There is a point in every movie where the hero can no longer pretend that his life is satisfying and discards whatever still connects him to his safe, civilized identity as he commits to his newfound purpose. This can be anything like quitting a meaningless job or maybe finally standing up to an abusive authority figure.
Much like the movies, these are the defining challenges of our lives. But how often do we meet them? It is far easier said than done and for the most part we are happy enough having our movie heroes take the risks we can only fantasize about.
As an example of true creative courage, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer comes to mind. Living on nothing as a writer in Paris in the 20’s, the great author writes:
“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. A year ago, six months ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am.”