Lee Crutchley is an artist and author from England. His books include The Art of Getting Started and the forthcoming How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad).

1. What is the most liberating thought you’ve ever had?

That I’m really tiny in the context of the world, and basically insignificant in the context of the universe.

2. What did it liberate you from?

The feeling that every little thing is so incredibly important. Sometimes it’s okay to just watch Law & Order: SVU and not worry about things too much.

3. What does it mean to live a good life?

To contribute more than you take.

4. What illusion have you suffered from the most?

That my thoughts define me. I still struggle with this one, but I’m definitely getting better at separating myself from my thoughts.

5. If you could go back and whisper in the ear of your 16-year-old self, what is the one thing you would tell them?

“I have so many things that I want to tell you, with the benefit of hindsight and experience. I can make a list of all your mistakes, a list of things you could have done better or sooner, and a list of girls you should definitely not fall in love with. I know things that could really help you out. But, while I was trying to decide which one thing I would tell you, Back to The Future 2 started circling around my mind. I kept thinking about Marty buying himself the Sports Almanac in the future, so he could go back in time and make himself rich — and how that really didn’t end well for anyone involved. So let’s just say that everything you go through will lead you to be right where I am today, and it’s not too bad. But, maybe try to be a little less hard on yourself sometimes, and remind your family that you love them a little more.”

6. What does love feel like? (Real love, not hormonal love or I-like-the-idea-of-you-so-I’m-on-a-high love). 

Easy. I know that doesn’t sound incredibly romantic or movie-like, but for me that’s how real love feels. It feels like you could walk around a supermarket, get stuck in traffic, or sit on a bench in silence with someone and still have a good time.

7. What does your daily routine look like? 

I don’t have a specific daily routine to be honest, and I’m still trying to work out if that’s a good or a bad thing for me.

8. What’s your favorite thing to look at?

The ocean.

9. Describe your perfect weekend. 

If we’re talking perfect where anything is possible, it would probably involve travelling back in time to look at dinosaurs, and travelling into space to look at the Earth. But if we’re talking perfect yet actually achievable, I think I’m quite often pretty close. I don’t think life gets much more perfect than being around good people and doing good things. Also, there would be cheeseburgers in either scenario.

10. What do you worry about the most? 

The people in my life.

11. Why?

I just want everyone I love to be okay, and I know how hard life can be sometimes.

12. What makes you cry?

Sometimes everything, sometimes nothing.

13. What do you doodle on the sides of your papers?

Usually words or letters, but I quite often doodle arrows and stars too.

14. What is the most serendipitous thing that has ever happened to you? 

I feel like serendipitous things happen to me all the time, but I still can’t think of one big stand out serendipitous event. Is that ironic? Wait, what do all these words mean again…

15. How did your biggest struggles become the pathways to your greatest successes? 

My biggest successes always tend to come from my biggest struggles actually. Being unemployed for months lead to me starting my own business and my first book being published. My crippling procrastination and fear of failure somehow lead to my second book. And a severe bout of depression lead to my latest book, which I think is my biggest success yet. But, while I’m very glad that I’ve been able to turn struggles into successes, it doesn’t feel like a sustainable career/life plan. It would be nice if my next biggest success comes with a little less of the struggle beforehand.

16. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

I generally lie in bed for 20 minutes convincing myself to get out.

17. What do you wish you had more of in your life?

Confidence, I wish I believed in myself just a little bit more.

18. What do you find to be the most genuinely beautiful thing in the world? 

The stars. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the night sky without any sort of light pollution, it pretty much blew my mind.

19. If you could be free of one thought or fear, what would it be? 

I’d be free from the thought that “I can do this tomorrow.”

20. If you had the chance to tell every single person in the world just one thing, what would it be? 

Just try your best, and don’t forget to breathe.

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