Create Art, Happiness Follows
When reading Stumbling on Happiness, by Dan Gilbert, while waiting on the bus, the thought hit me:
If you seek happiness, you’ll find despair. If you chase after money, it will never show up. If you obsess to be successful, life will be average. If searching for your true love, loneliness is found.
For some reason, universally, the things that we chase the most are often what eludes us. We seek the end result of the effort, not the underlining motivator. “To make a million dollars” is a bad reason to start a business. There is no focus and you will spin in a thousand directions to make money. “To make the best socks on the planet” is a perfect reason. Create it, refine it, find your audience and the money will take care of itself.
Lisa Frank has a poster in her corporate offices Arizona:
“Our Company was built on a passion. Not to make money, but to make art and share it with the world. If you create something of value, the sales will come.”
After having reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin, finally, on September 3rd of 2012, I had an aha moment of what it means to be happy:
Happiness is sustained fulfillment.
Fulfillment is born out of creating art.
An artist isn’t someone who puts paint on paper. Someone who creates art, is one who puts their everything into their craft, skill, work, etc. Constantly refining, refusing to settle, and standing out above the crowd. It is scary to put yourself out there. But it must be done. The world needs your art.
Creating art happens in a cycle. Work allows us to be able to fund our art until our art becomes self-sustaining, which in turn allows you to create more art.
Work becomes “a job” when the time needed creeps into one’s ability to create art. A job isn’t something that you love but something you do to sustain yourself. It enables your art. If you do what you love, make your art, and that happens to be your place of employment then congratulations that is the sweet spot of all three.
Now go make some art. The world needs it. You need it.
The video shown below is a short film that Urban Outfitters put together after a visit with Lisa Frank herself.
Dan Gilbert’s Ted Talk:
“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”– Henry David Thoreau