Originally Published 2007-05-24 01:36:02
It's no secret to those familiar with my daily life that turning 30 a couple of weeks ago has been pretty hard on me. I set a lot of ambitious goals for myself in my 20s, and I accomplished every one of them and then some -- most of them early, in fact.
That's the primary catalyst for my difficulty. I didn't know if I'd have my purpose (used with a grain of salt, there's no intentioanl implication of spirituality) solidified, but I figured I'd be well on my way. I expected to see the light and have a plan for getting there, even if I wasn't bathing in it yet.
The second problem is that I never pictured being this age. You know how when you're 9, you want to be twelve? And then 16 is a big deal? And then 18, followed by 21, and possibly 25? Well, check, check, check, and cha-check. But this thirty thing... ugh. Old people are thirty.
Now, I can still hang with the 20 year olds on the basketball court, and I'm stronger in the gym than I ever have been. In all the obvious ways, I'm accomplished and confident, but ironically, I've felt the most lost these past couple of months. My close friends would probably correct me and say I've felt lost and somewhat dispassionate since the holidays last year.
Which brings me to the point of this entry. I had dinner tonight with an old friend who I've known professionally for almost a decade. We worked one of those dot com startups together and were out to change the world at one point, and despite hanging out more now than we ever have before, we spent an awful lot of time together back in the day, doing the startup experience. This included Tequila shots on Friday evenings, basketball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the occasional shared meal, and far too many 12+ hour work days. Yeah, we mixed work and play, but the whole reason those tech companies have so many cool perks is so that you never leave.
But I digress. I was asking my friend about purpose and how he fell into the position he's in as an entrepreneur, consultant, and all-around successful dude. I say this not only because of financial status -- I don't know his financial status, to be honest, and if we were to pull out scorecards I have no idea how we'd actually compare. I say that he's successful because I'm aware that he's grown a lot since I first met him, as he now has a certain peace about himself that he didn't possess 10 years ago. (Guess that's the good part of aging, right?)
My friends talked about a couple of philosophies that sounded to me like Napoleon Hill of Think and Grow Rich fame. The ideas are also not unlike those covered in The Secret from what I can tell (haven't read it). Basically, focus on the positive and you can create it. Don't dwell on the bills you have, for instance, but rather, focus on the dollar amount you intend to accumulate.
He also had some not quite dictionary definitions for "want" and "desire", pointing out that "desire is enjoying the experience of having something", while "want is feeling the pain of not having something". There were some other tidbits, too, like "always being of service," i.e., providing value to someone no matter what your activity, whether through philanthropy or simply being the best employee/partner you can be. But the want vs. desire dichotomy was particularly poignant to me.
When I expressed my current lack of passion, he asked me if I had a list of goals. I retorted that I did, but had accomplished all of the ones that seemed important. He asked me to create a list of 1000 desires, just to see if I could do it. In his experience, the further down the list he progressed, the more important the goals got. And that 1000 is a pretty darn big number.
So, I'm off to do that... I may post it here. I may not. Anyone want to give me some ideas by commenting on a few of their desires?
And yes, Italian sports cars and a mÃ©nage Ã trois are allowed on the list. These aren't wants, they are desires. :-)
On 2007-05-24 05:24:46 Chee Kui said:
Glad to hear that Uncle Johnny :p (U started it first). Being 30 is nothing. U should know when Uncle Kolonel Sanders started KFC after his retirement age.. Phew..
p/s: I think you should watch the Secret.