforementioned: Robert Greene. He is the necessary element to balance the extremities of purpose driven philosophy. He helps us to understand that our purpose, our mission in life is a dynamic, growing, living thing, much like a plant or a fetus. Very few people are like Roark, able to discern their life’s path from the mere age of 12. Even his creator, Ayn Rand herself, did not pursue philosophy till much later. She had ambitions to be a screenwriter (which she also realized). Still, she found her craft in expression and the written word, and her deep understanding of the issues of Communist Russia (her childhood was during its peak), gave her a unique position to become one of the most controversial writers of her time.
Like Ayn’s actual life journey, Robert helps us to understand that the development of our Life’s Task is a dynamic activity. Only by following our natural inclinations, the interests that spark our creativity and make us unique, can we progress towards a journey that will nourish our Life’s Task, giving it life and strength, until it becomes an entity that drives us. We feel it’s hunger and desire to feed it, with every inch of energy that we can muster.
It’s this state of constantly feeding our Life’s Task that brings us unparalleled happiness and creativity. Watching our own purpose grow, evolve, mutate into something we couldn’t even imagine – it reflects the dynamic nature of reality and how quickly our world changes and adapts. Figure out which field rewards your natural intelligence, and sparks your interest. Work in that subject until your mind begins to feel comfort, then push yourself that much more towards higher understanding, bridging connections betweens fields to create something remarkable and unique. Only the endless pursuit of creation and variety, coming from a rock solid foundation, will bring you the productive happiness and sense of purpose humans are destined to reach.