Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easy question. Tough to answer.

A friend asked me the other day, “What do you want out of life?” The strangest thing happened. I realized that I didn’t really know. Or rather, I could not quickly answer the question. I think we get very caught up in day to day life without ever taking the time to think about what it is we really want -- and then going the next step of actually working towards attaining those things.

So I sat and thought about what I wanted. I thought and I thought. I wrote down my list. It’s in no particular order. Actually it bounces all over the place as I thought of things. I suppose that’s okay. It’s not like life happens in order or with any rhyme or reason.

Some are easy and tangible. Some are harder to reach. But I think the idea is to know where you are heading or where you want to go. Try to do this. I think you’ll find it harder than you think if you get really specific. Things like I want to see the Grand Canyon. Or I want my children to have fond memories of experiences from their childhood. Or have a job that’s rewarding. Or be able to sit in peace with your own thoughts. Or get to share those thoughts with a friend that enriches your life. Or have enough money to support your desires without letting it define your happiness or success.

I imagine there are some things on everyone’s list that will never come to fruition. And maybe that’s okay too. We can’t have it all, can we? But there are probably some things on that list that we can.

Life should be challenging. You shouldn’t just let it happen to you, although the vast majority of us do just that. For instance, ask most people why they do the job they do and they will tell you “they fell in to it.” That’s not bad. We all have to do what we have to do. And of course “do-over buttons” are pretty rare to come across. Life and circumstance can dictate what we do and why we do it. I understand that. But shouldn’t we try to make our lives what we want them to be? That’s easier said then done, of course, but it’s worth shot.

My friend, Kim Derting, is an example of a woman who knew what she wanted and went after it. She’s now a published author with her first book, “The Body Finder,” just having just been released nationwide by Harper Collins. Her second book, “Desires of the Dead” will be out in 2011. She could have decided that at 40, with three children and a busy life, that her desire to be published was a pipe dream. But she did the hard work. She took the leap. She’s reaping the rewards. She inspires me every time I think of her.

My Mom has always said that “not making a decision is making a decision in of itself.” So in that vein, letting life just come at you without knowing what you want from it, is like saying that you don’t want any control over what happens. Right?

Well, I don’t want my life to just “happen.” I want to live with love and joy and challenges and goals and desires and wishes and abundance. I want to control what I can and accept what I can’t. Wishful thinking? Maybe. Probably. Too much to strive for? Never.


  1. That is a great idea Lori. I have thought on occassion things that I would like to accomplish or do in my lifetime. Making a list would be eye opening. I know there are things that I have wanted to do for a long time and I need to write it down and find a way to make all or most of it happen.

  2. Aww, Lori, this is great! Thanks for the mention. I REALLY like the idea of making a list...there are plenty of things that I haven't considered how to work toward, like spending more time with friends (*hint*lunch*hint*)!!!

    And your mother's line about *not* making a decision, that is brilliant!

  3. I have a book like that-it's a notebook with a list of things I want, material and non-material things. I've been keeping one since the birth of my first daughter. It is a good idea. I'm crossing one thing off soon, and that was to get back into shape!

    I agree though...I think a lot of people I know in life let life decide for them instead of them deciding for themselves what they want. The older I get, the more I see why. It's really easy to get caught up in the day to day. Dreams are hard work sometimes!

    I suppose life can be like one of those "chipper" workouts we do, huh? Gotta focus on the little goals in front of us in order to finish big. Thanks for the reminder!