I want to go somewhere in my life. More to the point, I want to live somewhere-- this is not a geographical location per se. It’s a mindset I want to live in. Really, if our reality is sensory input then our world is as much about who we are as it is about what world we think we live in. You can’t forget that people live happy and fulfilling lives in environments that we think are Hell on Earth. Conversely, some people who appear to “have it made” have lives in tatters. To figure out the world you want to live in, you have to figure out what you enjoy. Use what you enjoy as the building materials for your world.
I make a point of meeting people who have the life I think I want just to see what that shoe looks like when its on someone else’s foot.
Weird situations and my take-away:
Do I want to be famous? Early on, I thought, “yes!” Now, not so much. Fame is a lightning rod for others. I’ve had interactions with famous people in the past but the most crystallizing was with William Shatner. I got dressed up for this shin-dig where I was going to have the chance to meet one of my childhood icons, Capt. Kirk himself (well, William Shatner). This was a small room and a private event. When the guest of honor arrived, he was mobbed. Everywhere he moved, there was about one foot of room around him and a layer of people three people deep. Bright lights broiled him. People barraged him with questions. Gorms like me clutched his hand for handshakes and the chance to blurt out something profound in eight seconds. I don’t know if there’s a dimmer switch on fame, so fame has me concerned. Sadly, I’ve likely got 20 ways I could get my 15 minutes of fame, but I’ve seen what that looks like.
Do I want to be rich? People with a lot of money are boil down to being thieves or someone from a former generation earned it for them and they're old money. Usually, rich people have mastered some variety of arbitrage to get a lot of money. They have maxxed something out: they obsessed over something that made others crazy; they work 20 hours a day; they’re traveling 300 days a year; they’ve neglected their family; they lived at home to build a nest egg to gamble with; or they hired a bunch of minimum wage peons to build their empire (eg. WalMart). I am okay committing some arbitrage and making some sacrifices, but some things can go on the altar and some things cannot.
Do I want to be respected? If so, by whom? You can please some of the people some of the time. Some of what I do weirds people out and annoys them. For others, I’m seen as cool and creative; sometimes even a good sounding board for business. I would like to be respected by some people, but I don’t need everyone to tune in to what I do. Do I want my family’s respect? Sure and vice-versa. So if there’s a shortcoming and its symmetrical, I can live with that.
These are some more practical questions to narrow in the landscape of the world I am trying to build. I ask myself these questions:
Do you want to interact with people?
Do you like deadlines or a constant volume of work?
How important is pay as a factor (eg. "I'll do crime scene clean-up because it pays A LOT").
Do you want a path where you are managing others eventually (that seems to be my default path-- I joined one place where my boss was a co-owner and he quit)?
Do you want to be tied to a desk or buzzing around (eg. working in an office or storefront vs. a consultant going to the clients/customers)?
Are looking forward to training for the next job?
Do you want to work full-time? more than full-time? less than?
Are you willing to trade your quality of life for the “dream job”?
Are you willing to move to a place where the job/lifestyle exist even if that means leaving your friends and family?
Are you willing to move to a place where you can afford to live based on your income?
Answer all of these questions and you may be closer distilling a profile of the life and job you want. Put out there the qualifiers you want to your dream life. Then look at the jobs and lifestyles that could happen. I’m not saying, “the jobs and lifestyles that possible”-- you may want to break through possible to get to where you want. We live in a world of our making. Whether you reach to new heights or just sit in your shell: you are the architect of your own world and you can remake that world.
Of course, you need to make sure that the world you’re building through action, inaction and wish fulfillment, is the world you want: