The End Result
Today I was reminded several times that simple engineering is not exactly the meaning of life. First, an extremely opinionated salesperson at a clothing store offered me some excellent fashion advice (which I've already taken, and it helps!). Secondly, I went and saw a random concert by NEeMA and Paula Toledo, both of whom are (for now) relatively unknown Canadian artists.
There's a difference between art and business, and you can think of it like this: business has a customer. Without a customer, you can't usefully do business. But art is different. It really exists as an end in itself. Of course, it's not that great an end if nobody is there to appreciate it, but maybe the artist him/herself is the only person to appreciate it. If so, that's enough.
I'm not much of an artist, and I'm okay with that. I still think back to Deniz's comments about me in my peer evaluation. I exist primarily to step in, help other people do whatever they're doing a bit more efficiently, and step out again. A person who does that can't really exist in a vacuum; the work I do is pointless by itself.
For me, what I need to do is find someone with some good goals, and help them achieve those goals. I think many people, especially engineers, fall into that category, if you really think about it. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, but beware of trying to accomplish things without understanding why you need to. Maybe, after all, there's no point.