Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Does inspiration have an expiration date?

The above question has been bugging for several weeks. The reason for my question is simple: it seems that I’m having more difficulty in finding inspiration. I have been active since late April 2014 and published 3,164 blogs, including this one. What happens when has all been said and done??

Actually, I’m a little afraid of that day. Writing has become my meaning & purpose in life. In general, people have three ways in our pursuit of happiness (my 2015 blog), being: (1) living a pleasant life (eg, hedonism), (2) a life of engagement (eg, love, parenting, work), and (3) living a meaningful life.

A 2004 TED video on positive psychology by American psychologist Martin Seligman states this:

“The first path, positive emotion; the second path is eudaemonian flow; and the third path is meaning. This is the most venerable of the happinesses, traditionally. And meaning, in this view, consists of – very parallel to eudaimonia – it consists of knowing what your highest strengths are, and using them to belong to and in the service of something larger than you are.”

Excerpt of transcript of 2004 TED video; see at 14:54. Note LO: URLs were added for clarification.

Until 2013, I lived a life of engagement. I derived my happiness & satisfaction from – first – my studies and then my job. My 2013 burnout ended all of that. During my subsequent 18 month depression, I searched for a new meaning & purpose in life. Writing has become my mission and my passion in life.

If (my) inspiration would have an expiration date then what could/would happen next? Migrating from stage 3 (ie, meaning) to stage 2 (eg, love, parenting, studying, work), or even stage 1 (eg, hedonism)? For all of my life, I have never been able to live in stage 1. It’s just not fulfilling to me.

A thought just occurred to me: (ample) money might be a reason for inspiration to expire (eg, rich artists). Only death can stop other artists (eg, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen). Hence, inspiration does not expire. It’s just that some people close their antenna as priorities are shifting (eg, spending money).

I’m glad I answered my own question as I dislike the thought of being irrelevant.

When It’s All Been Said And Done (2004) by Emmanuel Solomon (2022)
a beautiful Don Moen cover song; for original see below
artist, lyrics, video, no Wiki

When It’s All Been Said And Done (2004) by Don Moen (original)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-album+song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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