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. Raven says:

    I would absolutely be taking classes in everything and anything I’ve ever found intriguing, inspiring, relaxing, challenging, you name it! Learning is what I would do for free for the rest of my life.

    I would take sculpting and ceramics classes, I would take more in depth Pastry and baking classes than I had in college, I would take painting, I would learn how to cook from an exotic culture. I would continue to learn languages, like I am trying to self teach Italian now…
    I miss school and I miss gaining new knowledge from educated individuals that can do an art or a skill that I couldn’t teach myself. I would continue my study of other religions by visiting temples and go to retreats and hearing speakers.
    Some of this I have already started myself, like getting materials to teach myself Italian, or investing in books about other cultures and histories but taking classes and being in a group enviroment of learning can be very advantageous….and very expensive so I would attend classes and lectures and demonstrations and some specific universities even, for free for the rest of my life.

    Like: Thumb up +2

  2. Atira says:

    Doing something for free for the rest of my life?? What would I do? I see myself as different people at different times and so I would like to do various things. I would like to learn new skills and new subjects, though I am more than sixty, I would like to travel to exotic locales, and I would like to be of use to people who would benefit from my experience.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  3. Andreea says:

    I believe most of us suffer from loneliness or alienation of a kind. Life in big cities is hard, we barely know our neighbours, we barely keep in touch with old friends, we barely know how to make new ones. And we all need friends, we need to be accepted, we need to share things and feelings. But what happens if you’re all alone or misunderstood and there’s no one there to turn to? Maybe you’re too proud to admit you’re lonely, maybe you don’t have money to go to therapy, maybe sadness and depression takes over your life before you even notice.
    I’ve been there too, maybe I’m still in this situation. And I often need to talk to someone, to go out and have a coffee or to go to a concert with people like me, who share same interests and hobbies. But I couldn’t find anyone. I was feeling sad and shy and lonely and it made me wish there was some kind of Rent-a-friend thingy available.
    So if I’m to do something for free for the rest of my life, is to be a friend for anyone who needs it. Or to find compatible souls who can keep each other company. I’m not talking about dating here, it’s something more profound. So I would be a rent-a-friend-for-free for anyone who needs it. Not a shrink or therapist, not a priest, not someone from social services, but a friend, someone who listens and encourages and stands by you.
    And if life offers me some reward, instead… for free? I wish it would be more music. More great music, more concerts, more cellos and violins and more singing, smiling faces around me.
    Music and friends. Nothing would make me happier.

    Like: Thumb up +5

    • Terrye says:

      I like the way you think and your comments hit a chord :)

      Rent a friend – That’s funny but so practical :)

      Warmest Smiles

      Like: Thumb up +1

    • Mary Jane Hoover says:

      There are so many people that don’t even know they are lonely. May you wish to do this one day at a time. and multiply that by every day in your future, you would reach thousands.

      Especially if they Pay it Forward.

      Like: Thumb up +1

    • Andreea says:

      Terrye, Mary Jane, thank you! I’ve started this, but online. I will work on the idea and hopefully make a real change soon. You can all adopt my idea, I don’t mind. No copyright infringements ;)

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • Glenn says:

      This sounds very admirable Andreea. And great to see you in this challenge too :)

      Like: Thumb up 0

  4. plainjane2u says:

    If I were to do something for the free for the rest of my life it would be learn; whether that is in a formal setting like college or in a volunteer position to help in an organization to provide a service for a group in need, such a war veterans, homeless shelters or survivors of abuse or in my personal world to learn a craft or skill like sewing or photography.

    This would also mean taking the time to learn and do homework and practice.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  5. Terrye says:

    If you are to do something for free for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    First and foremost I cannot believe how much this question stopped me in my tracks! I am approaching the question with the focus on that I am doing “this thing” for free so it has to be possible for me to do it “ for free, for the rest of my life”. I have to be able to volunteer my time plus whatever resources are required to do it, for free…

    That’s the bean counter in me coming out. I am Queen of literal hmmm what does this question really ask? Too funny really….

    My first thought is a game I am very passionate about, it is called Geocaching. I would love to have the resources available to me to share this game with “other people” who love hiking, who love the challenge of the search, who love the numbers game involved, people who would share my enthusiasm for the game.

