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Old 07-29-2013, 08:40 AM
Location: moved
13,277 posts, read 9,185,368 times
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In American culture, it is almost imperative to harbor “hopes and dreams”. Lacking such, we are regarded as defeatist losers, as undesirable citizens who jeopardize the welfare of the community. But fortunately we need not be beholden to public opprobrium.

Eventually one comes to realize that most things are more trouble than they are worth; the effort isn’t justified by the result. Good food, tasty and nourishing, is desirable. But the cooking may not be. So we settle on mediocre food that’s easier to prepare and still supplies our basic requirements.

Most things of substance can not be achieved alone. They require cooperation and joint adherence to some animating principle. Cooperation towards the building and selling of something is called business. Cooperation towards the production of new life is called family. These things are all worthy and indeed in some cases are tremendously worthy, being a source of pride and personal worth. But nothing comes without a cost, and sometimes, the cost is too high – be it risk of failure, abrasive and unpleasant contacts, constraints on one’s behavior, added responsibility and so forth.

The key point, I think, isn’t to dejectedly surrender but to rationalize to oneself the pros and cons. Consider a given thing that one likes, or aspires to achieve. What are the pros? The cons? What are the risks and rewards? From there one can estimate whether the effort is worthwhile. Visualize the outcome. Suppose that things go well. Then what? Would one genuinely feel proud? Would one genuinely enjoy it? Or would that victory merely whet one’s appetite for more pursuits, and so forth, on a kind of treadmill? Then maybe in the best case, in the victorious scenario, it is better not to begin.

We celebrate too much the doing and the striving, and reflect too little that most things aren’t worth doing.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:28 AM
12,805 posts, read 13,316,826 times
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Even looking for the answers to how you feel is hoping and dreaming. Some people are transformed by achievements and some by the pursuit. You have to find out which one you are. Joggers and cyclist I know have a standard like the Boston Marathon or Tour de France winner's times. What drives them is not achieving those times but pursuing them.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:57 AM
3,588 posts, read 5,636,170 times
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Originally Posted by limbo24 View Post
I don't really have anything to add to the thread title. I simply want an answer to that one question. If you're wondering why I want an answer, it's because I almost find myself in that boat a this point. Really, save for 1 hope and 2 dreams, I'm basically burnt out of both and not striving for anything anymore.
One possible answer:

Your life is out of balance. You may have an excess of worry and stress and maintaining this condition long-term will siphon the joy from your life, and even lead to mild to moderate depression. Some advice I have received when I have felt like this (mine showed up at 35 or 40, but it seems you may be much younger than this?) was to reflect on my childhood and adolescent years and focus on the things that brought me joy and gave me a sense of passion at that time, and try to bring these things back into my life in some practical form or another. Maybe it was a hobby, past time, sport, association, project or group that I drifted away from. The advice was to re-connect with it. I returned to two childhood loves: athletics and reading.

This is important, because JOY feeds your hopes and dreams. So keep some in your life.

There is JOY:

In nature
In friendships & loving family
Life's simple pleasures
In accomplishing small projects that we put off

So I would say that it means JOY needs to return to your heart, your spirit your life. What it does NOT mean: that things can't get better...because they can. Be Encouraged.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:49 PM
Location: Canada
7,400 posts, read 5,133,390 times
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Originally Posted by limbo24 View Post
Please keep the replies coming! I am trying to figure out what all this means to me because it is not something recent. I have been this way since the age of 5. Honestly, I've really only wanted 2-3 things that have remained consistent throughout my short life. They aren't really traditional hopes/dreams either. Keep in mind i'm differentiating 'kind of wanting something' or thinking it's necessary and pursuing something from hopes/dreams...
Approximately how old are you, Limbo24?
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cdnirene View Post
Approximately how old are you, Limbo24?
I turned 25 very recently.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:54 AM
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Let me first open the circle by expressing comprehension of your view, limbo24.

I am currently forty four and seemingly bound up in a rut. This has not been something which simply comes and goes. Yes, I have been diagnosed with having at least mild garden variety depression. Life simply does not hold a lot of zest or flavor for me. Yes, I genuinely would appreciate if it did.

One vector, or contributing factor, in my case has been a congenital syndrome which well, I've no great sense of control over. It began at my conception actually and we don't get to choose that in any way no matter who might suggest otherwise. This syndrome has a few things involved which have major impact. I did not develop olfactory nerves as part of this syndrome.

I cannot smell a thing, ergo, also have very limited sense of taste. This recently caused a minor squabble betwixt me and my wife. She had said that she would help her sister make some chilli, and actually make it chilli and not stale bean water. I could not taste the chilli seasonings despite her telling me afterwards they were included in the bean mixture.

Have worked some really crappy jobs because I'm the oddball that can't smell. Used to get picked disproportionately to go shovel a meat processing offal for reconstitution as protein mix. The offal was churned down into raw protein slurry, which is used for many various products. If you think of "potted meat" you're getting a fairly accurate idea of it. that and "hot dogs", "bologna". I also cleaned a large number of bathrooms, not minding any smell. Liking it or not was irrelevant to me doing the work, it was there and needing done.

