What Do You Really Want Out of Life?

Reader Contribution by Staff
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The longest journey begins with a single step, to paraphrase Lao-Tzu, founder of Taoism. 

Of course, that’s one of the secrets of living a happy, fulfilling and highly successful life. Get out of your Lazy Boy rocker-recliner and get going.   

Start your journey now.  

Take one step today. Then take another tomorrow and another the next day. Before you know it, you’ve achieved your goals. 

This advice pertains to all goals, from personal improvements like being more patient or more loving, two of my life-long aspirations, to professional goals. If, for instance, you want to write a book, sit down and start working on it a little each day and sooner than you think, you’ll have the first draft. 

The key to success is to never, ever give up. Ever!  

Although forward movement is vital to creating what you want in life, all journeys, long and short, require direction.  

If you want to visit a friend who lives in a city east of your home, but set out on a westerly trajectory, you’ll get there eventually (the world is, after all, round). However, be sure to pack your bags. You’re in for a very long journey. 

My book and blog are about personal and professional growth, lessons I’ve learned along the way that have helped me achieve success.

So, let’s start this series of conversations not with a single step, but by selecting the direction of travel. 

To do so, start with two questions: “What do you want out of life?”  In other words, when it’s all over, what do you hope you have achieved, personally and professionally? 

If these question are too general, you may find it useful to ask yourself, “What do I want more of? What do I want less of?”  

Most of us can answer them pretty quickly.  

Personally, I want to spend more time on rivers paddling my kayak in peace and quiet with my partner, Linda. I want life to slow down, so each day doesn’t feel like a blur. 

Take a moment now to think about these questions.  

Take a few moments to jot down your answer before you read on. 

Once you have completed this little exercise, you can stop. Mull over these questions in the next few days. More ideas will very likely come to you as you ask yourself: 

(1) What do you really want out of life?  

(2) When it’s all over, what do you hope you have achieved, personally and professionally? 

If you want more to think about, I’ve included some related questions that have helped me, over the past few decades, chart my path:  

(1)  What’s working in my life?  

(2)  What causes me aggravation?  

(3)  What creates joy for me?  

(4) Am I finding time to pursue my interests? Or, is life just a big struggle?  

(5)  Am I constantly stressed out?   

(6)  Do I get the exercise I need or want? 

(7)  Do I eat well? 

(8)  Do I truly enjoy what I’m doing? 

(9)  What would I be doing differently if I could? 

(10)  Are my relationships fulfilling? 

(11)  Do I have thoughtful, considerate, kind, and close friends or am I surrounded by people who are a pain in the keister?   

(12)  Am I treated with respect and kindness? 

(14)  Do I treat others the way I’d like to be treated? 

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Contributing editorDan Chirasis a renewable energy and green homes expert who has spent a lifetime learning life’s lessons, which he shares in his popular blog,Dan Chiras on Loving Life. He’s the founder and director of The Evergreen Institute and president of Sustainable Systems Design. Contact him by visitinghis websiteor finding him on.