My whole life I have been extremely concerned with excelling at whatever I do. I always tried to get A's in every class I took, and whenever I was a part of something (fraternity, ultimate, etc.) I had to give it my all or I felt like I was cheating that organization. Now I am part of "the real world" and I feel just about the same way. I feel like I need to do something to make the place around me better. Better in what way? Well, my feelings on this have changed a bit on this issue throughout the years, but basically I feel that there is an immense amount of unnecessary injustice in the world due to the societal system that is in place. Whether this can really be changed internally or there needs to be some kind of revolution has yet to be decided in my eyes, but that is for another discussion.
What I am discussing here is my drive. I can rattle off a trillion reasons for why I am vegan, but at the core, I still do not know why I truly feel it is wrong to kill something for my own selfish reasons. A good friend of mine talked about how it was acceptable to kill babies in Sparta because they were weak and though that seems crazy in today's world, why is it that we feel that way?
I am not a religious person. I do not really believe in an afterlife, in a soul, or in any kind of metaphysical realm that I cannot witness. I am devoutly agnostic and feel that it is entirely possible that there is nothing going on outside of just a bunch of random matter and energy acting in some weird way. However, since I can feel pain (even if that pain is just simply chemicals going funky in my brain) I have something internally that makes me want to minimize harm to other humans, and since I can see the pain in animals, they qualify too. However, I don't know what this internal thing is. A conscience? Proof of a soul? I don't know.
One good example of this confusion is my attitude towards school. Since I have decided to pursue volunteer work, I don't really need good grades right now to graduate. Coupled with the fact that I don't even need the class I am taking to graduate, I don't really understand my attitude towards it. I still feel the need to impress the professor and put a good amount of effort into this class. I always have done that. It wasn't for the job later, and it wasn't to impress anyone else, except maybe myself. I don't really know what drove me to do this.
Basically, now that I have finally got to the point where I think that the original engineering path I took may have been a wrong one, I am not sure why I care. I don't know why I care about the environment, or the animals or even the people suffering from injustices every day. I could go about my life very easily and make good money and the live American dream. I know this is not my fate, and I know that I want a life of substance and meaning. I know I want to make the place around me better, but I am really not sure why.
What drives you? Why do you put your all into everything you do? For the job? The money? For God? For sex, happiness, impressing your friends? Because you have to prove something to yourself to make sure that you are a "good person"? None of these seem to fit me anymore, and it is quite interesting because I am still driven to shake things up and make this place better, and that is not about to change.