Life is a blank canvas.

In a blind stroke of luck, one evening (or day, I don’t know what kind of sex your parents had), your parents met up and decided to give you the empty picture frame that is your life. Your obligation, until the day you die, is to fill that picture frame up with the most beautiful, meaningful, badass, powerful painting you can conjure. When we’re done, we hang our paintings in the annals of history. The really good or horrific ones get hung up in the history books for generations to ponder over and learn from.

Each day, you work on your painting, little by little, forming it into the final display that will be left on your deathbed. People may talk about it for years to come, or it may fade away into the future.

Depending on how you just read that, that probably sounded really depressing or really liberating. Those who feel enough self-efficacy and enough confidence in themselves will be liberated by that. Those who aren’t sure about themselves might feel cripplingly overwhelmed.

To those of you who feel liberated: Go and paint the hell out of your picture frame. Make it beautiful. When people look at your life, make them inspired. Make them awestruck by the way you impacted the world. Give them hope. Make them want to contribute.

As for the people who read that and immediately felt depressed, good news:

A. You’re not alone. A lot of people feel that way.

B. You’ve got your whole life to work on your painting.

So all you have to do is make a little progress each day. If you keep that up, and keep pushing yourself to experience more, you’ll notice that over time, you’re painting has gotten pretty badass. Sure, there were some spots where you made some mistakes, but don’t worry, everyone else’s has got them too. Have you even seen a Picasso painting?

Paint me something beautiful. Paint me something that makes me cry with inspiration. Damnit, just paint something.