What Do You Really, Really Want?

In a post at the beginning of the year I declared I was going to sell my house in 2013. I’m still on board for that because I’m ready for a change. My work is part-time and mobile now, which means I can live wherever I choose. I’m free to build a new life, to go anywhere, do anything, become my happiest, best person.

Ben Stein Quote v2All I need to do is decide what I want.

That sounds so easy, doesn’t it? What pops into mind for you? Maybe you’re thinking about that perfect house, or a different city, a bigger paycheck. The right man, the right woman, the right job, the right book contract? More stuff, more love, more appreciation? Perhaps you’ve figured it out, but believe your dreams would be impossible to reach. Maybe you are on your path but you’re faltering, questioning your choices. It happens to all of us.

I’ve learned an interesting lesson these past weeks: One of life’s biggest challenges can be drilling down to discover the truth of our truest, deepest desires.

I think we know deep inside ourselves when we’re not living our dreams. And more money – more anything – only satisfies an inner longing for a short time. What’s really lacking is something that will feed our soul for this day and the next, and the next. For some – like myself this year – the message is clear. I’ve decided to change up my life as I know it.  

I hope to find and incorporate the missing piece: passion.

It’s never too late to choose another road. The same goes for you: Wherever you are in your life, whatever crossroads you’re facing, you can strike out on a different path. Often the most difficult choice we face is figuring out if indeed we have an unfulfilled dream, or even which dream to go after.

The time has come!
Let’s be kids again. I’m going to open my book of fairy tales and consider this: What is the most fun adventure I can envision for myself? What is it I can say “yes!” to that would create a bigger life for me than I could have imagined? Would that be moving to a new town, starting a new business or a new career? A trio of my own books prominently displayed in store windows across the nation? Yeah, baby. My book dream still stands.

The real question is whether or not I have the gumption to transform my life. Well, the time has come to open the door and invite the possibility in. My first task is to decide exactly what my heart desires.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image22692005Come along with me on this journey – on paper, anyway! Are you also on a mission to discover how to make your passion come true? If you’re holding out for an epiphany or divine intervention to provide guidance about what you’re supposed to “do,” stop waiting. Start dreaming. Here’s what I challenge you to do first: Begin to imagine your perfect life, your perfect day. What would you be doing? Who would you be with? What would your workday look like?

If we don’t have a clear picture in mind of what we really, really want to be doing in the future, it’s almost impossible to get there. Like me, you may continue to struggle because you haven’t taken time to get in touch with your deepest desires, much less how you can plant the seeds now to build a future around the things that make you leap out of bed in the morning.

In the words of William Wordsworth, “To begin, begin.”

Writing prompt and challenge: Describe your perfect day and life
So here’s what I’m doing now to start this process, and you can join me: Write down the story of your perfect day, as you mentally walk through it. Are you living your dreams? Write about how you made that happen and how grateful you are. Are you almost there? Write about that. Are you light years away? So be it, write down what your heart tells you you’d love to be doing, if you were living your perfect life.

Begin at the beginning: What do you see when you open your eyes first thing in the morning? What does your room look like? What does your bed feel like? Where are the windows; is the sun streaming through? What time is it when you wake up? How do you feel? How does the morning progress? Do you leave the house or work from home? What kind of work do you do? Are you alone or with others?

When I’ve described in detail my perfect day, I’ll expand on this snapshot by writing about all aspects of my ideal life – the friends who surround and support me, my bank account, job, cars, vacations … well, you get the picture.

My goal with this exercise is to get clear. I’m not suggesting that my perfect life will fall into place because I wrote about it. But once I have the image in my mind, I can choose to take steps to make it real.

If you accept this challenge and write the vision of your perfect day or life AND post the results on your blog, link to this page. My website will ping me and I’ll retrieve the link to your post and add it here for others to read and be inspired by.

If you’d rather leave a comment and share a bit about your dreams, we can’t wait to read all about it!

Read Ellen M. Gregg’s vision of her perfect day

Read Stephanie’s description of her perfect day!

Read Robbie Cox’s description of his perfect day!

Read Ellen Harger’s description of her perfect day!

Read John Michael Cook’s description of his perfect day!

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53 Responses to What Do You Really, Really Want?

  1. Alison Naomi HOlt March 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Molly. I went through a mid-life crisis four years ago and although it has been a bumpy ride, I can say I learned a lot when I moved 2000 miles away from home, bought a 108 year old house and started renovating. It’s funny, though, because I’m ready to move back home now to be closer to my family. I wouldn’t mind traveling more. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa or to work in some wild animal preserve, like Gombe with Jane Goodall. Anyway, you started me thinking, and I thank you for that!

