Elizabeth Gilbert, on the Good Life Project podcast:

I always say this, because I always marvel at this: Any act of pure creativity is the most irrational thing you can possibly do with your time. You’re going to have an existential crisis, because it doesn’t make any sense.

Let me break it down to you, what this guy is about to do; if he says “yes” to the thing that ignited him. He’s about to take the single most precious thing he possesses: which is his time. We’re mortal. We have a very short amount of time here. And how you spend that time matters. And what you give it to has enormous consequences in your life. We’re deeply aware of the ticking clock.

He’s going to take the one thing that can never be replaced — which is his hours and days and months of his short mortal life — and he’s going to devote an enormous amount of energy and resources and power and trouble to creating something that nobody wants or needs. That nobody has asked him to do. It is a fundamentally really weird thing to do.

So, why in the world would you do that?

And I guess it’s because, when the moment that you do leave the party comes, you’re not going to be lying in your bed saying: “Man… it was so short, my visit here on Earth. Why didn’t I do the thing that ignited me to life? Because that was actually the only thing. And the rest of it, and all those rational ideas of stuff that was more important, I don’t even remember what that stuff is now. Why didn’t I do that thing? Why didn’t I do that thing I was called to do?”

I never want to be in that position. I want to be in the position where I can say: “I did all that stuff. I said yes again and again and again… to the irrational plan, rather than the rational one.”

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Depression & Curiosity

Elizabeth Gilbert, on the Good Life Project podcast:

Jonathan Fields: It’s interesting, you brought up depression and curiosity. It reminded me of a conversation I had a few years back with Chip Conley, and during our conversation, that was the first time I had ever heard somebody offer that there might be a relationship between those two. He said: “Look, people think the opposite of depression is happiness. The opposite of depression is curiosity. Because the moment you have the spark of curiosity…. it’s virtually impossible to stay in a state without possibility.

Elizabeth Gilbert: That’s why we have to be makers, too, because we are made to live in a state of vitality. We live in a universe of motion. All evidence points to the fact that we live in a world where things are changing every minute, every second. What is it, every five years — you have a totally new body, because you’re shedding cells and growing cells. It’s all in motion.

My friend Rob Bell has a great line, where he says, “Despair is a spiritual condition, because despair is the mistaken notion that tomorrow is going to be exactly the same as today.” That’s when you fall into despair, when you’re in a place in your life where you’re like, Ok, this is just all it’s ever going to be. It’s just going to be this. Every single day. The same.

And it’s a lie, because all history points to the fact that tomorrow is actually not going to be at all like today. The whole thing is shifting and moving, the ground under our feet is in motion all the time, and what all of the universe is asking you to do is step back into that current and participate with it. In creation. In becoming. In unfolding. In the movement. In the change.

And as soon as you can start to believe, “Oh, maybe it’s not always going to be exactly like this. And maybe my actions matter, because maybe the choices for how I’m spending my time will affect how tomorrow is going to be different from today.” That’s when you begin to reclaim your life.

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