Aeon interviewed comic creator and master writer Alan Moore about his upcoming million word novel, Jerusalem. Great interview, but this gold nugget caught my eye about halfway through. It’s exactly how I feel about life, but he said it better than I ever have.
These days, Moore describes himself as an anarchist. ‘It means no leaders,’ he says, ‘which is not a license to do whatever you want: in fact it’s taking on an enormous amount of responsibility, because you are taking on the responsibility for leading your own life. It’s incredibly liberating and empowering — to be responsible for it and everything that happens in it. Not to say, as I might have done in another life, the reason why I’ve never succeeded is because I come from a poor background, or a deprived neighbourhood. I’m not saying that that is not a valid thing for other people, but it wouldn’t have been valid for me. My background and my neighbourhood were nothing to do with whether I succeeded or not. That was entirely down to me.’
I believe I am responsible for my life, which means the outcome will be consequences of my choices and actions. I don’t believe there is a pre-made plan, or an eternal being pulling the strings. Every choice has a consequence. It’s my responsibility to decide the kind of life I want, and then to make choices that align with that.
It requires a lot of self reflection, but payoffs are glorious. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that I made a bad choice, but it’s better to accept responsibility and decide how to move forward. It feels amazing when you start seeing the returns on the investments you’ve made, like the day I quit my job because my side business was supporting me, or when my band gets bigger shows because of the hard work we’ve put in.
Everything we do has an effect on our future. Every conversation we have, every kind of art that we come in contact with, every minute of time that we spend. Take control, and shape your life.