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      Yaaay, Alison! Sounds like you’ve had a few adventures. But I’m wondering why we call it a crisis and not an awakening?? I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

      • Alison Naomi HOlt March 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

        Good point! Okay, I had my mid-life awakening, and I’m still ready for more adventure. And Martha, I’m with you on that one. Writing is the one passion I’ve had all my life and I’d hate to imagine life without it. You go girl!

  2. Martha Witt March 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    What I really want (besides living down the street from you, ha, ha, ha) is to write.
    I have lots of love, am at peace with God, feel super appreciated and have way too many worldly possessions.

    To write, that’s it… just write.

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      I’m so happy for you Martha! I think being grateful for what you have is the key to having more. And who knows – since I’m moving, maybe we WILL live down the street from one another someday :-O

      • Martha Witt March 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

        I just had to reply a little woot-woot! : )

  3. Ellen M. Gregg March 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Oh, my. This is timely for me. I know what I want, but it’s too vague. I need to get clear about how it looks, and this will do that.

    Thank you so much, Molly! 🙂

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Share it with us when you’re done!

  4. Laura Zera March 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Having made a few major life changes of my own in the past couple of years, I’m going to say that once you know what you desire, declaring it is really, really helpful. For a spell there, I thought that if I told people that I’d jinx it. Better to tell them after it’s a ‘for sure’ thing and all that. But I think that when you start saying it out loud (not just writing it down, but actually speaking it), then it becomes more real, and it becomes a part of you. Also, you can never predict when people will step in to help once you’ve told them what you want.

    This is exciting, Molly! Props to you and I look forward to following the progress of your journey.

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      I agree, Laura. This is not my first “major” change, just another opportunity to shift gears and have a great adventure. And I never seek the counsel of others. Getting clear is the hardest art — then comes the moving van, hahahaha.

  5. Larry Crane March 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Hi Molly – I think it’s actually not a no-brainer to identify exactly what it is that you want more than anything (here, I immediately qualify this by saying that this desire is for me, for my own selfish self, and certainly would come after I had given every last thing I own to all those I love. Whew!! Off the hook on that one.)

    That said, I think what one wants is communicated to one by their body not their brain. It comes to you in dreams and in crazy spontaneous bursts of frenzy like the time my car quit running on the way to opening night of a play of mine being done at the local community theater- and in a fit of manic destructiveness and desperation, I ripped the handle of the cable that opens the hood of my car clean off it’s moorings.

    My body had spoken: “You want the adulation that will engulf you when the curtain rises on your own precious creation.”

    I’m speaking here only partially tongue in cheek. That is what I want. But, dawn does come as I knew it would, and it is then that I accept that it will only happen after I win Powerball.

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      Larry, made me laugh. So the question remains, “If you won Powerball, what would your vision of your perfect life look like?” As for the breaking of things in a burst of frenzy, I think I may be the winner in that category.

  6. Stephanie March 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Another great post, Molly and probably just what I needed to think about today. I made the decision to pursue my writing just last year; launched my website and pecked away at my manuscript. I’ve made progress but not enough and this post just offered a bit of an explanation..I need clarity and details. Thank you for offering us the opportunity to sit down and really begin to plan out the details. I’m looking forward to putting my post together. And best of luck with all of your dreams too.

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      I CAN’T WAIT to read it! And yes, I agree about the clarity and detail. “I want to write” is only the start. Write one book or five, or ten? Are they successful, and if so describe what success means to you in terms of income? How many do you want to sell and on which platforms? Will you print paperbacks or stick with ebooks? What is your price point? Will you write in a single genre or branch out? (How fun for you!)

  7. Peter Spenser March 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    It’s scary.

    To write it down makes it real… the dream, I mean. And when it becomes real, other people can see it, and then they might laugh at it, or tell you that it could never happen, forget it, it’s beyond you, you can’t do that, other people do stuff like that but you never could.

    It’s scary… to have a dream.

    But it feels so good when you finally do it.

    Because, at the end of your life, you don’t want this to be you:

    “I never did, I wish I had, and now I can’t.”

    • Martha Witt March 11, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

      Well said, Peter.

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      EXACTLY. So well written, thanks for that!

  8. Toby Neal March 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Molly, you are capturing “the secret” of manifesting here. I’m just a few years ahead of you, baby, living my dream. It’s evolving, too, and now includes travel and a house on the ocean. All happening.
    Way to go, let’s share this journey together!

