Become King (or Queen) of Your Own Life: 7 Inspirational Lessons from Maurice Sendak
“Please don’t go. We’ll eat you up we love you so!” exclaimed fans of beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak when he passed recently. Maurice Sendak was the author and illustrator of favorites such as Where the Wild Things Are, Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, and In The Night Kitchen. He had a brutally honest, creative way of telling stories for children, but his stories and advice can certainly resonate with adults as well.
Whether you’re suffering from writer’s block, up for a new promotion, or just trying to stay motivated throughout the week, take this advice from Maurice Sendak in order to unleash and harness your inner wild thing and get what you want out of life.
Speak your mind,
“I said anything I wanted because I don’t believe in children. I don’t believe in childhood. I don’t believe that there’s a demarcation. ‘Oh you mustn’t tell them that. You mustn’t tell them that.’ You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it’s true. If it’s true you tell them.”
use your imagination,
“I have been doodling with ink and watercolor on paper all my life. It’s my way of stirring up my imagination to see what I find hidden in my head. I call the results dream pictures, fantasy sketches, and even brain-sharpening exercises.”
“Herman Melville said that artists have to take a dive and either you hit your head on a rock and you split your skull and you die … or that blow to the head is so inspiring that you come back and do the best work that you ever did. BUT you have to take the dive and you do not know what the results will be.”
remain a kid at heart,
“Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.”
appreciate the things money can’t buy,
“There must be more to life than having everything.”
do what you love…
“Kids don’t know about best sellers. They go for what they enjoy. They aren’t star chasers and they don’t suck up. It’s why I like them.”
…and forget the rest.
“I’m writing a poem right now about a nose. I’ve always wanted to write a poem about a nose. But it’s a ludicrous subject. That’s why, when I was younger, I was afraid of [writing] something that didn’t make a lot of sense. But now I’m not. I have nothing to worry about. It doesn’t matter.”
No matter what wild things are facing you, become the king of your own life and “let the wild rumpus start!” Even though the workplace requires cooperation and teamwork, never be afraid to stand up for yourself and do what makes you happy.
If you haven’t already, check out these interviews with Stephen Colbert here and here for more brilliant Sendak moments.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite Maurice Sendak quote? What was your favorite Maurice Sendak book? Share in the comment section below!