Know What You Want Out of Life

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At age eighteen, I lived for the next exciting thing. I was always looking forward and never seemed to be truly present. I was too busy obsessing over possibilities, the good, the bad and the indifferent. The vision I had for my life was a very misguided one. It was based off of bad information, perceptions which were never true and included all of the wrong people.

I am now thirty years old and what I want out of life has changed drastically a thousand times since then. Chasing the life I thought I wanted for myself taught me invaluable lessons. Lessons not only about myself but life in general as well. So often what we think we want out of life turns out to be not nearly as great as we imagined it to be once we get it. We end up asking ourselves “Is this all there is?”.

Life is not supposed to be about chasing anything. It’s about finding truly simple moments to enjoy between all the other shit that inevitably happens. The more attached we are to our plans, the less they seem to work out. I always had a meticulously plotted plan and it never seemed to work out how I had hoped. We as human beings are so self centered, we have a tendency to believe things that happen are happening to us or because of us. Rarely do we possess the clarity to see they are happening not to us but for us. Or the humility to understand how insignificant we truly are.

Excitement is fine from time to time but what I enjoy at age thirty is peace and quiet. I’ve traded in staying up half the night drinking for enjoying coffee and a cigarette before the sun rises, as I get myself ready to either read, run or write. While these three activities have very much become the foundation of the life I live today, I don’t always enjoy them. What it’s taken me a lifetime to finally grasp is life is not all about doing things we enjoy. Just like it’s not all about “doing what we have to do”. It’s about finding the precious and fragile balance between the two. Generally speaking, I love to read, run and write. But on the days I don’t feel like doing any of them, I simply remind myself it is about trusting the process. That there will be days I enjoy little to nothing and the only thing I can do to change such is to alter my perspective. To ask myself the tough questions and answer them honestly, objectively and thoroughly.

Most people live their lives just going through the motions, in an aimless fashion. They can’t tell you why it is they do what they do because they never bothered to ask themselves, let alone come up with a plausible answer. If you don’t know what you want out of life or why you want it in the first place, how will you ever know once you’ve acquired it? What is there to be happy about if you don’t even know what it is you even want? Asking yourself why you want the things you do out of life helps determine if those desires were even yours to begin with or if they were just superficial and hollow. If you can’t answer why it is you want something, is there really any significant substance to it?

The only thing I’m after today is peace of mind and doing the things I love doing as well as spending the time I’m granted on this earth with the people I love. People who accept me as I am and who wouldn’t want me to be anything or anyone else. I read, run and write because I genuinely enjoy all three activities and on days I don’t I still do them because I’m determined to be the best version of me I possibly can be. Whether or not I enjoy them on a particular day doesn’t stop me from pursuing such. What I want out of life is constant improvement and to know I’m getting better everyday, in every way.