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#1: True desires. Discover what you truly want and enjoy as opposed to the items force-fed you on a daily basis by your boss, peers, or mass media. All those folks have their own agendas, and they usually don't include making you happy.
Fair warning: Learning these things about yourself will often require considerable effort, risk, and experimentation.
Or in a word, ADVENTURE.
Adventure is a great sounding notion. Just keep in mind many folks find themselves sliding quickly from 'adventure' to 'hell of an adventure'-- and some never return at all.
Some adventures of course will require more preparation and investment than others.
In the 1970s I decided I wanted to have spectacular driving adventures. So I built my own supercar and squeezed out some remarkable experiences with the machine before I was done.
What color is your parachute? by Richard Bolles is a workbook format reference which has helped many folks learn more about themselves and their personal preferences than many other methods.
#2: Leap into the unknown. Pull up stakes and move to a whole different part of the country. Get a new job. Make all new friends.
In the 1970s I did brief stints of things like this more than once. And collected some mighty interesting experiences along the way.
The magnitude of change potentially brought on by this action may be even bigger than getting married or having children.
#3: Start your own business. Determine a vein of self-employment you might enjoy and be decently qualified for, and take it on. But do it part-time like a hobby-- keeping your regular job-- unless and until it begins garnering you sufficient profits to make the day job unnecessary for paying the bills.
Some of my own self-employment stints may have been riskier than you'll want to try. But who knows? You might be braver (or more foolish or desperate) than I!
#4: Be daring. Do something exciting or scary you never dared before. Keep in mind it doesn't have to be dangerous or costly to be worthwhile.
#5: Try more school time. Go to college or return to same. This may be a less frightening type of major change than moving away for an all new life, offering many of the same perks and potential upsides, but with the 'on-the-other-hand' possibility of accumulating more long-term debt in the doing.
#6: Become an Indiana Einstein. Lots of movie-goers seem to forget the Indiana Jones character of film fame was a professor of archaeology who in his spare time did scientific research in both the field and libraries.
You too can become a professional explorer, inventor, or scientist. Advanced college degrees, previous experience, or personal fortunes are definitely not prerequisites in general for any of these. Indeed, such supposed advantages may actually be detrimental in some cases!
This course can also involve setting up your own form of relevant self-employment-- but frequently that won't be needed.
Heck, in many cases you could even do stuff along these lines without leaving your computer. The internet enables an ever growing spectrum of viable research project fodder and helpers/supporters today. And can be easily supplemented with visits to a decent local public library, or occasional field trips to other locations.
Want to see my own version of largely internet-based research projects? Then check out Ongoing research projects on-site.
Keep in mind you can also set up a full-blown laboratory or studio or fabrication shop at home with which to pursue certain aspects of your work. Sometimes with far less effort and cost than you might expect.