Do your best now,
to better yourself
to do even better later.
[One] day, a young man… confronted me about the question of the meaning or meaningless of life. His argument was as follows: ‘It’s easy for you to talk, you have set up counselling centres, you help people, you straighten people out; but I — who am I, what am I — a tailor’s assistant. What can I do, how can I give my life meaning through my actions?‘
This man had forgotten that it is never a question of where someone is in life, or which profession he is in, it is only a matter of how he occupies his circle in life and fills his place. Whether a life is fulfilled does not depend on how great one’s radius of action is, but rather only on whether the circle is fully filled out. In his particular environment in life, every single human being is irreplaceable and inimitable, and that is true to everyone. The tasks that his life imposes are only for him, and only he is required to fulfil them.
And the life of a person who has not completely filled out his (relatively) larger life circle, remains more unfulfilled than that of a person who truly meets the tasks he finds in his more closely drawn circle. In his specific environment this tailor’s assistant can achieve more, and, in the things he does and the things he leaves undone, he can lead a more meaningful life than the person he envies, if that person is not aware of his greater responsibility in life and does not do justice to it.
[Note: With spiritual practice, the circle of action in life can shift in focus and/or expand in scope, to encompass more that is meaningful, for the ultimate welfare of more and more. In Buddhism, when this aspiration includes all beings, it becomes the Bodhi Mind (Bodhicitta), the motivation for Bodhisattvahood and Buddhahood.]
Viktor E. Frankl
Yes to Life in Spite of Everything