So said a character in a novel, the title of which I cannot remember, that I read many years ago. I was so intrigued by the concept that I did it. I numbered a sheet of paper from one to a hundred and listed my wishes and dated the paper.
Coming up with the first twenty-five was easy, the second twenty-five a little harder, but for the last fifty, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel to think of things. New dish towels? A new pair of shoes? What else do I want beyond health, security, connection with the people in my life and fortune?
Half of my wishes did come true, but it took more than a year, and over the decade or so since I first did this exercise I revised my list because I had new things I wished for and no longer wanted some of the originals. I never did bowl a 200, but that’s off my list.
I find the exercise intriguing because of what it reveals about me and “destiny” if there is such a thing:
- My wishes fall into several categories: career, finances, personal relationships, possessions and activities, and wishes for other people.
- Listing so many things forces one to become specific and to drill down to the nitty-gritty of what one really wants. Interim wishes, short-term wishes, and long term wishes emerge.
- Some wishes are pie-in-sky, the personal equivalent of achieving world peace, but you know what? Some of those have come true for me. Things I had no control over, that I never expected to have happen did.
- The exercise revealed I have a reluctance, albeit a small one, to ask for what I really want. Sometimes I would experience an embarrassment to write on my private list what I wished for. Instead of jotting my true wish, my first inclination was to curtail it, to write down something lesser, more reasonable. But then I reminded myself it’s a wish list and it’s okay to name what I really want. Or what think I want.
I made a new list of wishes the other day. I’ll report back in year how many of my new wishes came true.
Want to try it?