I admit I look with wistful admiration at creative minds in different fields who seem to be living life on their own terms: select entrepreneurs, of course; also Ira Glass and Woody Allen (as I’ve previously discussed), the brilliant lyricist and composer Robert Lopez, larger-than-life writers Tom Junod and Michael Lewis, sui generis VCs Brad Feld and Dave McClure, and investor/authors Michael Mauboussin and Nassim Taleb, among others.
At the same time – and often from their own words – it’s clear all of these individuals have dealt with their own sets of very difficult challenges, and continue to wrestle with external critique and internal doubt.
You’re chasing a dream, hoping to get away from the pain you’re feeling and find happiness. But the pain is inside you, and unless something changes within you, the pain is going to move with you.
I think everyone who has gone through a divorce and entered into a new serious relationship will experience many of the challenges of the old relationship carries into the new relationship, even if they’re otherwise quite different. Because they’re challenges caused by me, and I’m cheerfully – or not so cheerfully – bringing them along.
It very well may be that a new career or a new relationship or a new whatever is a critical key to your happiness. But unless the outer changes are reflected in some inner changes as well, it’s not going to do anything for you.