21DJC Day 2 – If You Are To Do Something For Free For the Rest of Your Life, What Would It Be?

This is Day 2 of the 21-Day Journaling Challenge (21DJC) for Nov 2011. Read the announcement and details on the challenge here: 21-Day Journaling Challenge.

Hi everyone – Welcome to Day 2 of 21DJC! :)

Yesterday’s question was an age-old question – “What would you do if you have one million dollars?” Many of you had interesting responses. Some of you wanted to buy a nice, large house. Some of you wanted to use it to invest and grow more money. Some of you wanted to renovate your current home. Some of you wanted to start up a charity / NGO / organization that supports a humanitarian cause of your choice. Some of you wanted to travel around the world. Some of you wanted to give a portion to your family and friends, to enable them in their goals.

Whatever it is that you wrote, know that they represent inner wishes that you’ve been wanting to fulfill,  but have yet to do so. Yesterday’s question was actually to draw out these innermost desires and bring them to your awareness.

And the interesting thing is, you don’t have to till you have $1 million before you can fulfill these desires.

What do I mean?

Goals represent your inner desires. One way to satisfy these desires is to achieve the actual goals themselves. However, you can only do that when you have $1 million in your arsenal (since it takes time to manifest). By having a goal that has to be deferred (i.e. you can’t work on your $1 million goals yet because you haven’t achieved $1 million), it’ll only disempower you and prevent you from living in the now.

The more empowering way is to (a) distill to those very desires and (b) find ways to realize them this very moment.

Look at what you wrote for yesterday’s $1 million question. Ask yourself – (a) What desires do these goals represent? (b) How can I realize these desires, right away today?

For example, say one of your $1 million goals is to travel around the world. In reality, you may not be able to travel to any country that you want now because of financial reasons.

However, remember that this isn’t the point. If you look at the desire this goal represents, it possibly reflects a desire to break free and take a breather, due to a prolonged period of not resting. The answer to realizing that then, would be to start taking breaks, even short vacations or just having the weekend off (see Habit #2 of 8 Habits of Highly Effective People). It may reflect a desire to be exposed to new cultures and grow from the multitude of experiences, of which you can already start doing now by getting out there to meet people of other backgrounds.

Another example – Say one of your goals is to allocate $X to your parents, as gratitude for bringing you up. You can already realize that now by sharing $Y every month, where $Y is a smaller amount than $X, adjusted to reflect how much you can spare for this purpose. You can be more generous toward them in your daily life. You can treat them to lunch/dinner/vacations, more so than you’re already doing now. Or if money isn’t a commodity at your disposal, you can do other things like prepare meals for them, write a card, spend more time to them, as acts of gratitude.

And so on and so forth the other $1 million goals.

There’s no need to put life on hold till [X event] happens. That’ll be to put off living. Think about how you can make your desires happen now. This is what it means to live in the now.

3 Important Things To Note Before Continuing

#1. Sign Up First Before You Proceed

Here’s a quick shout out – We now have over 570 official participants!! *whistles and claps* :clap: That’s over 140 new participants registered in the past 24 hours!! To all new participants – Welcome on board!! :D

For those who have not signed up yet, it’s not too late – you *can* still sign up now. Simply hop over to the announcement post, complete the 3 steps to sign-up, and you’ll be added to the list in 24 hours:

Please make sure you’re signed up before you proceed. The comments area for each day’s post is designated only for those who have signed up for the challenge.

#2. Post Your Entries in the Right Thread

Some of you have been erroneously posting your journal entries in the wrong thread. For example, posting your replies to the questions for Day 1 and Day 2 in the announcement post, and so on.

Note that the announcement post is only for sign up registration, while Day 1′s post is for posting your Day 1′s journal entries; Day 2′s post is for Day 2′s journal entries, and so on. I’ll be deleting the entries that are posted in the wrong thread from now on, as it makes it confusing for other readers. Please kindly cooperate and follow the instructions for the benefit of the community – thank you!

#3. Get Your Gravatar

You may have noticed some participants have a nice profile picture displayed with their comments. For example, my comment here. Most of you have the default PE logo (maroon red with white text), because you have not created your gravatar account.

To set your custom profile picture, visit Gravatar, register your account (Important: Make sure it’s the same email as the one you use in your blog comments) and upload your profile picture. Your picture will automatically be reflected in all your blog comments where you had filled out the same email address as the one in your Gravatar account. This is a great way to spruce up the comments section and individualize yourself! :D

Let’s now move on to the question for Day 2 of 21DJC! ;)

21DJC Day 2

Day’s 2 question is one of my personal favorites:

If You Are To Do Something For Free For the Rest of Your Life, What Would It Be?

