“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”

Bill Watterson

Imagine you’re the author of a book – your life’s book. You have the power to write the story, to craft the narrative. It’s not an easy task. It’s like trying to assemble a puzzle without a guide. The pieces are all there – your skills, dreams, experiences, and values – but you have to figure out how they fit together. It’s like putting together a recipe from scratch, no cookbook in sight. You’re allowed to add your own flavor, your own twist, your own meaning.

In fact, this permission slip has your name on it, authorizing you to take charge of your own life. It’s an audacious challenge, a mountain to climb. But remember, the view from the top is worth the effort. It might take time to figure out your path, and the route may not always be clear. But when you’re able to connect the dots, to see how your unique blend of strengths, values, and passions come together – that’s when the magic happens.

And I have a hunch. Once you’ve climbed that mountain, once you’ve written your own story and seen the beauty of the path you’ve created – you wouldn’t trade that view for the world. You’ll look back at the struggle, the trials, the uncertainty and you’ll realize: it was all worth it. Because at the end of the day, finding your own meaning, inventing your own life’s purpose – it’s not just about being happy, it’s about being fulfilled. And I think you’ll be all the happier for the trouble.

Bonus delight

Take a look at this brilliant illustration of this quote in comic-form from Zen Pencils. 

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.