it’s not enough to have a job, a family, a dog, hobbies. life isn’t just comprised of separate pieces that check off a boxes on a checklist, and if you collect all the pieces and follow that formula, you’re doing it right. life isn’t like pokemon; you can’t just catch them all. life doesn’t have a formula. it’s not just job – check; family – check; hobbies – check. just because you check those boxes, doesn’t mean that you’ll lead a fulfilling life. you can have a job, friends, hobbies, but that doesn’t automatically mean your life had meaning. nobody cares about your knitting. nobody remembers your spreadsheet. that stuff is transitory and forgettable. at the end of your life, what did you really do? did you create? did you teach? did you make art? did you save lives? did you invent? did you make an impact in a meaningful way? did you leave something behind? that’s what really matters.
in addition, you can’t just rationalize what you did to make it sound like it had meaning. you can’t say that you worked a desk job, which helped a group with their numbers, which then helped this, which then helped that. it doesn’t work that way. trickle-down logic doesn’t work. you can talk up anything, but that doesn’t change what it actually is. in the grand scheme of things, money and profit and numbers don’t mean shit. corporations are generally evil, even if they pretend otherwise. if that’s what you do as a job, that’s fine–but you need something else to do outside of that, that makes a more direct impact. outside of that–what did you do? what did you make? what are you leaving behind?
and sure, you can say that you were a good parent and you raised children who grew up to be great contributors to society. cool, but ultimately, it’s your kids who did the actual contribution. what did you do? children raise themselves and teach themselves more than parents care to admit. parents don’t do everything right and children end up having to course-correct on their own. so parents can’t just say that they were good parents, because they weren’t good all the time. no parent is. so what did you do outside of anything that your children did?
and if you’re wondering whether it’s enough to just be happy, even if you’re not doing anything or leaving something behind…..
no, it’s not enough. we’re not owed happiness. hell, most of us don’t even get it, or we chase all the wrong things thinking that those things will give us happiness. they won’t. the world isn’t asking us to be happy. it’s asking us to be brilliant on its behalf, to make a difference in our own way.