There’s a quote by Socrates along the lines of the unexamined life is not worth living. Related to this idea, I read a short story by Tolstoy once a year called The Death of Ivan Ilych which hits upon this theme of examining one’s life. The story always shifts things into perspective and makes me think about what I’m doing with my life–where I’ve been, where I’m going, etc. In a nutshell, the title character is a well-to-do man who suddenly finds himself knocking on death’s door. The overall experience has him reflecting upon his life and the choices he made, with the ultimate realization that although he led a conventionally successful life, he was markedly unhappy.
Anyway, the point of this post is to ask you, dear readers, how you would define a successful life? We all know what the conventional definition entails, but I’m curious to hear from you. So what say you? What are the qualities that make a life successful or meaningful?