The secret to life is discovering what it is that you love to do and then figuring out a way to get paid to do it. I’ve long held this to be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, it seems to be particularly difficult for artists, writers, actors and musicians.
Aside from a few who manage to succeed in the arts and entertainment world, creative expression just doesn’t pay that well. In fact, for many it doesn’t pay at all. I don’t mean to be discouraging, but the truth is, I’m a bit discouraged myself.
It doesn’t help when I hear the citizens of our great nation being referred to as “workers.” I’m all for a person earning their own living, but I don’t see us as a nation of workers. I see us as people who were created to experience joy, and one of the ways we experience it is through sharing our God-given gifts with the world.
The world, however, doesn’t appear to agree with me. Since much of the world is run by multinational corporations, the only thing they are looking for is more worker bees to serve the queen. And in most cases, the queen is far from regal. The queen is corrupt and her name is… Greed.
Having resigned from being a worker bee only four months ago, I have no desire to return to the hive. Yet, making a living as a writer is not a dream that is easily attainable. Even the authors I’ve met who have several published books to their credit laugh about the minuscule return they receive for their labors.
The fact that most of them have gray hair should have tipped me off. Obviously, they are retired from other careers. Either that, or their hair grayed prematurely from living on the street, begging for food, while creating their literary masterpieces. I would ask, but I don’t want to be rude.
Now that I think about it, I bet that’s why the secret to life is called a “secret”. It’s not because the answer has the power to change lives. It’s because it is so elusive, and so difficult to actually achieve, that no one wants to talk about it.
Regardless, the optimist in me refuses to give up. I know this isn’t Fantasy Island, but I don’t want to be realistic to the point of becoming fatalistic. Even though remnants of the Great Depression are whispering for me to lay aside my dream and get a “real job,” I can’t bear to do it.
I’ve settled for mere survival long enough. It’s time to invest in real happiness. If my answer to the secret to life requires even more innovation and ingenuity than I originally anticipated, then I guess I’ll just have to grab my shovel and dig deeper.
“The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.” – Mike Dooley