57 Things Other People Want From Life

If a genie suddenly appeared and offered to grant you a single wish, what would you say?

Most people answer, “Money!” and name a huge amount. But money is fleeting. And it does nothing for you unless you spend it on something meaningful … which brings you back to square one:

What do you really want?

I get flummoxed deciding what to eat for dinner, let alone figuring out what I want in life. Luckily, a lot of brainstorming comes in handy — especially when prompted by outside ideas. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of things other people want in life.

I’m not saying you should want what somebody else does. But maybe by reading through these varied replies I’ve gleaned from friends and other sources, it’ll stir up some fresh ideas for you.

And while you’re brainstorming, remember that no idea is too big for someone living the writer’s life. You don’t face the same constraints other people deal with. Unlimited income potential and the freedom to work when and where you choose give you enormous freedom. Your biggest hurdle is deciding what you want and then going after it.

So if the question, “What do you want in life?” leaves you stumped, you can at least get your goal-oriented juices flowing by taking a look at the list below.

But before you start, do me a favor. Really read through this list and note the things that you might want. Goal-setting is something that takes focused thought. It’s easy to brush it off and say you’ll do it later, but then chances are good you’ll never get back to it.

Just remember, the payoff could be huge if you really put some effort into this.

So here is your idea-generating list of 57 things other people want from life:

Material Things

  1. Big house
  2. Nice car
  3. Fashionable clothes
  4. Plenty of money for dining out
  5. A big enough budget for luxury travel
  6. Thin friends
  7. An attractive spouse

Self-Confidence Things

  1. To neither look nor feel fat
  2. To eat whatever you want without gaining weight
  3. To hold your own in a political conversation
  4. To learn to dance without looking stupid
  5. To be attractive as you age
  6. To be the life of the party, at least once
  7. To know what you want and have the confidence to go after it

Adventurous Things

  1. Visit every continent
  2. Speak a foreign language — fluently
  3. Learn how to take professional photographs
  4. Go scuba diving, cliff diving, or skydiving
  5. Live in a beautiful, serene place
  6. Volunteer in a disaster zone
  7. Go to a major sports championship, like Wimbledon
  8. Pilot a plane
  9. Spend New Year’s in New York City

Spiritual/Emotional Things

  1. Have at least one true best friend
  2. Feel relief from social judgment
  3. Reconcile with an enemy
  4. Be remembered in a positive way after death
  5. Know that you made a difference in someone else’s life
  6. Feel important to others
  7. Know yourself and feel centered
  8. Live each day without regret
  9. Quiet self-limiting thoughts

Career-Related Things

  1. Reach a fabled level of success that makes you untouchable
  2. Create a positive work/life balance
  3. Feel as capable as others think you are
  4. Be more productive with each minute of the day
  5. Be recognized as talented or even brilliant
  6. Pursue your calling while supporting your family financially
  7. Publish a book
  8. Make enough money to care for aging parents
  9. Write a screenplay that gets picked up as a movie

Lifestyle Things

  1. Start every morning with a leisurely cup of coffee instead of a rushed, chugged one
  2. Travel the country in an RV
  3. Have satisfying, regular sex
  4. Not be afraid of intimacy
  5. Have many children and grandchildren
  6. Stay married to the same person
  7. Find meaningful work
  8. Find the best piece of pie, ever
  9. Give your dog a really happy life

Health Things

  1. Grow old without losing your mind or control of your body
  2. Recover from a painful or debilitating disease
  3. Not die from a painful or debilitating disease
  4. Have plenty of energy to enjoy each day
  5. Age gracefully, without wrinkles and without going bald
  6. Find a way to enjoy exercise
  7. Finish a marathon or an ironman triathlon

By reading the goals listed above, you’ll be primed to start thinking about the things that matter most to you. Over the next few days, take note of which goals continue to stand out in your mind. Then think about which of those goals complement the things that make you happiest.

Every time an idea for a new goal comes to you, write it down. Don’t filter out anything — especially if your first reaction to it is that it’s impossible.

That’s the beauty of the writer’s life. Virtually nothing is impossible once you’re able to command an income at the touch of a keyboard, anywhere and anytime.

So think big. Think about the kinds of things in life that are most satisfying and rewarding to you, and then break those things down into specifics. For example, maybe being able to provide well for your loved ones is something you find extremely satisfying.

Build on that by asking yourself what you want to provide. Do you want to send your kids to private school? Make enough money so your spouse doesn’t have to work? Treat the grandkids to a week at Disney World? Provide live-in care for an aging parent?

Once you solidify what it is you want, work backwards. Think about what it’ll take to get it. Then think about the kind of time you’re able to invest in pursuit of that goal. Finally, consider what kind of projects would be enjoyable enough to make the pursuit of that goal pleasant.

Your objective here is to find something that pays the bills but also feeds your spirit. If you’re lucky, the same thing will do both.

