My Three Causes

July 2nd, 2017

At the rate I’m going I don’t think I’ll ever be able to face my friend again.

I realized I spent so much energy trying to figure out how to make the most of my time that I inevitably ended up wasting most of it. I got so caught up in this fear of getting sidetracked by a symptom as opposed to fixing the root cause that I was paralyzed. I’ve been doing nothing, and it’s making me restless.

So, before the motivation is lost again, here’s an update on my commitment to doing more in this life.

To be more deliberate in my actions I’ve narrowed my focus down to three causes:

  1. Mental Health
  2. Global Priorities Research
  3. Education

Mental Health

Mental health was kind of a no-brainer. I suppose more specifically, the problems that arise from those suffering from mental illnesses. It’s a cause I have more personal ties to than I would like, and it’s one that I don’t think I could ever walk away from until I find a solution. Most of the motivation comes from my own internal struggles through the years, but also more recently with my friend’s death. Apparently, Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States which translated to a cost of about $51 billion annually to the country. The projected 2018 investment into mental health by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be less than $2 billion. Another study showed that a global investment of $147 billion from 2016 – 2030 would have a net present value of $310 billion. I know I’m emotionally invested, but even looking at this objectively the numbers point to focusing on this cause.

Global Priorities Research

I’ve spent several years thinking about global priorities research, completely unaware it was actually a thing. I’ve always had an obsession with finding the root of things, whether that be the root of a problem or a person’s motivation. It just made sense to do the same when thinking about the cause I should focus on; if I wanted to make the world a better place, what cause with be at the root of that? Well a couple years ago I stumbled upon a site called 80,000 Hours, and in it was this cause. The cause essentially aims to help organizations choose which global problems to focus on. Using research, this cause is about advising reallocations of budgets to areas that would most improve the world.

Education

Education is the most … whimsical of my three choices. Unlike the other two, this is an area I’ve spent very little time looking into. I don’t expect that to change, but I feel like it’s something I should explore. Not so much education in the traditional sense though, formal education has a lot of attention already. I think if I’m going to divert my attention from the other two causes it’ll be to learn more about the impact of individuals teaching one-another e.g. mentorship. If nothing else, I think it’s important to be more open about the things I’m trying to learn. Having education as one of my three causes will remind me to not close myself off from the world.

 

Woo! My three causes done! Now, just to make sure I stay on top of things… Hopefully progress updates to come. The immediate goal? To simply learn more about each of these three causes.

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