30. What are your most important goals?

I think a lot of us are trying to figure out our lives. Life changes and we often have to reanalyze where we are going. For me, my kids are going into school which means I have more time in the day. I’m entering into this new stage. And I think about all the friends and family members I’ve talked to lately who are facing major decisions about careers and jobs, schooling, location, family, and more.

For quite a few months, I struggled to figure out my next step. I just felt unsettled and I would decide on something and it wouldn’t feel right, so I would keep thinking about it and keep looking. I was a bit frustrated with my own indecision, but when I finally questioned some of the assumption I had, then I was able to make a better decision about some aspects my life that I feel totally at peace with.

I got a degree in economics partly to increase my earning potential, and while I wanted to go to graduate school, I wasn’t sure what to study. While economics interests me, I don’t want to sit and study complicated statistics, collecting data on super-specific problems and coming up with conclusions simply based on that data.

I’m going to apply to graduate school in philosophy. And a part of me says that that isn’t a good investment, since there isn’t a good job market for people with philosophy degrees. But I realized that I didn’t want to go to graduate school to get a better job; I wanted to go to graduate school to study something I loved, and philosophy fits that a whole lot better. (And I’ll only go if I can get in to a funded program that fits with my family.)

Earlier in my life, I really wanted to write novels. I didn’t really give up on that; I just grew out of it. But I did successfully write novels. Having that goal made me persist, writing and rewriting novel after novel until I finally finished one that I’m proud of.

It’s hard to figure out what direction you are going, and it’s okay if it takes a long time. Keep exploring and figuring it out. But when you find it, that direction really helps prioritize your life and give you purpose.

  1. Love God and love others
  2. Love my children and take care of them so they become well-rounded and self-reliant and able to help others
  3. Study philosophy (and other related subjects) and research topics that I am passionate about, such as rationality and ethics.
  4. Teach others what I learn.
  5. Write and publish books that will help others learn and become better people.

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