If your goal includes making more money, changing careers, or making a living from writing, you should really check out the AWAI Bootcamp. It’s one of the best places to find inspiration for living a goal-focused life (speaking from experience!). Click here for more information.

The Barefoot Writer

The Barefoot Writer

Discover a lucrative style of writing that will give you as much freedom as you can have while earning a great income at the same time. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 3.3
Published: August 8, 2011

22 Responses to “57 Things Other People Want From Life”

  1. Mindy, I've heard it said there are only eight key desires in life:
    1. Survival, life extension
    2. Enjoyment of food and beverage
    3. freedom from fear, pain and danger
    4. Sexual companionship
    5. comfortable living conditions
    6. to be superior. winning, keep up with your peer group
    7. care and protection of loved ones
    8. Social approval

    Everything else is either a learned want or a variation of the above.

    Sean McCool

  2. I simply love the way you categorized the "57 things other people want out of life," most of them hit every one of us. Thanks, that's a good read!

    Guest (Hammer)

  3. I like the idea of becoming a professional writer. I've ruined three computer keyboards to date through heavy use, I'm on the web constantly, if someone would actually pay me to do this, I'd be in 7th heaven, pretty much. How can I do it more, better, and best of all, actually get paid?


  4. I would add to the list: A sense of purpose or meaning - what people typically gain from holding a religious belief, or from being part of a group which contributes to making the world a "better place" (see Viktor Frankl: Man's search for meaning)


  5. The highest goal in life to me is to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a very personal and life-changing way. I have a joy that material things cannot bring and a peace in times of trouble that helps me to be able to cope with life. I don't have to be strong, beautiful, thin, or perfect: I just have to give my all to Him and life takes on a whole new meaning that is beyond words. It is so simple that many people miss it.

    Guest (LindaO)

  6. People have crap days and good days, people get bad cards and good cards dealt in life. It's a journey and one that by standard chronological terms, does not last that long.

    When you watch the late night broadcasts of starving countries and other how do you feel?

    When you see a homeless person on the street, how do you feel?

    Push the sensationalism of the media showing you the glory life away of the few, and focus on your heart, everyone has one, FIND WHAT MAKES YOURS TICK and be kind to everyone....

    It doesn't cost you anything to be nice to others everyday!!!!

    Guest (Chrissy)

  7. The OP and comments together brought me peace tonight. Thanks all *hugs*

    Guest (Anthony)

  8. We want: freedom,survival,love

    Guest (van)

  9. there were good things but where was find love and not the feel good love i mean true love. And where is God in your spiritual line, If you start with him, every thing else will follow.

    Guest (David )

  10. I am a wife of over 60 years, after mmy husband had strokes among other major illness plus being blind, I decided to care for him rather than place him in a nursing home.it has been the greatest decision l ever made. We are closer than ever, even tho we had a great marriage to began. My problem is I love to work with my hand while l sit by his bedside,,, therefore l have taken up beading ,but I need to know more about the trade.

    Guest (Addie)

  11. I think you can use the maslow's heirarchy of needs. Once you got the basic need you tend to gain another step up. Nice blog. I hate the fact that we never get satisfied,we're so selfish.

    Guest (Carl)

  12. Truly, this was a helpful article. As a 17 year old girl trying to figure out what she wants in life, this article and all the comments helped a lot. Thank you all :)

    Guest (Maddie)

  13. pretty good things because material things won't bring happiness but all the other things may.

    Guest (Megan)

  14. I believe it is a perfect list, everyone has their own wishes and to make themselves happy, Some people are happy with smaller things like small house, small smart cars that more like being minimalist and simplifying your life, Even if you complete all 57 things, you will know if you actually need them or not by time, some of the things will stay with you forever some of them you will realise you do not actually need them, at the end you will find the happiness what makes you happy the most, as we are human beings this is how we made of, we are selfish and hard to satisfy and want more and more, the important thing to control yourself and that is your happiness when you reach to that edge.


    Guest (Toby)

  15. Doing the things other people do, or searching for the rules where there are none. This is like wandering around hopelessly, looking for water in the desert. You are one of a kind and you have a unique spiritual fingerprint. A unique abundance DNA. The universe just wants you to recognize and own your uniqueness. Then you can have anything you want because you ll stop doing things the way you think you should. You ll know without blinking that you re the best in the world at being you. And that s more than enough to attract an extraordinary and abundant life for you and for those you love.

    Guest (Jardineria)

  16. Above mentioned list of desires quite basic but I want to get deeper! Why do have desires? Do we really need to have desire and what is the ultimate results if our desires are met or not met?

    Guest (Suresh )

  17. "Thin friends"? Seriously?

    Guest (Beth Graham)

  18. Material Things

    An attractive spouse!

    Love it!

    Are you sure it´s not a spiritual thing?

    Guest (HENRIK)

  19. Peace is also a greatest desire

    Guest (Yawar)

  20. What the heck is going on with "thin friends" on the first list? Is that serious?

    Guest (Claire)

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)