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Combine ignorant bliss with unearned confidence


“In hindsight, all this failure was my good fortune… That’s what I say in retrospect. At the time, it all just seemed like banging my head against a wall. To persist in the face of continual rejection requires a deep love of the work itself, and learning that lesson kept me from ever taking Calvin and Hobbes for granted when the strip took off years later. But in the midst of repeated failure, some self-delusion about your abilities also comes in handy.”
Bill Watterson: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, Book One

My all-time favorite cartoon strip was Calvin and Hobbs. I was heartbroken when Bill Watterson retired, and thrilled beyond belief when I received The Complete Calvin and Hobbs as a Christmas present.

Watterson has captured the essence of starting over on an exciting new path after our world has turned upside down. You must be tough enough to face continued rejection, blissfully ignorant of the even more daunting challenges likely to come, and slightly self-delusional about your own abilities to do the work and overcome the challenges.

Check these out:

Ten life lessons from Calvin and Hobbes

Excerpts from Bill Watterson’s 1990 commencement address at Kenyon University set to cartoons

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