I heard and read a couple times in my life that “What do you want?” – is not the right question and often (even very successful) people never manage to answer this question.
To give an answer to this question is not needed neither for personal happiness nor for a great impact. But having a rough idea might help you to determine what is important for you.
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” /Richard Feynman, US physicist/
The idea for this post came from reading about Elon Musk and the fact that his deep care for humanity (as a species) makes him work 100 hours weekly and enter areas that will affect humanity’s future the most: “internet; sustainable energy; space exploration, in particular the permanent extension of life beyond Earth; artificial intelligence; and reprogramming the human genetic code.”
I suddenly became interested. What do I care about deeply?
I followed the most simple method I could come up with yesterday morning: wrote down every important goal and process in my life I could remember.
It’s a good idea to keep it for yourself and not to show it to anyone. Others might not like what they’d find there. (Okay, you might like it either: but you have to deal with it!)
My list looks something like this
1st phase (low consciousness – until age 14)
– be a banker
– be a car mechanic
– trying to please my parents
– trying to maintain a key friendship at a time
2nd phase (age 14 – 18) – waking up
– want to get away from it all
– be a writer
– get to know alcohol
– writing a book & probably a hundred short stories and starting to write a diary
3rd phase (age 18 – 26) – running the cool life
– reaching constant, lasting happiness for every day
– looking for new challanges
– go on a half year long Erasmus scholarship to Calabria, South Italy
4th phase (from age 26- ) – trying to affect the outside world
– make my habitat (Budapest, Hungary, Europe) more open-minded
– organizing, running ultra-low cost trips
Writing this list took me less than 1 hour. You do the same if you have 1 hour free time for something important – and interesting.
At the end the magic happened:
I became fully aware of ideas about myself like:
– all my life I aimed to have –one best friend or few best friends.
– I’ve become increasingly interested and active in the world outside of my personal life for the last 3 years. It’s probably going to continue and I’ll have more impact on the world than I do now
– With my steady, persistent but quite slow and gradual approach I’m unlikely to become someone becoming a global – or even a national player in the close future
– Probably the bigger impacts of my life are going to be through:
– my personal life (family, friends),
– tourism (tour leading, tour guiding, tour organising),
– writing (self-development and belles-lettres)
– activism in society (volunteering, teaching. holding lectures, writing)
Sounds like I’m the new Elon Musk? Not really. Because I’m not. And there’s nothing wrong with it.
But all of this gives me a good idea on what I can become (to work harder on) and what I can not become (to ignore/eliminate from my life).
Work with what you have and make the best out of it. Becoming a better version of yourself is something amazing…
And if you wanna do a bit for it? Do this less-than-an-hour exercise to get an idea what you think has been important for you in life…