What do I want? Not so easy to answer

My Facebook profile picture. It works on multiple levels.
My Facebook profile picture. It works on multiple levels.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want.

It would be easy to write this off as being tied to my turning 50 next month, but that’s just coincidence. It’s really about spending years, possibly decades, not thinking much about what I want. Especially in the last six years or so, it has seemed pointless, so I just shoved those thoughts away.

Now that I’ve been freelancing for 16 months, I have enough handle on that to start thinking bigger picture. Aside from pulling in a required amount of money, what do I want? And not for my family or anyone else, as I’m used to framing my thinking (and I believe many mothers are). What do I want for MYSELF?

To that end, I’ve been going through a few exercises.

On the occasion of her 30th birthday, Andrea Balt crafted 30 questions to ask yourself before you die. Some of the questions I can toss off easily: Who have you loved? Others are works in progress, like determining where I want to live. Still others are scary, like pinpointing your ghosts and demons.

I read Darren Rowse’s 10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Blogging When I Started. I’m not ready for most of that advice yet, I decided. I want to write about the things that interest me and build a community. If it never turns into money, that’s fine, it’s still of value to me.

More timely for me is Chris Guillebeau’s 279 Days to Overnight Success, in which he outlined how he found after 10 months of crafting his website that it could provide him income. When I got to his mention of his A Brief Guide to World Domination, I realized I needed to go through that first, so I did.

I’m going to have to ponder and return, because I can’t yet answer his two critical questions: what do you really want to get out of life and what can you offer the world that no one else can? I’m closer to the second answer than the first, but I’ve decided to plunge ahead. Better to have the activity going and adjust course than to get stalled in the planning stage.

I’ll talk periodically about how I’m answering some of these questions. If you’ve found these exercises helpful, or have others to suggest, please share.

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