What Do You Really Want in Life?

When faced with the “what do you really want in life” question, I’ve come to realize that our minds are so affected by mass-media controlled society, that we provide ourselves with wrong answers. Oftentimes where you are faced with the same question, the answer you come up with does not reflect what you really want in life, it reflects what you think will lead you to what you really want in life. Let me give you an example:

I was at my cousin’s wedding and got engaged in meaningful conversation with young gentleman whose outlooks on life were remarkably sophisticated for someone in their early twenties. I’ve asked him what his goals were in life and the answer was ambiguously plain. He said he wanted to be rich so he can comfortably provide for himself. So I asked him how much money he would like to make to feel comfortable. His answer was $100,000 a year. I asked him what he would do with the money if he was making $100k a year? He said if he was making at least $100,000 a year, he would be rich enough to travel abroad and explore three new countries each year.

Once he said that, my brain instantly scanned through the records of my life during the past 6 months and I have been faced with an astonishing revelation. I responded with: “Wait a second. Did you know that in the last 6 months, I travelled to three foreign countries myself? One of them was Iceland, one of the most expensive countries in the world, another one was Cuba where everything is government controlled and prices for tourists are hardly negotiable making it one of the most expensive destinations in the Caribbean and last one was the Dominican Republic where I went through insane adventures every day, including the whale watching, climbing of 27 waterfalls, performing live on stage with local celebrity called Luiggy Luiggy – plain and simple living it up to the fullest every day. On top of these three foreign destinations, within the same period I visited the Canadian Rocky Mountains 3 times, each time at a different location and I made an unforgettable trip to Toronto. Does this sound like the type of lifestyle you would like to be able to have but need $100,000 a year to afford?”

His affirmative stare made me continue with the same breath: “You know what the funniest thing about this is? I did all this and I make one third of what you believe you need to make in order to be able to afford this. And even funnier thing is that it didn’t cost that much either. I was able to finance each of those trips from the leftover money after I had paid for my rent, commuting, day to day expenses and whatever else my body desired during that time.”

This is it. When faced with “what do you really want in life” question, people often respond with wishes of being rich, because they believe that’s the key to the lifestyle they desire. So they basically offer wrong answer because while the answer is “money”, it’s not actually money they want. It’s certain lifestyle they want, but they believe money is the key to that lifestyle so they answer with “money”.

That’s what I used to think too. I always wanted to travel around the world and had a whole list of “must visit before I die” places which seemed so distant because I believed it was impossible to visit them unless I had money. I was telling this lie to myself for near a decade until I eventually decided to take action and once I did, I visited some of my favorite destinations, some of them known as world’s most expensive places and I did it on the cheap without a sweat.

Here are the facts:

  • You believe it is money you want but it’s not. It may be a really nice car you want to be driving, it may be a sail on a yacht across the Pacific you want to take, or maybe you want to learn Muay Thai under direction of a martial arts master in Thailand. These are things what you REALLY want. You only answer “money”, because you believe money will give you the opportunity to engage in your dream activities.
  • You may be surprised that with just a little bit of thoughtful planning, most of the activities which you believe take a lot of money, can actually be done on the cheap. I wanted to visit Iceland my whole life but was putting it off because I realized that it’s a very expensive country and I’d need a lot of money in order to be able to survive there. Yet I spend unforgettable 10 days in the country, rented a car to drive around the island, climbed glaciers, walked behind a waterfall, swam in a cave, visited bubbling mud fields and even had a great night out with local girls in Husavik on Friday night whom I met 5 minutes prior. We partied whole night and went dolphin watching the following day. All this for less that I would be willing to admit.

You have probably asked yourself the “what do you want in life” question several times throughout your life and have probably seen the answer in money as well. Now ask yourself: “What do you REALLY want in life?” and focus on final wishes, not on what could lead you to it. As you explore further, you will find out that you don’t have to be rich to have the lifestyle you desire. I am not rich, nowhere near. Yet I’ve been travelling all over the world and have many more places to go to – and it costs me less than $1000 a month. You don’t need to be rich, you only need enough to get the lifestyle you desire. And this will set you free from slavery of work and put you in the way of life where every day is an adventure you will never forget.

Enter Corporate Lifestyle, Bring On the New Grumpy Me

As I gave it to the pressure from my family to quit being a wandering bum and get a job, I started to change. I did not realize that, as it was a slow-moving process, but gradually, bit by bit my mind was getting twisted by the corporate bs. I have fallen into the lifestyle of a working class slave who voluntarily participates in repetition of his day to day tasks. I did as I was told, I collected my wage, I paid my bills and repeated the cycle over and over again. Every now and again I would meet with my buddies over a beer, we’d have some laughs and do something cool, but overall I was a working class man who turned himself into a slave for the best part of the week so I could collect the pay at the end of the month and exchange it for things. The lifestyle of excitement has dwindled away, the lifestyle of collecting possessions took over.

Of course you don’t see it that way when you’re stuck inside that corporate cycle. I didn’t see it that way until a decade later, when I had a personal awakening and got a chance to look at my past 10 years from a distance. Deep inside I felt that something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t find a name for it and opted for denial instead. There were signs all around me, but I chose to ignore them. I know what kind of toll this lifestyle took on me. I was aware of that fact that I’m miserable and grumpy all the time and that I treat everyone like crap, even though I never used to be that way. I didn’t know why I started acting that way, but instead of looking for answers, I blamed everyone else. It was all their fault, everybody is in my way, everybody wants to take advantage of me, everybody is there to piss me off. That’s who you turn into if you take away excitement from your life and focus on a lifestyle based on possessions. Corporate madness will change you so you won’t even recognize yourself.

The further ahead you get, the more possessions you accumulate, the more you get yourself locked in place and dependent on possessions you bought. If you finance a car, you have years of payment ahead of yourself you can’t escape. If you take a mortgage to buy a house, you will sentence yourself to living in this town for a minimum of next few decades carrying the burden of debt. But the worst thing is – corporate lifestyle will wash you up so badly, you will believe in it. You will believe in the system and will see acquisition of each new possession as a step forward in your life. This gradual downturn will continue for as long as you see the light at the end of tunnel – retirement.

You will voluntarily allow yourself to become a corporate slave because of the vision that one day when you’re 60 or so, you will be able to reap benefits of your whole life’s hard work. You will see yourself with mortgage paid off, owning your cozy house with a nice car in a garage and grandchildren outside playing with your cat. You see this distant picture and it’s good enough to keep yourself voluntarily enslaved. The enslavement makes you grumpy and miserable, but you see possessions accumulating and you see the retirement coming closer, so you don’t give up.

I was exactly the same way and when I saw one of my colleagues retire, I thought she lead the perfect life.