Charles Schulz was a World War II veteran who served in the Armored Division of the Army. But, we know him better as the creator of Peanuts.
Some say that his time with the Army gave him a better appreciation of life. It allowed him to see the beauty, the silliness, and the impermanence of each day. It not only shaped his life, but also his art. We get a glimpse of his experiences in the Army every time Snoopy imagines himself as the Flying Ace. We get a glimpse of his appreciation of life in the conversations of Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang.
While his experiences shaped him, what defined him (or at least his legacy) was the work he put into his art every single day. Peanuts was published daily from 1950 to 2000. The only time he took a break was during a brief family vacation. But aside from that, he put in the work every single day without fail.
Our experiences, whether sweet or painful, can only shape us. What will define us is the work we put into each day, including today.