Here is a commonplace question, that if you truly and seriously think about it, will strike you dumbfounded:
What do you really want out of life?
We formulate our answers and we sort of go on those answers for quite a long time in life. Most of us do. But for some reason we run into complications, perhaps not to rethink it all, but to result in lingering doubts and questions.
We say "love" or "security", or "family" or "money" or "success" or "prestige" or "respect" ..... any number of synonyms and antonyms with which we might summarize the longings and strivings of our lives.
Some of us know what we want at the root of it, but for a large portion, it is the costs and exchanges required that were not factored in.
That is where we find ourselves dumbfounded. Even if we wouldn't change the goals, the paths along the way are often nothing what we thought they might be.
How is it any of us even felt we could know that? Naive trust of the experts or our elders? Unthinking saturation of the culture and the educational process? Or did some of us truly know ourselves while others simply thought they may have?
How often do people engage in such thinking? Is it common or rare?
The vanity of life is that these questions and ruminations come later in life, when the options and the timeframes are shrunken.
As the Preacher in Ecclesiastes says "this also is vanity".