I see many people treat life like a puzzle; trying to fit the pieces together as if there were a given way to do it with the pieces pre-cut and the final outcome pre-determined. I've often done the same myself trying to make things work. When we treat life as such we limit it.
I've found that much like art, there is no fixed way to do it. We are given a blank canvas and a plethora of materials to work with. There are techniques and methods (values, routines, habits) that we can use as guiding principles, but beauty rarely comes from keeping within the lines. An artists plays with the known techniques and rules, sometimes using them and sometimes casting them aside, breaking new ground.
A friend recently commented that I seemed so happy and wanted to know my secret. I probably couldn't answer the question if I wanted, but more importantly I wouldn't if I could. They are not me and probably wouldn't be satisfied with my life. Seek your own guiding values and principles then experiment - create beauty.
Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living