Finally, I can speak from personal experience. I used to work because I wanted to be The World’s Best Philosopher—something like Wittgenstein 2.0. Now I work because I want to help others. This has improved my life in many ways. I now have a deeper sense of meaning and completeness in my life. I know I’m living up to my own values, rather than following the crowd. And I feel a tremendous clarity and resolution of purpose. There’s no messing around trying to find the “true me”—it doesn’t exist. In contrast, the problems in the world are real, and concrete. So I never doubt my aims now: altruism is the one thing you can do that you know you won’t regret.
When it comes to self-interest, everyone is competing for the same things: money, fame, power, status. So if you want anything, you’ve got to fight everyone else for it. But when it comes to altruism, there’s no competition—everyone wants the same thing, namely to make people better off. So it’s much easier to be wildly successful as an altruist—you’ll find other people supporting you at every step.”