What motivated you when you were 20, 30, 40 yrs old?

What motivated you when you were 20, 30, 40 yrs old? –@marty7higgins

When I was 20 I wanted to write the “Great American Novel”. Now, why in hell would a healthy young 20 year old with no experience in life want to sit in front of a computer for 4-5 hours a day for maybe one to two years with little or no hope of actually getting published. In fact, I probably spent five years in front of that computer for five to ten hours a day.

One reason: sex. I though, perhaps misguidedly, that if I was the author of a great novel then despite what I perceived to be my other disadvantages, that girls would want to have sex with me. Lots of girls. Any girls I wanted, in fact.

What was wrong with me? Lots of things. For one thing, I lacked self-confidence. If I had spent those five years trying to have more confidence in myself, trying to fill the emptiness I thought a finished novel would fill then not only would I have been a lot more happy during that time, I would’ve had a lot more time on my hands (instead of writing four unpublished novels) and I probably would’ve been having sex with many more women.

Oh well, you are only 20 once. And I was 20 over 20 years ago.

At 30: same goal. But then I thought having a million dollars or more would do the trick. By the way, writing novels and having novels does do the trick. You get a lot of confidence (temporarily, until you slip back to old habits), and confidence gets you all the sex you want. Not money but being able to stand up and say, “I can rule the world if I want to but I just don’t feel like it right now.”

At 40: Finally, I have some confidence. So my goals are different. I have a healthy relationship with my wife. She’s beautiful and she loves me. I think.

Now, I want freedom. Freedom from what? I don’t know yet. But I know there’s still some emptiness inside of me. I know that every day I try to fill it in various small ways. I look for a path when I know, intellectually, no path is needed. One day I’ll find the right path. And I know it will be inside myself. But now I’m still looking for that elusive freedom from the forest which on occasion clouds my brain and soul.