“Maisel persuasively argues that creative individuals measure their happiness and success by how much meaning they create in their work.” – Library Journal
My favorite parts from the book…
There are ordinary truths and there are eloquent truths. The ordinary truth is that some painters can garner six figures while others probably can’t. The eloquent truth is that this fact need not alter your resolve to live an authentic life. The ordinary truth is that you will make mistakes and messes and fall short many times. The eloquent truth is that this need not defeat you, that you can keep trying and that you can keep kicking. When you marry these 2 ideas – willing yourself to matter and willing yourself to reckon with the facts of existence – your truth becomes more eloquent.
Dru Simms, a writer and creativity coach, explained:
An authentic life means that I must be committed to seeking what is true to me and how to live congruently with that truth. Since life does not lend itself to simple solutions, the challenge of addressing personal authenticity is not simple or easy. It requires a kind of existential courage, which there is no guarantee I can find or maintain. In every moment I make a choice either away from or toward my authentic self. While the search for personal truth has been a life long motivation for me…getting me to ask questions like, “How can I get myself to stand up for myself?” “How do I represent my authentic self to others?” and “Who am I really – what is it that I want to stand up for in the first place?” My commitment to an authentic life is a challenge and a gift…to remind myself of its elusive nature I carry around a quote from Anais Nin: “The dream is always running ahead. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that is the miracle.”
You must train yourself to feel successful, despite what your heart and the world tell you about your lack of success. No objective successes will ever feel like a success unless you have trained yourself to feel successful and have acquired the habit of feeling successful.
A vital aspect of self – support is reminding yourself that success is not a measure but a feeling. You can wake up, walk straight to your computer, write for 2 hours on your novel, and feel successful for that day- if you care to feel successful. You can accept yourself, and feel successful for having taken your side and not opposed yourself – if you decide to…
Creators who do not habituate themselves to feeling successful have no chance at success. To acquire this feeling, you must have a long heart to heart talk with yourself and convince yourself that it is in your own best interests to stop measuring success and to start feeling successful. Having convinced yourself, you offer yourself ongoing support by reminding yourself at every opportunity to feel successful: because you painted for an hour, because you finished a poem, or for no reason whatsoever.
You choose yourself and then you keep choosing yourself, again and again, as long as you live.
On a given day, you may live for the sake of one certain hour, the hour when you perform your songs in a nightclub or write your novel. Also, contrive to turn your day into a seamless gestalt, a total creation, during which you make meaning second-by second and hour-by –hour as you actively live the many and varied elements of your life plan. The hour or two or three that you do your creative work may mean the most to you, but the rest of your day is not a void, a blank, an incipient meaning crisis.