What Do You Want From Life?

Do you know exactly what you want from life, and what price you’d need to pay in order to achieve it?

That’s the question Matthew Kelly asks of the teens and adults he meets as he travels and speaks.  Sadly, very few people can answer the question with certitude.

Most people know exactly what they don’t want, but few have the same clarity about what they do want.  Kelly, author of The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose, laments:

It constantly amazes me that men and women wander the earth marveling at the highest mountains, deepest oceans, whitest sands, the most exotic islands, the most intriguing birds of the air and fish of the sea — and all the time never stop to marvel at themselves and realize their infinite potential as human beings.

More people have access to education today than ever before.  But I cannot help but feel the modern educational experience is not preparing us adequately to attend the rich banquet of life.  Certainly the young people of today have mastered the use of technology and are capable of solving complex scientific and mathematical problems, but who and what do these serve if they cannot think for themselves?  If they have no understanding of the meaning and purpose of their own lives?  If they do not know who they are as individuals?

What do you want from life?  I can’t recall the first time someone asked me that question.  But I do remember a time in 1999 when one of my mentors asked it.  He encouraged me to answer the question by creating a master dream list and writing down every single thing I wanted to be, do, have, and achieve in my life.

That was over ten years ago, and I’ve assembled quite a list since then.  Over time, I’ve added many new things to the list and have deleted things that I no longer deem important.

By keeping a master dream list and reviewing it now and then, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I value in my life.

My master dream list helps me know where I want to go and beckons me to develop a plan on how I’m going to get there.  It gives me clarity in times when I’m faced with multiple opportunities, helping me make decisions that move me closer to the achievement of my dreams and goals for the future.

If you don’t know what you want from life, everything will appear either as an obstacle or as a burden.  But one of the greatest lessons of history is that the whole world gets out of the way for people who know what they want or where they are going.  Be assured, if you don’t know where you are going, you are lost.

So, what do you want from life?  What are your dreams?

Think about it.  Ponder it.  Write your answers down.  Make a list.  There are no right or wrong answers!  Write quickly.  Don’t overanalyze.  Write everything down – even if it seems a bit silly.  Put  a date next to each item on your list.

Then schedule a time to regularly review your list.  I’d suggest doing it once a month as part of your weekly review (perhaps on the 1st Friday of each month).  The more you review your dreams, the more you can clarify which ones to work on now, and which ones will have to wait for later.

Has anyone else used a master dream list before?  If so, has it helped you in achieving your dreams?

Speak Your Mind