“If I’ve learned one thing from being a cartoonist, it’s how important playing is to creativity and happiness.
“My job is essentially to come up with 365 ideas a year. If you ever want to find out just how uninteresting you really are, get a job where the quality and frequency of your thoughts determine your livelihood. I’ve found that the only way I can keep writing every day, year after year, is to let my mind wander into new territories.
“To do that, I’ve had to cultivate a kind of mental playfulness. A playful mind is inquisitive, and learning is fun.
“If you indulge your natural curiosity and retain a sense of fun in new experience, I think you’ll find it functions as a sort of shock absorber for the bumpy road ahead.
“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement.
“In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success.
“You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing…
“To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”
Bill Watterson’s commencement address, Kenyon College, 1990.