It’s a Magical World

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It’s a Magical World was Bill Watterson’s last cartoon book. And the last cartoon in the book has Calvin and Hobbes trudging through the new snow with their toboggan.

“Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand-new!” “A fresh, clean start!” they say.

Then Calvin looks at Hobbes and says, “It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…let’s go exploring!”

When was the last time you felt that feeling of wonder and excitement, that a whole new world was open to you? There’s a good discussion going on Dawud Miracle’s post What Does It Mean To Succeed? that touches on this subject. In his comment Stuart Baker says, “This whole orientation of building one ‘success’ and accomplishment upon another can get pretty empty and misguided. And it can feed major stress!”

Amen to that. It goes back to that Joseph Campbell sentiment in my last post, doesn’t it? People want their life in the external world to be aligned with the deepest part of themselves. So when people don’t feel that connection, what stops them from trying to find it? A friend of mine puts it succinctly: “I don’t want to wind up being a bag lady.” They’re afraid that even if they could find what they love in life, following it might mean dropping out, risking alienation and poverty.

That’s why I find the recent Fortune Magazine (August 6, 2007 issue, pages 30 and 34) interview of Jim Buckmaster, CEO of the highly successful Craigslist, so refreshing. When Buckmaster was asked if he had overcome any adversities during his career, he answered, “I kept quitting in the face of adversity until I found something I loved doing, after which point all obstacles became surmountable.” He quit medical school and a few other jobs because, as he says, “If you’re in a job you don’t like, almost anything can seem insurmountable. Conversely, if you are in a job you like, obstacles start to look small. At Craigslist it feels like we’re doing something positive for society.”

And that spirit of contribution is important. When the interviewer asked him wouldn’t have to become more aggressive about growing revenues in the future, he said they don’t worry about financial metrics, they’re just a “pleasant side effect if we manage to do a good job by our users.”

I don’t know about you, but Jim Buckmaster is my idea of a successful person.


For a different way of tapping into that feeling of magic, see Linda Salazar’s recent post, Falling Awake.

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20 Responses to It’s a Magical World

  1. Success seems to be one of those words that we all have ideas about – except our own.

  2. Bob says:

    I am really enjoying your blog today! You have a great attitude and share your viewpoint well.

    May I feature your blog with a link on mine? Please contact me via email to let me know.

    Have a great day!

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  4. Shirley says:

    I love Calvin & Hobbes! They were always one of my favorite cartoons growing up. It is so important to do things you love. If you can love your job that is best, but loving to have fun and loving your family are just as important. Nice post. :0)

  5. Jean says:

    Shirley,
    I agree. If you can’t find the ideal job, the next best thing is to appreciate what you love about your life. I also agree that enjoying life and loving your family are just as important.

  6. Lyman Reed says:

    Now that’s an awesome quote. After trying to be just about everything that’s it’s possible to try to be in my life, I’ve experienced the tiny obstacles that seem like mountains. And now that I’m getting better at focusing on those things that bring me joy, those same obstacles sure do shrink down quickly!

    Thank you for sharing this, Jean.

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  9. bikehikebabe says:

    Dawud Miracle I love this:

    “Success seems to be one of those words that we all have ideas about – except our own.”

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  15. I’m really happy and enjoying your blog. my mom also like your blog. It is so important to do things you love.

    Dawud Miracle I love this:-

    “Success seems to be one of those words that we all have ideas about – except our own.”

    Great !!!

  16. Jean says:

    Dentist ealing,
    I’m glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂

    Could you explain to me what Dawud’s comment means? That we don’t use our own words to describe success or that we don’t know what success means for us? What does success mean to you? Do you feel your life is a success?

    Thanks for joining the conversation!

  17. Great post, it shows the way to get success in life.

  18. Not only world but life is also full of magics.

  19. Enjoying your blog, the most encouraging way to motivate.

  20. tammy says:

    i have every single calvin and hobbs book.
    “it’s a magical world” is my favorite cover.
    i keep it out on a table in my little library so
    i can see it every day.
    we have become such a land of talking heads
    and experts that we constantly are looking to
    someone else to define our happiness, our success,
    our whatever! “not i” said the little red hen.
    i’m a simple, happy person. give me rain, sunshine,
    healthy food, a dog to hug, a cup of something hot,
    or a glass of something cold, and someone who knows
    me. the real me. and likes me anyway. oh yes… and
    wonderful books to read. not kindle. but books.

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