If You Are To Do Something For Free For the Rest of Your Life, What Would It Be?

Would you sleep and do nothing? Would you pursue a certain passion? What would that passion be? Would you be pursuing a particular craft? What would that be? Would you be traveling around the world? Would you be blogging? What about? Would you want to pursue a humanitarian cause? What would it be? Would you be writing? What about?

Update: Some readers seem to have some confusion over how to interpret the question. Is the question supposed to mean what you would willingly do without receiving money for? Or is it suppose to mean what you would want to do because it does not cost anything?

My answer? The former. If I were to rephrase the question: “What would you want to do for the rest of your life if you are never paid for this work?” In other words, your life passion. Your life purpose. Hope that helps!

Put on your reflection cap and let your thoughts flow. Below is an empty form which you can use to write your answers to the question. Treat it as your private 21DJC journaling “room”, if you will. You will be seeing this form every day, for the 21 days of the challenge. There’s a button for you to keep track of your word count too, if you’re interested.

(Note you will not see the form below if you’re viewing this in your email client. Visit the actual post online to see the form.)

If You Are To Do Something For Free For the Rest of Your Life, What Would It Be?

Your Task Today:

  1. Reflect and answer today’s question. There’s no word limit – whether minimum or maximum. Write as few or as many words as you want. It’s all up to what you want to express!
  2. Share your answer. After you are done writing, copy and paste your answer in the comments area and post it there.
  3. Check out other participants’ answers. Other participants will be sharing their answers too, so feel free to read and reply to their answers. This is a group course, so let’s support each other in these 21 days.
Look forward to reading your answers! :D

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« 21DJC Day 1 – What Would You Do If You Have 1 Million Dollars?

21DJC Day 3 – What is Your Ideal Diet Like? »

373 Responses | Share Your Results!

  1. Mavis says:

    I would take responsibility for preventing anyone or anything stealing my joy.

    I had a conversation today with someone at work about a particular manager who through his arrogance was making our lives more difficult than normal. My colleague said that he did not get upset or frustrated for long because it was his responsibility to prevent anyone or anything stealing his joy. This phrase profoundly affected me because I can sum up my life to date as allowing others to steal my joy. I was unable to break the hold codependency had over me that rendered my life empty and joyless. When I was a child, I had the natural joy of a child suppressed. Fair enough, but as an adult I need to learn the skills and attitudes to prevent the loss of that which gives me joy. Not only will I benefit but others will to when I break free from codependent behaviour.

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Bridgette says:

      “My colleague said that he did not get upset or frustrated for long because it was his responsibility to prevent anyone or anything stealing his joy.”

      You are so right about that being profound. I am going to ponder that for a while. Thank you!

      Like: Thumb up 0

  2. Donna says:

    Doing something for free she says!

    The quick witted response that pops into my mind is AH! I know, I can still breathe for free! I can walk, I can see, I can hear and if I choose to, listen, I can feel, I can sense and I can think.

    This isn’t the answer to the question she asks, and while it may be easier to stay on the surface, it is not in my nature to do so.

    In part, I stumbled into this yesterday. I would help people to help themselves.

    Not through charity but one on one.

    I started today looking at how to make my dreams come into reality. Maybe that degree isn’t really necessary, it is just a title, it does not define who I am. A label just like mother, daughter, or child. it is a description of what we are, not who. The things we own is not a definition of who either, it defines what we like, or what we were able to acquire, it means nothing.

    We are all human, we all have our life’s challenges, our lessons to learn. Our life’s circumstances are different, we have made different choices and somehow we all made the choice here, now, to be doing this challenge individually but joined together in a common goal.

    In our group if we look at this as a society we have different ways of thinking, different perspectives, different ideas, different values we come from different parts of the world and from different backgrounds. One of us is not greater or lesser than the next. As individuals we all have a specific way of problem solving, we have a specific way in which we communicate It takes all of us to make the group. Through sharing our thoughts we are all helping each other to consider different opinions. We can choose to embrace it for the lesson it is, not just about ourselves, but about the diversity we each bring with us.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  3. Carly says:

    I’m having a hard time choosing ONE thing that I could have free of charge for the rest of my life! I can’t decide between travelling and food. So I choose both!

