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Advice on Life and Creative Integrity from Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson

Stashed in: Calvin and Hobbes!, Grit

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On the importance of defining your own success and holding on to your sense of purpose:

You may be surprised to find how quickly daily routine and the demands of “just getting by” absorb your waking hours. You may be surprised matters of habit rather than thought and inquiry. You may be surprised to find how quickly you start to see your life in terms of other people’s expectations rather than issues.

Recounting his early days of weathering the rejection storm, Watterson illustrates the soul-crushing effect of doing intellectually and creatively vacant money-work rather than work true to your calling:

For years I got nothing but rejection letters, and I was forced to accept a real job.

A REAL job is a job you hate. I designed car ads and grocery ads in the windowless basement of a convenience store, and I hated every single minute of the 4-1/2 million minutes I worked there. My fellow prisoners at work were basically concerned about how to punch the time clock at the perfect second where they would earn another 20 cents without doing any work for it. … It was a rude shock to see just how empty and robotic life can be when you don’t care about what you’re doing, and the only reason you’re there is to pay the bills.

The demands of just getting by do consume most of our adult lives. That's sad.

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