Wednesday, November 16, 2011

William Zinsser: How To Lead an Interesting Life

In October 2010, wordsmith William Zinsser returned to his prep school, Deerfield Academy, and gave  the  students his recipe for leading an interesting life: Do interesting things. When your career stops being interesting, change careers. Here is an excerpt:

In 1993 I described those successive uprootings in a commencement talk at Wesleyan University. My message to the graduating seniors was: change is tonic. Afterward, three professors in cap and gown came up to me, and one of them said, “That does it! I’m getting out of this dead-ass job.” Wesleyan later sent my talk to all its alumni, and I still hear from some of them. They want to tell me about career changes they made that reinvigorated their lives in ways they never dared to consider. Think about your life as a process and the product will take care of itself.

Zinsser’s speech is entertaining and well worth reading. As for me, my job continues to be endlessly interesting and rewarding. I plan on sticking with it.


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