What Do You Really Want?

I guess I never thought about it

How can one get what one wants if one hasn’t defined what one wants?

That’s deep man.

Stuck at the airport recently, ok not exactly “stuck,” let’s be positive and say the truth — seriously delayed. Delayed at the airport recently I was reading a good book called ‘Anything You Want,’ by Derek Sivers of the timed-right-startup CD Baby. And regardless of the reason, (snow, airline staffing shortages), I was in a good thinking place to sit and think.

Derek’s written a good little book. Of course it helps when you already started a good little company. By little I mean raking in $1–3 mil per month when it was still just Derek and a few employees, then selling said company for $22 mil. less than ten years in.

But the lessons are real. Lessons of focus and customers and focusing on customers and making the right decisions for the right reasons and remembering why you’re doing this at all which leads back to customers and.. and.. well it’s all good.

And as the book goes on, and I feel the usual “apply this guys’ strategies to either of my tiny startups which will hopefully make them not as tiny anymore,” I think about my own timeline of wants, because as we all know, if you don’t know what you want you’ll probably get it.

In my case, what I wanted at age 18 was (I assume) different than what I wanted at 40.

Wasn’t it?

Shoot maybe I never thought about it.

With introductions out of the way here’s my first unedited list of what I wanted over the course of my life.

With pictures:

Age 0–10

I wanted my family to be made whole and to be known by my father, and when it became clear that neither of those would happen..

Age 11–17

I pivoted to wanting to be liked and accepted by my peers. I achieved that and then sought a bigger audience so…

Age 18–25

I wanted to change the world through starting a bike company called Homestead Bicycles. When that dream ended I took a long hard look at myself and my life and decided to…

Age 26–29

Take responsibility for my life and my finances, buying an old convertible and learning how to be happy today. When I accomplished that I turned my efforts towards…

Age 30–35

Wanting to make $ and to make up for being financially reckless in my 20’s. I achieved this *sort of* but it wasn’t as fulfilling as I’d hoped so I..

Age 36–40

Wanted to change the world through movies and learning how to write a good screenplay. I moved to Hollywood and made friends but when it became clear this path while fun might take longer than I was prepared for my father died and I…

Age 41–45

Had zero idea of what I wanted anymore.

Age 46–49

With nothing to lose I…

…decided to reclaim my identity as a carefree risk-taker and adventure seeker, making four movies, writing a book, and taking long road trips.

Tom Hanks and me, at the crossroads

Age 50 — ?

So here we go.

What do I really want? What if I can’t quantify it? How long down this road do I need to go before I know what “it” is? Do I still want to hold out for having kids? A wife? What about a clear career? A town to put down roots in?

So many questions.

Happy New Years everyone — maybe let’s love first, find the answers later.

I just made that up but it sounds pretty good.

:: Cheers ::



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alden Olmsted

Alden Olmsted

I was born in a small town in Calif. . just another latch-key kid obsessed with BMX and Tom Petty. Now I make films and write when I get curious.