Advice on Life and Creative Integrity from Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson
"“Your preparation for the real world is not in the answers you’ve learned, but in the questions you’ve learned how to ask yourself.”"
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"Most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive.”
The amount of effort we are able to put when we are completely in charge and are not working for someone else is astonishing.
While a work ethic and a daily grit towards working consistently is a must, the only time one is really working hard without any stress, and enjoying it, is when the work is just for us.
We need an environment that stimulates our mind and lets it wander, doing activities that expand upon the mystery and wonder that the world provides us with.
A playful, inquisitive mind automatically learns, using the natural, in-built curiosity. This helps us absorb and cushion the upcoming problems of life.
Mindless entertainment does not refuel the drained creative wells of the mind, and only real nourishment is high-quality stimulation like reading, traveling and pondering about life in solitude.
Like a car battery that charges when it is used, the mind needs to be exercised so that it rejuvenates, and eventually becomes what it is fed all the time.
If all joy is sucked out of an activity, it becomes a boring, monotonous robotic job that many of us are stuck with, or have experienced in the past.
A routine life where all activities, belief systems and responses are automated becomes a dead life. If one is doing a job that one hates doing, but is there because the bills have to be paid, then it is the definition of what a job is supposed to be in our society: Stressful work that one hates.
If you love your work, then it is enough motivation to keep going no matter how much rejection or wait there is to catch your big break.
Selling out is like knowingly and intentionally letting go one’s freedom to craft, say and build things of one’s choice, and buying into someone else's system of values, rules and regulations.
Selling out makes creative art as a form of commerce, which prefers efficiency and committee decisions over fulfilling, joyful work.
Your life should not be defined, graded and handled by other people, and having an enviable career is just one of the many ways one can be successful.
The real, rare achievement is to create a life that amplifies one’s values and satisfies the soul.
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Nothing is weaker than water, and in that weakness, there is immense strength. Water is fine and impossible to grasp. It does not suffer any hurt, and cannot be stabbed, or cut. It has no shape of its own but molds according to where it is placed. It can be hard as a rock and also invisible as vapor.
Being like water, humble, adaptive, resilient and ever-changing, we become masters of our surroundings.