Wow, do I envy people who know what they are trying to accomplish and can put it into words. Putting something into words allows planning, organizing, projecting into the future.
I am most definitely not in that position!
Never have been.
When I went to college, I had no idea what I wanted to study, and I began school at the worst possible time for someone like me - at the time when colleges were experimenting with eliminating requirements and allowing students the freedom to organize their own studies.
I, and probably quite a few other not-yet-mature young people, used that freedom to pursue varied interests, including social lives (not-so-challenging courses leaving plenty of time for extra-curricular activities).
But also, having wide-ranging interests meant following a lot of avenues that turned out to be dead ends for me. So that old saying of 'knowing a little about a lot of things' could certainly be applied to my college career.
Maturity brings at least a small amount of wisdom. So, art! And specifically, painting.
But here I am, after years of painting and learning how to paint and how to achieve the results I want with my materials. And I find myself back at the beginning asking myself "All right, so what actually do I want to paint, now that I know how to?"
The way I know a painting is finished and successful is that it works for me. It feels done. That feeling may last or may not. So my definition of a finished painting is "I like it."
That doesn't really give me much to begin a painting with.
So I am no closer to having an answer to that question than I was when I began painting so many years ago.