I first read the book ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’, more than a decade ago. Since my wife was raving about the book, I got curious about all the hullabaloo.
When I read the book, I found it stunningly disappointing. No storyline, no hero or villain, no suspense – nothing. Just this silly story of a bird that keeps flying higher and higher. Really?
A few years later, on a dreadfully boring day, just to kill time, I picked up this book again. But this time, something clicked. What an amazing story!
A bird that keeps flying higher and higher. He doesn’t fly for any reward, to seek food, or to reach any destination. Not even because flying is ‘fun’, for it can be very strenuous.
He flies because he finds meaning in flying. The act itself is the reward — no ‘benefits’ are needed to make it worthwhile. That is what ‘meaningful’ means.
What is meaningful for you? That is what you got to figure out. Find something you would love doing, day in and day out, without any extrinsic reward.
Once you find that, keep pushing the boundaries; keep flying higher and higher. Like that seagull, leave behind those who find you weird — they don’t matter.
That is what will likely make your life worthwhile. All that other stuff — it is just a distraction.