A recipe for a boring life
The profile ended with: “Please be a man who knows what he wants out of life or don’t waste my time.”
An attractive woman. Clearly accomplished. Multiple degrees and what read like a pretty high powered corporate position. I wondered if she was happy. She looked kind of intense in her photos. I passed. Been there, done that. Not my type.
Do you know what you want? I mean what you really want? I don’t. I’m 53 years old and I’ve wanted several different things in my life. I’ve managed to acquire pretty much all of them. And a whole lot of things I didn’t know I wanted.
Like a wife. And kids. The opportunity to be a caregiver. Then widowhood. And an empty nest. A corporate career that used to be fun. Publishing stories on Medium. I didn’t set out to have any of these things. And yet, in their own way, each has given me gifts I couldn’t have imagined.
Goals are great. They are the only way forward for a lot of people. They need something to aim for so they can focus their energies. They can also blind you to opportunities you may have never even considered.
Being laser focused on achievements is trying to control life. Sooner or later you’ll find out that you don’t really have much control at all. Maybe your spouse will wake up one morning with a weak hand. Three years of fruitless visits with doctors finally ending in an ALS diagnosis. A honest to god death sentence. You and everyone you love has just had their lives changed forever.
Don’t rest your hopes and dreams on plans. Set your sights on making today the best day of your life. Keep an eye on the future as if you’re extremely nearsighted. Everything is a blur but you know what direction you want to travel. And be open to forks in the road popping up where you least expect them.
You may well find your bliss on a little hiking trail you just started up for a change of scenery.