Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bliss Follower: Lyle Lovett

This photo is from today's Austin American-Statesman, credit to Michael Wilson. I think it's important to find people living their purpose right now, doing what they're meant to do. I think it's important to identify them as role models.

I suppose most artists able to make a living are following their bliss, but it was the way Lovett put it in this interview, the way he described his life and his passion, that so arrested me. I'll share a portion of his interview with the Statesman's Brad Bucholz below:

Lovett: You hear people talk about (how) their work really isn't their life, (how) they're able to leave their work behind at the office and have a life separate from their work. But if you have to segment your life in that way to deal with the different components... (a long, measured pause) I can understand it; there's nothing wrong with it. But in my case, when you spend 8 to 12 hours a day doing something you like, you don't punch out. And you never want to.

Statesman: Sounds a little bit like the Joseph Campbell axiom of "follow your bliss." Rather than pursuing a career, or undertaking a profession, you say, "I want to invest my days in something that has meaning to me, and have work and life intersect as one."

Lovett: The thing I've gotten from this is, "Everything you do is important." Every day you spend is kind of it. When you're younger, you look forward in a way that keeps you from being fully able to appreciate the moment in the time you're in. I got my record deal when I was 26. My first record came out when I was 28. (And I remember thinking), at the time, "Maybe this record will lead to..." or "If we do well with this, then..." But as you get older, you're more able to appreciate each thing you do as a unique experience -- which enables you to mroe fully explore, and enjoy, what's happening right now."

One of the things I've always wondered about is the desire to retire. When I'm writing, and things are going really well, I don't want to ever give it up. I can't imagine ever stopping. What the heck would I do with myself? If I stopped wanting to write, that would mean I was dead. So Lovett's words about never wanting to punch out really hit it on the head.

Find that feeling--that flow, that satisfaction--and keep making your way toward the life you know you should be living. That life awaits you--don't keep it waiting.

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