Some say reality is broken because we lack a unifying goal to which all of our decisions and actions play towards. Once upon a time (and for a shrinking few) the ultimate goal was/is to get into Heaven or (if you’re an away from person) to avoid going to Hell.

Back then, when people believed in a Heaven and Hell, the stakes were high. Make the right choices in life and get rewarded with eternal life and heavenly bliss. Make the wrong choices in life and get banished to Hell and tortured for eternity.

Think about it, if you really believed in a Heaven and Hell (eternal bliss or eternal damnation) would you still make the same choices you do now? Would you change the way you live?

And now that the stakes aren’t that high, what’s to be gained by living a virtuous life versus a life of debauchery?

from Book I, Paradise Lost:
So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub
Thus answer’d.   Leader of those Armies bright,
Which but th’ Omnipotent none could have foyld,
If once they hear that voyce, thir liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge
Of battel when it rag’d, in all assaults
Thir surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lye
Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amaz’d,
No wonder, fall’n such a pernicious highth.

What are you must desirous of?  Put another way, what is it that you want most?  Now ask yourself how much do you really want it?  Here’s a story about Socrates that may help you clarify how much you want it.

A young man asked Socrates how he could get wisdom.

Socrates replied: “Come with me.”  He took the young man to a nearby river and shoved his head under the water.  He held it there until the boy struggled for air, then he let him go.

The boy took a moment to compose himself.  Socrates then asked the boy:  “What did you desire most when your head was underwater?”

“I wanted air,” replied the boy.

Socrates nodded:  “When you want wisdom as much as you wanted air when you were immersed in the water, you will receive wisdom.”

In the same way, when you want what you say you want most as much as you want air to breathe, then you will get the thing you desire.

Rock on Socrates.