What Does It Mean To Live A Good Life?

What does it mean to you to live a good life?

I have been chewing on this question since about 2015. I leave it alone for a while, and then come back to it with a little more life behind me, and chew on it some more.

Early on, the answer was loosely based on feeling free, being able to do what I wanted, not having to adhere to some arbitrary set of rules.

But today the answer is more about happiness and purpose, about making meaning for myself.

After years of travelling the world with people who had no responsibilities and no material needs, I’m pretty convinced that people need something to strive for, to test themselves against. and that gives definition and growth to their lives.

Happiness isn’t about ease or leisure: it’s about believing your life means something.

And what I believe my life means, the purpose of my life, has also changed over the years.

My purpose is not to become economically independent or as productive as humanly possible.

My purpose is not to be famous or to win Best Writer Of All Time.


My purpose is to bring joy and courage and comfort to other people, and by examining my own life, to help others examine theirs.

For some people, the meaning they derive from their life will be directly correlated to what they achieve professionally.

It is for me — I get huge fulfilment from knowing that something I wrote has changed something for a reader — but there’s a lot of spillover into my personal life too.

That’s what a good life looks like to me. A life where I get to get deep in the mud and sunshine with the people around me, wading forward, making something beautiful and fulfilling from the mess.