Rules For Life – If You Want Your Life to Have Meaning
by Ken La Salle
And I’m surprised to see that we’re nearly at the end of our list of rules.
That’s right. I began this list just under three years ago with the intention of completing it before I set out on my journey along the Pacific Crest Trail—and I’ll be leaving on that journey at the beginning of April.
Plans are already in place and the wheels of hiking logistics are turning. I’ll be setting foot on the PCT at the US/Mexico border on a walk that will take me many months and carry me even more miles, possibly as far as the US/Canadian border.
I’ve been asking myself a lot recently why I am going on such a trip. Why do I feel the desire to walk from Mexico to Canada, to live in the wild, to expose myself to all sorts of weather, terrain, wild animals, and more importantly the unknown? What do I expect to gain from such an effort?
I’m sorry to say I don’t honestly know the answer to those questions. But I do know this: If I don’t do it now, I may never get another chance. Oh sure, there are people who hike such distances who are far older than I but I know myself well enough to realize that my measure of youth and audacity are running lean as I age. I have to start now.
I have it in my heart to experience a great adventure, the like of which is perfectly suited for the PCT, and the only way I will experience that adventure is to take it.
And that brings me to my rule for this month, which is obvious though we so often overlook it: If you want your life to have meaning, it is up to you to make it meaningful.
This hike that lays before me is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I could never find anyone interested in doing it with me. As a result, I waited and I waited. And whatever meaning such an adventure holds remained out of my reach.
You see, I kept expecting someone else to help me find my adventure, to find whatever meaning lay along the PCT’s 2650 mile course. It wasn’t until one day a few years ago that I realized nobody was going to take responsibility for my meaning because it was up to me to bring that meaning, my adventure, to life.
This can apply to so many things in our lives that we find meaningful. It could apply to your education, your happiness, and even your peace of mind. All those things, and much more, are your responsibility and they may never come to pass if you don’t play an active role in making them happen.
If you want your life to have meaning, it is up to you to make it meaningful. If you want to find adventure, it is up to you to seek it out. If you want wisdom, it is up to you to find it. The bottom line is, our lives are entirely up to us and it is our responsibility—some may say our opportunity—to bring them as much of what we want as we would like.
We should never wait for someone else to bring us our meaning or happiness or love because it is in all of our power to find these things for ourselves. Just as I will soon set off to find my own adventure.
And I won’t care if anyone doubts the wisdom of my choice because it is mine. And it’s time that I took it.