Creating the Roadmap for a Life that Works

Coming at a new work requires a certain amount of patience and energy, and there’s always the risk of disappointment. You can’t really blame people for preferring more of what they already know and like. The trade-off, of course, is that predictability is boring. Repetition is the death of magic.

[interview with Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbs]

The title of this post was the name of a worklab I worked on and offered a few years back in partnership with two exceptional consultants — leadership consultant and executive coach Faye Patterson Ciccotto#, and behavioral scientist Jeff Sternlieb#.

Creating the roadmap for a life that works is about creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul, another beautiful quote from Watterson's commencement address he gave at Kenyon college in 1990#:

If you ever want to find out just how uninteresting you really are, get a job where the quality and frequency of your thoughts determine your livelihood. I've found that the only way I can keep writing every day, year after year, is to let my mind wander into new territories. To do that, I've had to cultivate a kind of mental playfulness.

We're not really taught how to recreate constructively. We need to do more than find diversions; we need to restore and expand ourselves. Our idea of relaxing is all too often to plop down in front of the television set and let its pandering idiocy liquefy our brains. Shutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery-it recharges by running.

Read the whole address [hat tip Roberto Greco]. It drives home the inner conflict between art and making a living. Coincidentally, that is a topic a writer I admire, author Steven Pressfield, just tackled at his site.

Finding the inner motivation to search for new ideas that expand the mind becomes harder as we grapple with the reality of work. Where creative life all too often takes a backseat to a myriad other preoccupations and activities.

To a detached observer, we might seem like industrious at keeping busy, either mindlessly getting through the day, or opting out, choosing to retire from the hustle and bustle to re-engage with mindfulness.

As he says, it is far easier to quote someone else than to invest in your own meaning.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover
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