You Are the Answer

“You have proof in the extent of your wanderings that you never found the art of living anywhere — not in logic, nor in wealth, fame, or in any indulgence. Nowhere. Where is it then? In doing what human nature demands. How is a person to do this? By having principles be the source of desire and action. What principles? Those to do with good and evil, indeed in the belief that there is no good for a human being except what creates justice, self-control, courage and freedom, and nothing evil except what destroys these things.”


I have to confess that I struggled to understand the point of today’s quote from Marcus Aurelius in The Daily Stoic book. Thankfully Mr. Holiday was able to break it down for me so I could wrap my head around it.

Many have sought the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” One of the most famous examples is represented by the book Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, in which the title character spends a lifetime traveling far and wide, seeking experiences and knowledge in the hope of discovering life’s secrets.

Maybe you find yourself searching for the answer to this question too. As it turns out, you are the answer. Your life is, to be exact.

Trekking to the highest mountains, poring over ancient tomes, chasing down wise men, deciphering secret wisdom, having spiritual awakenings deep in the wilderness — these experiences may give you profound insight and move your soul, but they will not tell you the meaning of life.

The meaning of life is to be found in your actions. Show what you’ve learned. Prove that there is meaning to our small existence on planet Earth, by fulfilling the highest order and calling of our lives — to live with virtue, and according to what is good and right for all.

Yes, that’s right — the meaning of life is demonstrated… by your life itself! Do your best to follow the principles that you know to be true, and the value of life will be revealed to you in reflection.

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