    I would love to teach them how to play, how to create caches, how to do puzzle cashes, mystery caches. How to hide them, how to find them, where and how to buy travel bugs and coins.

    I would like to be a teacher of the game of sorts but added to that I would love to do all of this with children who do not have guardians or parents to share it with them, older adults who are challenged to get out, who don’t see as many people as they would like to see. I would love to teach them to value the sound of the ocean, the smell of freshly cut grass, the value to your soul that comes from watching a sunset or a sunrise.

    If I could travel all over the world, all over the world, stay wherever, go whenever, meet whatever needs there were, play and share this game in this light, I would have filled a dream!

    Resources and time will keep me from doing it for free but I like the thought of that. I could geocache all day and then write all night about what a wonderful time I was having. I could share my journey with so many people, share pics, places, people, ideas etc!

    My next thought goes to giving blood. That is truly free, it costs me nothing, and it is a part of me. If I can’t get to them to donate they will come to me. Why don’t I donate every six weeks the way that I can? I am healthy, strong, and vibrant. I’ve had my share of “take”, I’ve had my share of family who has “taken”, and this is something that I can do for “free” that allows me to give back. Maybe this question will instill something within me to start that quest…. And yes I can do this “for free for the rest of my life”…

    My next thought flows to “helping people thru difficult times”. I like to try and inspire people; I like to show them support, to motivate them, to give them courage when they have lost it. I like to share quotes, and stories, movies and books. I like to talk to people and I get a lot of my friends who tell me, “You should write a book… You should publish your poems, you should create a quote collection… you should help people manage their finances etc etc. I am very guilty of thinking, there has to be an answer, there is always an answer and when the answer is not in writing or speaking, it is in a quiet shoulder to rest on until the energy comes…. I wouldn’t mind doing something of this nature for free because I love to do it, it just comes naturally to me….

    Like: Thumb up +3

    • Glenn says:

      A great journal entry Terrye! I think this is the first time I’ve heard of Geocaching. It sounds quite interesting though.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  6. Laurel says:

    If I were to do something for free the rest of my life, it would probably be working my own hobby farm. I would have a huge garden with flowers, vegetables and fruit trees. I would spend most of my time tending this garden or playing with my pet horses or any other animals I would choose to adopt. I’d also take up crafts to use the products of my work. I would keep a blog to share my experiences so others could benefit from my successes and failures. I might even create/participate in an educational program to share rural life with inner-city kids.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  7. Chris says:

    My first answer is that I would want to write books and articles on self-help to be an inspiration to others. My second answer is that I’d go travelling. On some level I feel so disaffected by the place I live in that it would pay to go and see other places, see how the people there live. As I write this, a part of me asks “What is it all for? What is the meaning of it?” I guess, as I write this, I’m feeling unsupported and unloved, which is ironic since this year I’ve been in some of the most loving environments and around the most compassionate people I’ve ever known. I feel like I’m not letting myself get in touch with my passions because I feel like (i) I won’t make any money from it and (ii) I won’t get any recognition for them. I have been getting recognition though. Last night people came up to me and said they admired me going up and volunteering at the EFT talk, so much so that I got an invite to an EFT course happening in the new year.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  8. Mary Jane Hoover says:

    If for the rest of my life, I would do whatever I wanted for free would be to write. My Auto biography, novels, inspirational articles, anything that could help one other person in this world. Letting them know that they are survivors in today and the future. If it took me a lifetime to do this, this is all I would want.

    If I could have the writing bring me closer to my family than that would double my blessings.

    there are so many others that feel like they have hit bottom, that I would like to be a source of inspiration in strengthening their faith and belief that the world is a better place because of them, It would give me a chance to impart my wisdom and spirit so they can improve their quality of life here and now. If it would be a well read book or article that can be used over and over by generations, then that is what I would do for free. Not even for the fame or fortune, just to help one other person.

    Is that asking too much?

    Like: Thumb up 0

  9. Toni says:

    I’d write! In high school, I actually wrote a novel. I would write at night and bring it to school the next day where my girlfriends would be waiting to read it. I was ¾ finished when I decided that I had to ditch it. My parents were pretty strict and pretty vigilant and the book had some really adult stuff in it-none of which me or my friends had actually experienced lol! She had already found and read my journal- probably bored her to death. But if she had found that book, she’d have keeled over-after killing me. All that to say, I’ve always imagined that I’d someday become a great novelist like Toni Morrison.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  10. Heather says:

    If money was not an issue and I had the rest of my life to accomplish anything I would do the following:

    1. Sign my children up for art, sport and whatever class or club they are interested in and be available to personally take them to each event myself.

