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When I look back at my life up to this point, the only thing I have ever found to be truly interesting was trying to figure out the point of my own existence.
Looking back at the origins of Maximum Positive Impact (“MPI”) and seeing that it came about organically as a result of helping a village in Africa leads me to ask the question: Was I helping the people in that village because I wanted to help them or was I just trying to figure out the point of my existence and helping other people was just a byproduct? In the MPI framework they are the same thing – maximizing your impact on others concurrently maximizes your impact on yourself. In this case the impact on myself wasn’t just limited to feeling good about myself, it eventually led to inventing the MPI philosophy.
I wanted to make sure that this was a “real” philosophy that can stand up to real scrutiny from anyone and would compare favorably with any other philosophy (and I do mean any other philosophy). I don’t say that because I am being competitive or for any other ridiculous superficial reason – I say it because it’s extremely important to me for the philosophy to be legitimate and helpful. I actually want the scrutiny and I want the philosophy to be challenged. This is why I also decided to make MPI the world’s first open source philosophy. I really only want to be the inventor of version one of MPI. I want everyone else to refine it and improve it so that it evolves as an integrated part of our world, a world where the pace of change is accelerating.
As for actually writing the book, the reality is that we live in a world where people don’t like to read so I deliberately structured the book in a way where the MPI philosophy is contained in chapter one and the subsequent chapters just discuss research that supports the ideas presented presented in chapter one. This allows people to understand the key elements and concepts by just reading chapter one. In the meantime, people that want to take a deeper dive can read the rest.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the first thing that comes to mind when writing a book is that other people will read it. That simply means one thing – you better know what you’re talking about. The process of writing the book (especially chapter one in my case) forced me to use several conceptual building blocks that had occurred to me over many years to construct a complete philosophy then find a way to explain several complex concepts in simple language. Even though I don’t care about selling books, the process of writing the book made the philosophy better and that’s important.
An obvious question arises when writing a book about a new philosophy – was practicing my own philosophy? In order to practice my own philosophy I had to figure what I could do that would have the biggest positive impact on the planet (while meeting the other MPI criteria) and that led to the establishment of the iimagine project. iimagine is my most important project and it will be physically impossible for it to be replaced by anything that is more important. In that sense I have reached of the end road. I don’t mind admitting that it blows my mind just a little.
From ch 1. Happiness:
“It is critical that you work on developing your own understanding of what happiness is for you and then work on achieving it. As I mentioned in the Introduction, this book is not a vehicle to impose my views on you. The objective of this book is to act as a catalyst that helps you develop your own views about what you should be doing and how you fit into the big picture. When I refer to happiness you should be picturing a perfect state of being as defined by you. If you don’t have that vision yet, don’t worry—you will by the time you finish this book. You can use my definition in the interim.”
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