Most of my life I have followed the rules.
I attended a private high school, graduated cum laude from a renowned college, and in 2006, obtained two Masters degrees from Harvard.
By the age of 31, just 5 years later, I had done what most people with my background thought we ought to: traveled the globe, built a company, and made some money. By most accounts, I was what I thought success should look like. Yet I was not any happier. And my life was certainly not any more meaningful. Like many people of my generation, I was stuck between the allure of capitalism and the painful realization that more does not mean better. I felt empty, even though my life was surrounded by wonderful places, experiences, and things.
In January 2011, after 5 years in Mexico City, I quit my job at the the energy company I had help to found. The existential pains I had felt most of my adult life made moving to San Francisco in the name of love an easy excuse, if not a mask for the deeper reasons for my move–I was fed up with the rat race and the sacrifices I had to make in order to live in this crazy world we have built for ourselves.
Then, just 4 months later, I was dumped on the Eiffel Tower.
Heartbroken, without a place to live, and unsure of the direction of my career, I fell into a deep depression. In retrospect, the perfect storm had brewed in my life, giving me occasion to reflect on what was important. Casually, I started asking people how they found meaning in their lives, considering the fact that at that point, I had absolutely none in my own.
My impromptu conversations soon turned into formal interviews. Before I knew it, I had declared to the world that I would ride my bicycle from coast to coast asking people how they found meaning in their lives (a particularly odd declaration, given the fact that I didn’t even own a bicycle nor ridden one since elementary school). And since Socrates, the philosopher, declared several thousand years ago that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” it is not a coincidence that I would name my bike Socrates, nor that my cross-country ride would be named Socrates’ Spoke.
I quit playing by the rules entirely to find something I think all of us want, but many don’t know how to find: meaning in our lives.
On August 8th, I left San Francisco and nearly 3 months later, arrived in Cambridge, MA. Along the way, I interviewed over 400 people about how they find meaning in their lives and, not coincidentally, for the first time found meaning in mine.
I am now in the process of working on several projects that will help inspire others to find meaning in their own lives.
Join me. I hope that my quest to living a meaningful life will help you do the same.
Please follow me and sign up on the links below!