    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Yay! Like most of us, this isn’t the first big life change I’ve made or wanted to make, it just feels like time for a new adventure and that state of mind is perfect for a little re-examination of WHAT I REALLY WANT! Thanks Toby, you’re one of my heroines and I’m so happy to know you!

  9. Margo Armstrong March 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Molly, having been in the same mental and emotional position 20 years ago I took the plunge and became an RVer. It took me two years to figure out the strategy, sell all my stuff, and find the right RV. Finally I was on my way taking my family with me.

    I continued to work full-time as a technical writer while living in luxury on the road in my motorhome until I semi-retired in 2010 leaving the corporate world behind.

    Eighteen years later and I’m still on the road although traveling solo now. I have more time to travel and write my eBooks about the RV lifestyle and other topics. What a life! Wherever I am, I’m home.


    • Molly Greene March 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      HOW fun is that!? And you get to meet writer friends nationwide!

  10. Toby Neal March 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Here’s a post from a few years ago summing up the first 35 years of my life…but I need a new one now!

  11. Cinthia March 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    This is awesome, Molly. Love your honesty, and can’t wait to make up my own dream life. The only thing is that damned Spice Girls song is now going through my head, remember? “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want.” Oh my! (But maybe it’s a good thing, kind of like a prompt, no?)

    • Molly Greene March 12, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Ha ha ha! Exact same song is playing in my head, too – that’s where the title idea came from, of course!

  12. Kathy Lynn Hall March 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Fantastic topic, Molly. And the comments are wonderful too. I’ve always had a picture of my perfect day – or at least for 20 years or so. I haven’t yet achieved it, but I’m moving closer each year.

    • Molly Greene March 12, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      I also did this excercise years ago and got pretty close before I veered waaaaaaaay off track. So it’s time to re-consider and re-adjust. How fun for you that you got clear so long ago!

  13. Diane Hughes March 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Thank you for this. I’ve been working on following my passion, and your prompt may aid my process!

    • Molly Greene March 12, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      How fun Diane. Can’t wait to hear more about it!

  14. David March 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Hi Molly
    Great Advice. Follow your bliss- but how can you follow it if you leave it in the clouds? It’s good to get clear, but also to stay flexible so the dream can refine and you can follow where it unfolds.

    George Carlin has a great routine about “your stuff”.

    We tend to collect “stuff” over time, requiring larger and larger space to store stuff and the corresponding income to support that space. A very useful step in moving is doing some downsizing in the process. Haven’t used it in a year? Who can use it instead? Keeping it for sentimental reasons? Take a digital picture of it instead. Digitize stuff.

    I did a downsizing in a couple of stages and it gave me a flexibility and freedom I didn’t expect. I now write full time. I have a completely flexible life. I can follow my passion. Got a grad degree, take courses and retreats, have fun!

    This didn’t come from moving. Or even directly from lightening the load. But that did give me the choice and the flexibility. And I live in one of the most expensive cities in N. America. A writer friend of mine moved to Romania. Another couple did a Marigold Hotel and moved to India. Another writer I know lives in Thailand. You may want to be closer to family and friends but it’s amazing whats possible now.

    Be careful about going too far though. Try it out before committing. Even in going rural. I had a young dream to build a house on property but when I got a job in a resort surrounded by rural, I missed the city opportunities. Some of that has migrated online but face time cannot be replaced.

    In other words, be prepared to test your dreams. Sometimes, you may find your dream is not the thing itself but an aspect of it. Make it an experiment to find your best life…. 😉

    • Molly Greene March 12, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment! This gives us all much to consider, and I appreciate it!

  15. Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever March 12, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Love to hear of the changes! You will not be disappointed!

    • Molly Greene March 12, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      Just thinking about it all is so much fun!

  16. Holli Rioux March 12, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    This was perfect timing! I love when I read things that confirm that I am making the right decisions & doing the right thing.
    I finished writing a book 2 years ago & have only let people I know read it. I was too afraid to really put myself out there. To be rejected for something I poured myself into. However over the past year I have felt more of a nudging to just do it. I started to take the steps & figure out what I really wanted to do after that. Two weeks ago I took a long weekend vacation to the mountains and got away from everything. Responsibilities, family, friends, and really thought about what I wanted to do. I came back and received an email from you saying I had won your how to blog book. I took that as my sign that I was on the right path. I have devoured that book & plan to re-read it several times as I create the world I need to for my book. I have finally taken some photos to have the cover done & am moving forward to get my book out there.
    After that, I want to open up a sweet shop with my sister and a local pub. We will see where I am by this time next year, but I have really been learning that we only have one shot at this life (that we know of) and I don’t want to end it by wishing that I SHOULD’VE taken that step to do what I really wanted to do.

