Be a good person; Do what you love

I no longer remember who said it to me, but I can still hear the words. “Do what you love. Be a good person. Those are your only two jobs in life.”

In practice:

First, to be fair and honorable. To make mistakes and know it—and forgive them. Don’t slow down traffic or recline your seat on airplanes or any such other make-the-world-worse, externalizing nonsense. Know others and think of them often. Pick up the check whenever you can. And try to do these things with one word in mind: unconditional.

Being good at something is not sufficient reason to do it for the rest of your life. But loving it is. Work on the things that make you stare out car windows or not even hear someone say your name repeatedly. The things that make you forget what time it is. Be certain that what you do for hobbies and vacations are not the gasps of a suffocating man but your common breath. Learn how to love many things, simple things, and it’s even easier to do them all the time.

Frankl reframed the now cliche question of “What’s the meaning of life?” to one that we answer instead of ask. We’ve been asked this by life, he said, and we must answer with our actions. The way to do this, in my view, is simple: be a good person; do what you love.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.