How often do you sit down and think? Do you remember those nights during school and early university where for nights one would sit and discuss all those strange things. Where thoughts and ideas for pondered – often time becoming ridiculous but the discussing was just so fun? One goal of my 101 things in 1000 days list is to answer all the question of the 50 Questions that will free your mind. I felt like I needed to challenge myself to think a bit more about what is important to me. Dig deeper, analyze and sit with a few questions. I am not yet sure if I will be answering them all online but for today I get started and share the answers.
One member of my family often throws in one of those crazy questions when the evening is progressing and it does make for fun and interesting conversations. Suddenly learning new things about people you know for 20 years. So very entertaining. I guess that somewhat made me want to ask myself a few questions.
1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Definitively not forty. I just don’t feel my age. Not when I look in the mirror. Not when I listen to what I say. Not for the insecurities I carry around. But I am not really sure how old I would feel… I do have some sort of live experience. I also have some physical aches and feels – which are some sort of age indicator, no? But then I can be amazed like a kid, curious even. On the other hand I am not as reckless.
I find this the hardest question in this lot here. I have been thinking about it for several days now. There are still countries where children are born without a birth certificate. Where the exact date is not fixed somewhere. How do these people feel? How do they indicate time and age? It is so foreign to my thinking that I can really not pinpoint.
I guess in the end I would maybe feel a few years younger. Something around early thirties. But then maybe we all feel younger than we are?
2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
I want to say never trying. But when I have to be honest and think about this questions more deeply I fear the true answer is failing. And then maybe not. So lets eleborate a bit.
I wish I was keener in taking risk and try things without the fear of failing. And do not get me wrong at times I do. Like my 100 day challenges or the 101 goals in 1000 days. Specially with the last one I knew it’s almost impossible to achieve everything on the list. Maybe because some things are outside of my influence and therefore I can blame a failure to that. I easily start those things and live by “it’s worse to not even trying”.
And then there are things I ponder so long, for years and I fear taking the first step because my head is already at the end with the worst case scenario. One reason for not starting. The other one is the perfectionist talking that only wants to get started when knowing everything.
And at those times my heart knows its worse to not start trying. But my head sabotages it all.
Want to hear a list of things that have (until now) fallen to the wayside of this thinking:
- writing a book for my nephew and niece
- opening an Etsy shop and selling jewelry
- opening an Etsy shop and selling my art
- becoming a professional volleyball player
- pursuing a different career
And those are just the one at the top of my head. I am sure I have a lot more things buried in my brain.
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
For my book club we are currently reading “The Measure” by Nikki Erlick. This popped immediately into mind when reading this question. Its not directly connected but then somehow it is.
Often times I wished there was no need to earn money. I think this is the basis of why most of us can not live the way we would otherwise. This world functions on money. You need to earn it to have food on the table and a roof above your head and cash to pay when you feel sick. Money gives you freedom. Also freedom to do what you want. But then even if having money you fear its not enough and you loose that said freedom. Isn’t that a rather sad concept?
I am sure I am not alone with this train of thought. So why are we permitting such rules in society? I don’t say we should all abandon money and get back to trading or living self sufficient everyone fighting for their own. I guess civilization does need some sort of money. I am sure there are academic papers on it if you look for it.
So maybe. we need to see this things as guidelines. A fundament that makes living together on this planet somewhat organized, civilized. It’s some some of a common compromise. And within those guidelines we can choose how to live.
I think the human being is always somewhat dissatisfied. Always wanting more. On the one hand that drives us, creating all the amazing things. On the other hand it enhances greed and envy.
So the million dollar question is what is the balance you can live with. How many thing you want to do that you actually don’t enjoy. And how many space and time can you create to do those things you love.
You see I’m babbling here. I have no freaking clue. I want to believe that the older I get my priorities shift. While in my 20s I wanted to become a successful businesswoman in the corporate world this has shifted by now. I am a successful business woman but for myself. My main goal is to live a happy life. Do more of the things I enjoy. Like reading, like wandering in nature, like crafting, like being by myself. I think I am getting closer to that. Not every day. Not every month but in general.
4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
Sadly yes. I could do more. I could keep more promises. I could be truer to myself and all the things I wished I do, things I want to volunteer for, things I want to support…. They often fall to the wayside because just at that moment it’s inconvenient.
5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
Greed and Envy. I think those two are the root to all the bad things happening. People who feel like they need more are starting wars. People who envy the power of other are bullies. Murders are done by greed. We keep knowledge to ourself in fear of others coming close to our status and we may loose our privilege. So greed and envy. If we would eliminate them how much better would it all be. We would celebrate our fellow team member receiving a promotion. We would peacefully life together even though some resources are located in other countries. We would tolerate each other more.
So much for today. I can not find a sufficient end to these thoughts. But I leave you with a question: Is there one questions you could easily answer in one sentences? Let me know.
This post is the first of the series to answer all 50 questions. A thing on my 100 things in 1000 days bucket list.
These questions make my head hurt – I appreciate with so many of them you just ended up with a shrug. Who knows? Who even knows what the “best age” is when you haven’t experienced all of them?!