    2. Volunteer at my children’s schools to read to students, teach crafts or cooking classes with them and whatever else they may need.

    3. I would love to travel all around the world and soak in new cultures, landscapes and create new experiences to remember for always…

    4. I have several movie script ideas and would love to put them into action and dream for a few box office hits!

    5. I would love to do voice overs for comics and children’s animated movies.

    6. I would volunteer at nursing homes to play my cello or sing throughout the year and not just during the holidays.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  11. cloudio says:

    Note sure I have understood your question and examples or other answers didn’t help me, since I already do everything mentioned.
    I associate free with freedom and gratis.
    I feel free to do everything I want, at least what depend just of me, and almost everything I do it, I do it for free.
    It does not mean I would like to do anything gratis for the rest of my life.
    While I began all my jobs as passions and started do it gratis, I don’t think getting recognition for what you do is a bad thing, so I will not refuse any gratification.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  12. If I was to do something for free for the rest of my life I would become a yogi.
    I don’t know why. Although I have only practised yoga for a year, there is something in it that amazes me and I think that I could certainly be doing it for the rest of my life if I could.

    I would also be blogging about how amazing life is and helping people through that.

    I know that somewhere inside me I have a book hidden and I would perhaps search for it. This means again more writing.

    But the thing that I would certainly do for the rest of my life is learn about everything I can learn about through reading and experience.

    I know that this is not just one thing, but these are my top 4 things that I would do if I could do them for free for the rest of my life.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  13. Eunice says:

    I would like to travel. I’ve always wanted to be a backpacker. Someone who travels and writes. I will get a job when I arrive in one place, and earn money for my next trip. And I would write everything I see and I feel. Whether through journaling or blogging. That would an interesting life to have.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  14. Jacquie says:

    Perhaps I’m different, but I read this question to mean what would I do for free that I would normally be receiving a paycheque for, not what would I “like” or “want” to do for free.

    So in that vein, I would very much love to become a veterinarian, my childhood dream and one that I could never afford to follow through with.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Megan says:

      I’ve looked into veterinarian school as well. It is very pricey, that’s for sure, but there are ways to do it. I’m not sure of your situation, but there are a lot of grants and scholarships for school, as well as federal financial aid. I have been going to college for free for the last 2 years because my mom is a drug addict on welfare and social security and couldn’t help me. If you really want to become a veterinarian, if I were you I would start calling around to different veterinary clinics (the emergency ones that are open all night I’ve been told are the easiest to get into because they need night workers) and see if they wouldn’t mind hiring you for the night shift. The veterinarian I spoke to said the work experience alongside a veterinarian is critical before you apply. I gave up on that idea because my passion and love for animals doesn’t include putting them to sleep or performing surgeries lol, but I believe that if it’s something you are passionate about nothing can stop you. Good luck!

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • Toni says:

      I sure hope you find a way to get there!

      Like: Thumb up 0

  15. Megan says:

    If I were to do something for free for the rest of my life it would be volunteering at the local animal shelter (pound), hands down. There’s hardly anything I care about more than helping those poor innocent dogs find new homes. No creature should be locked up in a cage all day and night, with the exception of two 20-minute walks. They don’t get a warm bed to sleep in, a mommy and daddy to cuddle them all night (like we do our puppy) or even the freedom to walk around. And then, when the pound runs out of room and needs to accept more dogs, the ones that have been there and not gotten adopted get “put to sleep” to create more room. They die because no one was there to love or claim them. My goal for the rest of my life, for free if I have to, is to volunteer at my local pound and meet with the director as often as I can. I want to try to come up with and put into effect as many programs as I can to help get these dogs out of there sooner in order to minimize the euthanization of good adoptable dogs simply for space reasons. This has been my greatest passion in life so far, and it’s the only thing I wouldn’t mind doing for free for the rest of my life. These dogs need someone to speak up for them, after all they can’t speak for themselves.

    Like: Thumb up +3


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