Its a tough balance between personal growth and fulfilling the responsibilities that you taken upon yourself.
Both big-picture goals are important in fulfilling your desire for happiness, yet focusing on one or the other too much will result in not achieving that objective, thus the 'stereo' of juggling both (many times disparate) objectives.
This reminded me of an old essay called 'How to be Creative" by Hugh Macloed - especially the section called "The Sex & Cash Theory":
The Sex & Cash Theory: From”How To Be Creative”:
The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the assignment covers both bases, but not often.
A good example is Phil, a NY photographer friend of mine. He does really wild stuff for the indie magazines- it pays nothing, but it allows him to build his portfolio. Then he’ll go off and shoot some catalogues for a while. Nothing too exciting, but it pays the bills. Another example is somebody like Martin Amis. He writes “serious” novels, but he has to supplement his income by writing the occasional newspaper article for the London papers (novel royalties are bloody pathetic- even bestsellers like Amis aren’t immune). Or actors. One year Travolta will be in an ultra-hip flick like Pulp Fiction (“Sex”), the next he’ll be in some dumb spy thriller (“Cash”).
It’s balancing the need to make a good living while still maintaining one’s credibility. My M.O. is gapingvoid (“Sex”), coupled with writing advertising (“Cash”). I’m thinking about the young writer who has to wait tables to pay the bills, in spite of her writing appearing in all the cool literary magazines…. who dreams of one day of not having her life divided so harshly.
Well, over time the “harshly” bit might go away, but not the “divided”. As soon as you accept this, for some reason your career starts moving ahead faster. I don’t know why this happens. It’s the people who refuse to cleave their lives this way- who just want to start Day One by quitting their current crappy job and moving straight on over to best-selling author. Well, they never make it.
Anyway, it’s called “The Sex & Cash Theory”.
Keep it under your pillow.
Nice video that touches on the subject too:
(I'd provide the link, but my comment always seems to end up getting stuck in the spam-filter, so you'll have to type/edit your way to the links. Yea... I've gotten to be an info-highway Luddite) :)
Exactly, creativity and "being yourself" is fine, but you can't make that your goal in life. Being so self-absorbed you refuse to take care of your responsibilities turns you into an occupy bum. You need both, not one or the other.
That fine fellow in the cartoon has a little girl to feed and clothe and take care of, not just play in the autumn leaves with. There's nothing wrong with working in a business, nothing necessarily soul crushing about it; its why and how you do it that matters.
This kind of thing appeals greatly to our "inner child" as it were, but the truth is adults have to do a lot of stuff we don't want to in this life, in order to get to the stuff we do want to.