I have also written poetry, once even drafted a 90,000 word horror novel. I use Linux and dabble at some programming. I have hunted, fished, camped, foraged, learned about herbs and old wives tales. I've ran rescue squad calls as an E.M.T, got certified as a fireman third class in the U.S. Navy and that entails a course on nuclear, biological, chemical fires. I've lived a rural life, my point in scattering out my has/have dones here is that it tells folks I have done a good bit in life. Yes, I have at that.

Most of it was simply "it's there and needs done". As such, I kept busy to the point that there was no thinking or time for learning likes, dislikes. And I find myself without any of these now. I like you am stuck in not having, hopes, dreams, aspirations. I simply let life suffice on its own course, it will anyway no matter how much we fight against it. After forty four years of constant busy and fighting, I'm tired of it. As one has already commented, you start gauging the pros and cons and seeing lesser and lesser value in a lot.

I love my wife and I do hope "someday" we "might" own our own home with some small portion of land to have a small homestead. That is simply again "there and needs done", something to provide sustaining us, it's not some lofty ambition, dream. Someone commented that you ought to find a hobby. I have to say that _in my experience_ this kind of still misses the target. hobbies require to "take up" something you "like and enjoy", if you don't know what that is you're kind of at a loss and then go back to the process of "keeping busy doing lots" aimlessly, back to 'the fight". Of course, they would likely point out that, that is the point of finding a hobby. Um, ... "okay".

As an aside, visited a psychologist and expressed feeling like a total failure and absolute joy despite that, both in the same instant. The psychologist without missing a beat tells me, "oh, that's normal and natural." I might not be the brightest bulb in the box but somehow I doubt it is anything but "normal and natural". Saw an article recently which expresses what we're feeling, angst. This article somewhat pointed out that angst in America has been rising for the past sixty years for a variety of vectors, and these are things which harbor no easy "fixes" if they can even be fixed.

Do I know what to tell you to help? Well, if I did, then I would not be telling you welcome to the boat. Sure we might be better off swimming, sure we might not get eaten by the sharks. Do you really want to chase a might? *chuckles* I rather not myself but if you want to, more power to you and I'll wave the pom poms for you. I'll be happy seeing you make it, sad if you don't. I really don't know more to say to you other than letting you know you're not alone. All we can do is to keep on keeping on and yes, hope someone, somewhere, somehow has some kind of better answer for us.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:38 PM
Location: MA
865 posts, read 1,451,873 times
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Old thread...but I have a different perspective on this.

I have a fully paid off house, reached everything I wanted to professionally, lost all kinds of weight and live a super healthy lifestyle, traveled the world, found someone to live my life with, etc. I have set goals, and achieved them all. One year, I thought outside the box and my goal was to read 40 books in one year. I think I got to 54. I have achieved dozens and dozens of goals. I am not even sure where to go next as far as goals. So I think that is where some people get to when they have no more goals...they achieved them all. I am not going to set out to make unrealistic goals that will never be achieved, but I have to say I achieved most of the more "common" goals in life, or have no interest in some goals (i.e. like flying a plane, no interest ever).
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:24 PM
Location: Rural Wisconsin
18,018 posts, read 7,960,852 times
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This might be something of a ramble, but my "first world problem" is that after having one personal challenge (trouble) after another -- bad childhood, two bad marriages, unfulfilling careers/jobs, financial problems, child problems -- now, at age 63, for the first time in my life, I finally have no major worries of any kind, and I am finding that difficult to deal with, as I no longer feel that I have anything to live for, other than to maintain a pleasant life with my husband. (As I said, first world "problem".) I still love and like my husband, we are in good health, I have a part-time job I enjoy, and we have enough money to do pretty much whatever we want within reason, but there is no joy in my life -- which is now almost entirely the same, week after week, except for our yearly two-week vacation. It is as though after struggling for 50-plus years, I now am at a loss to just enjoy life. It is as though I have spent 50 years climbing a mountain only to reach the top and find the view to be very disappointing, bland and desolate.

My problem, I think, is that I am a mediocre, untalented, uninteresting introvert without any real interests except for my job and reading and writing on C-D. I am not close to any of my family, and I have always had problems with making and keeping friends. When I have made friends, they have always let me down, and so I have learned that it just not worth it for me to try to find friends, as I have found that I am actually happier being alone or just with my husband.

Just to be clear, I am not looking for sympathy, empathy, pity, or even advice -- as I indicated, I do have much to be grateful for -- but I just wanted to let you know that there are probably many people who are suffering (more or less) from a lack of hopes, dreams, joy, goals -- and, yes, challenges.

But, at least younger people can have hope that their lives CAN get better and happier! (Yes, it is possible for people have better lives at 70 then at 30 -- but happier ones? No, I don't think so, at least not for most older people.)

Last edited by katharsis; 03-23-2017 at 01:50 PM..
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:37 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,599 posts, read 78,095,999 times
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I have found that if you have achieve all your goals and do not come up with more, helping others achieve their goals can be very fulfilling.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:08 PM
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It means you need to get out there and find some more.
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