“Having a purposeful life is actually not that hard. You’re in a school, you’re in a workplace, you’re somewhere where you can affect other people in a positive way. You can lead a life that can show others what good values are, and you can lead a life that dedicates yourself not only to your own material well-being but to the well-being and development of others around you. And it can be on a humble scale. It can be in a small classroom or a small workplace, a small work team. And having a positive impact, even on one other person, gives far greater meaning to your own life, and is profoundly satisfying.”
Source: The very tail-end (2h41m) of a long discussion from May 2022 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Slightly edited for clarity. Kotkin is a scholar (Princeton, Stanford) and historian who specializes in Russian history.