    If I chose to have free travel for the rest of my long life, I would be able to accomplish my life goal of travelling the world! This is very important to me! I wouldn’t have to save up loads of money for my flights, as they would be free for the many years to come of my life! That would be AMAZING! This would result in me being a world traveller, which is what I would like to achieve throughout my lifetime.

    If I chose to have free food, I could test out all kinds of recipes for baked goods, and cook different types of savoury meals. I would learn so much and be able to cook and bake for my friends and family. Baking has always been a passion of mine, it relaxes me and makes me happy! My mom wasn’t much of a cook during my childhood, and now that I’m in university I have created some amazing meals, but I would love to learn more and be able to cook delicious meals for her and my brother! With free food I could generate my own signature recipes that I would be able to pass to my friends and family!

    If I could have travel and ingredients free, then I would be able to combine and use these two with one another. I could travel to places around the world, experience new foods, come home and try to recreate them through many attempts at perfecting the recipe!

    Now if only these two important aspects of my life could be free of charge, then my life would be complete! If anyone sees this that can make this possible…contact me and I will include you in my travels and cook and bake for you any day of the week!

    Like: Thumb up 0

  4. MarT says:

    when I first read this question on my phone I think i misinterpreted it as if I had to give something of myself for free what would it be. Without thinking my answer was hugs and smiles. I guess the underlying thread there is providing joy to others.

    Upon reading the question and explanation more fully this evening on my pc, I interpret it to mean what would i do for the rest of my life If there was no financial implication. My answer came to me as immediately as a bolt of lightening! Linked in to the above in terms of underlying principle my answer is this;
    I would spend the rest of my life wholly devoted to my vocation in life which is being an actor and singer. I would immerse myself so wholly in this passion, continually developing both as a human being and as an actor (I feel continual personal development and learning is an important part of being an actor). I would be free to explore this amazing craft without the constant struggle to pay the bills whilst not letting any work commitments (and therefore people) down at the last min should auditions arise, I WOULD BE FREE!
    I would travel to other countries to work and study acting and in doing so fulfill my burning desire to see and experience more of the world. I would meet new people who would challenge me and my outlook in life, again serving me well as an actor and I will do my level best to make every place and person I meet in life all the better for me being there through investing wholly in their world and being a good, kind and positive influence.
    I am positive such immersion would create success and I would then be financially secure and able to support my family too, which would be one of the most fruitful parts of it all.

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  5. Debbie says:

    I would love to live on the oceanfront, preferrably around the Northern California, Oregon or Washington coastline; although I have never been to the East coast. I am not as interested in the sunny Southern California or Florida beaches with the heat and the beautiful people. I want to be on the ocean in an area that is beautiful, peaceful and serene. I love the sounds of the waves on the beach and to see the birds and tiny sea creatures. I want to walk with my bare feet on the sand with a sweatshirt on to ward off the chill and feel the ocean breeze on my face. I love the smell of the ocean. I would love to just have the ability to get up in the morning and enjoy looking out over the ocean from my deck and savor a cup of coffee and take a leisurely walk along the beach looking for seashells. I imagine that type of lifestyle would cost a considerable amount of money – renting or purchasing such a home and not having a 9-5 job that would allow you to savor the sights, sounds and smells of the waterfront – so having the ability to enjoy this for free would be quite a treat.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  6. tim says:

    would like to have a regular yoga teaching class at a very average …new comer level.Allowing for all styles and ages……introducing movement ,meditation and breathing to enhance peoples awareness.
    Combining a mind experience combined with stretching and light exercise…nothing more rewarding in life.A cool set of people empowering each other…heaven.Best do it in the morning…kickstart the day .

    Like: Thumb up 0

  7. Asala says:

    I would love to read stories for children for free. This is the activity that I would do and I enjoy it most. Being with little children is like spending time with angels fills me with happiness and joy for a long time.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  8. Jessica says:

    If I could something for free for the rest of my life, it would be some of the things that I already do. I love to read, write and play music (I play the cello). I don’t get paid to do any of those things (but if someone wanted to pay me, I’d never complain!), they are my hobbies and my passion outside of work. In fact, I end up *paying* to do these things!

    I read voraciously, and I read all kinds of books. Right now I’m on a young adult fiction kick, and I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on. Some of the books I’ve read have been quite wonderful, both in terms of the quality of writing and the story.

