Sterling HaydenImage via Wikipedia

Sterling Hayden 1916 –1986 was an actor and author. At six feet five inches his forte in acting was the western, and many great film noir. He was in Dr. Strangelove , and The Godfather and many other films. Hayden, always considered acting a way financing his adventures. Read his words from his autobiography, “Wanderer.” and see if you have any resonance with his comments.

“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”

Here is a short interview by a French company - stay with it it goes to English for those of you who don't speak French, (like me).

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  1. After reading this I feel validated.


  2. Yes - It is nice to have somebody that can write and speak to the experience and - well validate like you say

    Kris Wilder

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    Kris Wilder

  4. Great post. I'm currently reading a biography of Sir Richard Burton. Wanderlust seems to be a theme of late.


  5. LisaB felt validated while I feel eviscerated. After fifty years of playing it safe, doing the right thing, being conservative, I have done nothing memorable, travelled very little, and accomplished absolutely nothing of value. A grey little man living a grey little life. One can only hope my child does not follow my example.


  6. HPB -

    It is only too late when they put the lid on your coffin!

    Kris Wilder

  7. Yes, we tend to lead our lives in the delusional 'safety' of ruts...and a rut is nothing more than a coffin with no lid. Just gotta climb out.

    Good post. Pursue your passions...your inspirations...and you are right, it is never too late.

    Shinzen Nelson

  8. Osu

    I think we can all learn a thing or two from this. If not to throw everything overboard but at least to stop worrying so much. And as Shinzen Nelson pointed out, to pursue your passion...


  9. I spent a lot of time thinking on this topic. Thank you.

    Jeff Pyper

  10. Weirdly, done that (the taking off in a boat thing), and intend to do it again in about a year. Thanks, I had not known Sterling Hayden's story. He was also a sailor, sea captain, US Marine and then OSS spy, you might have mentioned, sensei -- it's a rough and colorful life he led :-)


  11. Democra-she -

    Yes - Hayden was a lot of things, OSS, Sea Captain of a ship and crew at 22 years of age, and other things as well. A huge life, and a fascinating one too. I just didn’t want to obfuscate the message with the list of this guys various lives. It is said that after almost every picture he was on would wrap he would ask the producer or director, “Now tell me who did you REALLY want for this part.”

    He is well worth looking up like you did yes?

    Kris Wilder

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