NGS recently posted…2022 NaBloPoMo Q&A, Part II
I know right. I also tend to say I need to experience it first but then those questions still made me look twice and for that it was worth thinking about it. Even though I don’t have an answer…
Super-interesting questions… I am a ponderer by nature, but I also agree with NGS, thinking too much about them makes my head hurt (mostly, because I probably can’t arrive at one satisfying answer). I love that you tried to answer these questions, but I am not surprised you struggled a bit too.
I definitely agree on the last question though: greed and envy really are the roots of all evil.
I also agree that people would probably live different lives if not everything would evolve money. Sadly, that’s the reality and we all have to work to survive. I wish there was a fairer system where everyone can “have enough” and live a fulfilled life.
Thank you San. I admit it took some time to answer these questions and I didnt do it in 20 minutes. So I understand that just reading through make your head hurt. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean. we should take some time to think about them. I knew that we had some mutual understanding of some of those questions.
My BFF and I used to stay up late talking, sometimes about philosophical ideas, sometimes about current events, sometimes about boys we liked…but mostly it was these sort of philosophical things. Now we live 3,000 miles apart, and our conversations are generally more topical. A few years ago, we found ourselves in an AirBnB, whispering all night about ideas and hopes and dreams and so on, just like when we were teenagers, and now we’re in our mid-50s. It felt right, like being home.
I thought a bit about your question #3, and of course I agree it comes down to money. I wonder how modern this idea is, that life is short and we should try to do more to enjoy it? How much of the world’s population spends their days trying to scrape by and not go to bed hungry or cold, so there is really not much time left over for dreaming of a different way of life. I suspect that is the majority of the population, for the majority of human history. Coming back to people who are not impoverished, living in our modern world…I’m older than you, starting to think about retirement (not that I really feel like I’ll ever be able to afford to retire, but understanding that often we don’t have an option for whatever reason). So while I like my job and I would not call it doing something I don’t like, I will say that there are things I would rather be doing. Lazy mornings, long walks, travel, reading books. I guess if we are not wealthy, we just try to do our best, and fit in the things we want to do as often as possible.
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Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that we are coming from privilege here having a decent life and not trying to survive and wondering where the next meal comes from. So those questions need to be taken with a grain of salt. But this is exactly why I feel its important to think about it, to realize what is important, how well we are doing and that not everyone can experience it.
These are some tough questions, and I like how you’re exploring them so thoughtfully- and honestly. It’s easier to say “It’s worse to not try”. but would we really mean that? I guess it depends on the situation.
I’ve heard that age question before, and my answer would always be somewhere in the range of “much younger than I am!” But nowadays I’m starting to feel a little…. wiser? So maybe I really do feel close to my actual age….
Sadly, I think 99% of us would probably have to answer “yes” to #4.
Thank you Jenny. It was a tough set of question and it was not easy to answer but as you said I shared my. though process and tried to be honest. I am understanding the sentiment to feel wiser and coming closer to the actual age. But what I have observed there wasn’t one persona that didn’t feel younger than they actually were.
There’s a lot of food for thought here! I’m a fan of failing over not trying at all, but there’s a bit of skill involved in knowing when to call something a failure and to move on.
Yes that is the second layer here. Definitely lots of food for thought
At first I was set on #2 saying of course ‘it’s worse to never try’. Your answer though made total sense to me so now I am not sure anymore. They all seem like good questions to mull over with a good friend to get the immediate feedback and dig deeper why I see it a certain way and not another – probably exactly the kind of conversation you remember from high school/college (and so do I).
And that’s exactly it the first reaction is what we assume is the correct one but if we sit with such a question a bit longer we see another layer. We don’t take time to reflect our own thinking that much anymore- or at least I don’t. Glad you had similar experiences in you years of education
Ooh, I answered all of these questions back in 2010-2011. I was in my early twenties then, and it has been really interesting to go back and read my answers! I have been thinking about re-answering these questions to see how much has changed in my thinking.
Your answer to #3 is something I think about all the time. We need money to live, and I am finally making enough money where I feel financially stable on my own but that came with getting a bigger job title and more responsibilities. I often think about whether or not I want to continue rising in the corporate world because being financially comfortable is so very important to me, but I also want to be HAPPY and I don’t know if the role of director or VP would do that for me.
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I hear you. It is a struggle to find the balance that is for sure. I do like my money too and it does give you options and takes away worries but I am not sure it does make happy. I bet going. back to those answers from 10 years ago is interesting. Maybe you can pick a few one most relevant and do a comparison post like before after. That would be fun I guess.
Oh, such interesting questions. I don’t know if these will truly free my mind, though, as they seem to make you think more and more… I was reading an article on self-awareness this morning, and it occurs to me that these questions might be one way of helping to develop self-awareness and more of a sense of who I am *now*. Although I haven’t answered them before like Stephany, and I can’t compare to a younger version of me, it would still be interesting to contemplate how I might have answered “back then” vs. now.
Also – I persist in thinking I’m about 30. I am, most definitely, NOT 30. :)
Interesting thought. You are right, I am not sure the free your mind. Freeing something means you done it / thought it and it is gone. This is more of a snapshot in time. Otherwise I would never really sit down and ask myself this question if I didn’t do it purposely.
Ha, I guess we all think we are a bit younger than we are. And 30ish is a Nic ethings. Well enough experienced but still young and fit enough.