    I play music on a regular basis, usually with a bunch of other folks, and we have so much fun doing it. We almost always end up in fits of hysterical laughter over some badly played passage or another. It’s wonderful when I’m playing with people who love the music as much as I do and are well balanced in terms of playing ability.

    As for writing, I wrote a lot when I was younger, and stopped doing it for a long time. I’ve picked it up again recently, and I’m trying to get into a habit. That’s one of the reasons I signed up for this challenge.

    More than anything, I would love to be able to do these things more often, but I think that is also part of what makes the time that I do get to do them so precious. Because the experience is somewhat fleeting, I try to enjoy it as much as possible while I’m doing it, knowing that it may be a little while before I can play music, read for pleasure or write again.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  9. DiVillaDo says:

    I would like to help kids, teach them, talk to them about life. Also help women cope with the loss of a child. Help women cope with life. I would like to be help others, guide them, teach them what I know. Show them a different side of a problem, find solutions to problems.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  10. I don’t think i will choose work rest of my life, perhaps maybe that could have been my choice few years ago.

    Its a nice feeling to list down how i will spend my life rest of the life.

    1) Spend enough time and effort paying attention to my immediate family and friends.
    2) Contribute to community to live life stress free and health.
    3) Practice nature based life style (Balance and bonding with nature)
    4) Invest time in teaching people how to cook health food, do yoga and cultivate peaceful mind.
    5) Spend effort in helping the needy ( I need to generate abundance of money for this)
    6) Spend years of life in library – I enjoy reading book and give speech covering the topic.
    7) Be socially active on cyber space and travel around the world.

    Hi Celes,
    Thanks for posting this question, it creates a foundation for 2012 strategy and action plan.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  11. Peggy says:

    Very tough question. Am I doing something and not getting paid, or am I doing something that does not cost me anything? Is anything really Free? There is usually some kind of payment or cost for anything we do, even if it is only emotional. Free as in no monitary cost, or free as in no obligation? Interesting question. “Do something for free” – I guess I’ll take that as “I’m doing something and not getting paid money”. “For the rest of your life” – a long time to commit to something. So many options, what should I choose? Just one thing? I guess I would like to spend time with my family and friends. Relationships seem to be the most fulfilling thing in life.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  12. May says:

    If I could do something for free, I’d choose traveling, learning culinary arts, and music (singing, violin, piano, harp, and much more). There are too many things that I am interested in, so I’m not too sure what it would be.

    I guess I don’t have much of an answer for this one, the questions gives off this feeling for me. I feel like I don’t know the answer to this question. There are too many things to do in my life and there are too many things I WANT to do in my life. To simply choose one is not enough.

    P.S I think my Day 1 journal got deleted? I tried looking for it but it wasn’t there.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  13. Barry says:

    I am not sure I understand the question.

    I already do lots of things for which I do not get paid. Everything I do except my work, is unpaid.

    Assuming that I still need to work to provide for my family, the things I’d do “free” are the same things I do now. Which are pretty much take care of the details of existence and sleep.

    If the implication is that some how I’d not have to work and could do whatever I wanted without consideration for finances… there are somethings I might do differently with my copious free time.

    I’d play more music, volunteer, make and be friends, and travel, write.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Celes says:

      Basically: What work would you be willing to do for the rest of your life if you’re not going to be paid for that work?

      Like: Thumb up 0

  14. Jimmy says:

    There are two things that I can do for free forever. They are:

    1) Giving personal development talks to schools and students. I believe that our children are short changed in this respect. Those who succeed in life have their personal development program started young either with their parents or someone special at a young age. They have the edge. In schools, personal development is hardly taught. Educators feel that the skills of maths, science and languages are more important. How sad.

    2) Providing sports coaching to underprivileged kids. Sports and activities are the rights of all children. Through sports, children learn and have fun. Having fun is the basis of growing up. I would like to use my coaching expertise to empower people out there.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  15. Ida says:

    To teach. Especially to those who can’t afford it.

    I have been doing some volunteer teaching (English) and though I am not a teacher, I find that I enjoy doing it. As an English major, I was always assumed to fall into the teaching career and this always annoys me. (English majors can go into any working career, thank you very much!). But somehow, doing some free-land, unpaid teaching work to children in need, doesn’t seem to be a very bad prospect, to me. I adore being with kids especially and when there is an obvious enthusiasm for them to learn, the more motivated I am to help them as much as I can.

    I definitely, definitely do not mind going around the world and to the deepest, farthest place, find a motivated and determined child who is willing to learn and help him.

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