    Thanks for writing!!

    • Molly Greene March 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      Oh my goodness Holli! That really is perfect timing, and I’m honored to be a part of it. Your plans sound like a wonderful adventure, and I’m almost jealous that you have gotten clear about your direction. I love, love, love your thoughtful comment, thank you so much for sharing!

  17. KellyAnn March 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    If I could have anything, it would be to wake up two years ago and appreciate my mom as much I should have when she was well. I would hug her tighter and ask more questions. I would invite her over more and appreciate the little things. Dreaming…

    • Molly Greene March 13, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      You can do that now and she will know, Kelly Ann! Hugs to you.

  18. Jeri March 13, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    I’ve found that too much freedom comes the paradox being both a blessing and a curse. I’m still in the process of transforming my life, and every day is an adventure, with plenty of highs and lows. It will be interesting to see what transpires for you.

  19. Bill Kasal March 16, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Hi, Molly. This was a wonderful post, filled with wonderful insight.

    I recently finished a short film on the theme of it never being too late!

    I hope you don’t mind that I post a link for you here.


  20. David March 16, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Hi Molly
    Your post has continued the wheels turning. Thought I’d post a followup. I realized there’s a cluster of “what I want” and there’s another smaller cluster of “what I really, really want”.

    I am living a massive hunk of “really, really” but at the moment, that means putting aside some of the wants. Writing full-time does not yet bring in the resources to cover some of it.

    But i realized I was developing the attitude that I had to give up some of one to gain the other. From other examples I’ve seen on the web, that does not have to be the case. And my life has been full of examples of reaching goals without the apparent means.

    Good exercise. Thanks!

    • Molly Greene March 16, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      I agree David about REALLY REALLY want vs “I’d like to have …” and re: sacrifice, sometimes we do need to give up things to get to the REALLY REALLy stuff. I think the question is this: If we’re willing to give something up to gain other things, did we REALLY REALLY want it? I wonder if that makes sense to anyone :-O

  21. Richard L Wiseman March 23, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    “It’s never too late to choose another road.” This article ‘spoke to me’ today. Thanks Molly.

  22. Amy Lamont April 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Molly, I love this post!

    Not too long ago someone introduced me to the idea of keeping a Pray Rain Journal (and if I can think of the woman who came up with the idea, I’ll come share). The idea is instead of keeping a journal of each day, you journal about future days as if you are already living the life you dream of–kind of like a vision board for writers. I love doing this. It really helps you to build momentum.

    I also think that while it’s important to know what you want, it’s equally important not to hold onto the dream too tightly. Sometimes we get such tunnel vision, we lose sight of other really awesome things the universe is offering us.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Molly Greene April 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      What a fun idea! Journaling about future days could even turn into a novel :-O … I agree, we need to “get the picture” but be open to even better things than what we could imagine for ourselves. Life is amazing!

    • Martha Witt April 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      Yes! The poem One Train May Hide Another by Kenneth Koch has been a favorite of mine for years. It reminds me that there’s almost always something more than what I’m seeing.

    • David April 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      I’ll agree too! Even better has often been the consequence but if we’re holding to the letter, we may not even see it.

      • Molly Greene April 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

        It’s a consequence of getting stuck in the picture AND not dreaming big enough, right? BTW David and Martha, are you getting notified in email of new comments? I wondered if this functionality went away when I deactivated JetPack and moved to MailChimp?

        • Martha Witt April 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

          Yes, delivered to my Outlook : )

          • Molly Greene April 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

            Thanks Martha, good to know!!

        • David April 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

          Working fine here too!

  23. Ava X Holland January 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    What I really really want is to have a cabin on Prince Edward Island in Canada with my 8 yr old nephew. Walk down cobbled down roads, run through meadows with him, catch a horse driven hay ride, and pick apples (we’ll both have to find a way to make a homemade pie! lol). I want out of the city, never to have my nephew hear gunfire, or the harshness of the city we are stuck in. I want him to know about fresh air, a clear sky at night to see the stars, to know this world can be beautiful, lush, a field and valley of flowers and, during winter times, look outside and see a true winter wonderland. This is my wish, and I’d give everything I have for my nephew to know and have this life.

    • Molly Greene January 20, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      Beautiful! I wish you all the best as you go after your dream, Ava.


  1. My Perfect Day, Part 2: What I Have, Need and Want | Ellen M. Gregg - March 12, 2013

    […] a vision of my perfect day, based on what I “really, really want.” The prompt came from Molly Greene’s timely post. You should definitely read part one first, if you haven’t yet. And if you want to follow […]