Create a Life that Fufills Your Soul

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The subject of following your bliss comes again and again with my artist/writer friends. When you’re being just who you feel you should be the critics (real and imaginary) voice their contention.  Living a life on the path less traveled sucks at times, because as right as it feels, it still (at least for me) elicits doubt.

I think Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame says it quite well in his commencement speech at Kenyon College in 1990: 

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.

You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.

Click here for more on Watterson’s Kenyon College commencement speech

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