Tag Archives: art

New Vehicle for the Road to Happiness – Part 4

A painting be Winslow Homer, The Morning Bell

The Morning Bell (Homer, 1871)

In my previous post I mentioned that four traits or types of behavior are needed to travel the road to happiness.  It just so happens that these four traits have been identified by researchers as the same traits of “successful” entrepreneurs.  This is good news.

I have already mentioned two of these four traits: education/training and social skills.  Both of these are needed for the journey of life and both have been identified by psychology researchers are requirements of successful entrepreneurs.  It is no big surprise that these traits are needed for the road to happiness.  We all need to be educated/trained to have a job and live in today’s complex world.  We also need social skills to interact with family, friends, our neighbors, and at our job.

However, there are two additional traits of successful entrepreneurs: an orientation to the future and motivation to identify opportunities that others do not see.

Successful entrepreneurs are ones that have an orientation to the future – they are very concerned with “missing the boat” in the distant future and willing to take risks and explore opportunities today to avoid regretting a future lived below expectations.  This is a very important trait and explains a lot of why entrepreneurs do what they do.  They are preoccupied with not experiencing regret in the future for inaction today.  As such, they are willing to do things to ensure that their future will be lived as best as possible.  In essence, these entrepreneurs are proactive – they are taking action today in order to enjoy a future that might be lived above expectations.  They are not waiting for whatever might come their way.

The second trait is related to the above trait: desire to capitalize on opportunities that others do not see.  It is not that entrepreneurs are more prone to taking risks; they just see opportunities differently than others see them.  In fact, they may believe that the opportunities that they see may be less risky than staying in their current job.

Both of these traits are related to each other.  The desire to capitalize on opportunities that others may view as risky is driven by an orientation to the future and a life that will not be lived below expectations.  In other words, “successful” entrepreneurs are always looking for new opportunities in order to make sure that their future is lived as best as possible by those actions taken today.

The above painting by Winslow Homer, discussed in far greater detail in my book, is an excellent depiction of the two traits.  The young woman is viewed leaving her friends for an opportunity that she recognizes and that the others in the group do not see.  In addition, she is  seen expressing a reserved confidence that this new opportunity will lead to a future life lived above her expectations of today.

In the next post, I will summarize all four traits.

The New Vehicle for the Road

A large number of my posts have focused on what the artists and great thinkers have to say about happiness.  I am very confident that the road to happiness can be found in the “prose” of just a few ancient philosophers and a few modern thinkers (vantage point 1), and the “art” of great artists of the past 500 years (vantage point 2).  These masters have not only presented a reliable roadmap to follow but they also depict what happiness looks like when we reach it.  This is all great news!

But, we all live in a modern world not the world of ancient philosophy, myths, and art.  We must travel the road of today’s world using whatever is the best vehicle for getting us to happiness and fulfillment.

The good news is that a lot of work, using today’s latest research techniques, have shined a light on a new vehicle for the travel along the road of today’s world.  In fact, this new vehicle is exactly what we each need move forward in life.

The conclusions of the research, which are needed to provide the confidence to use the vehicle, are just emerging and I am confident that you will find the vehicle ideal for traveling along the road presented by the “prose” of the great ancient and modern thinkers, and the “art” of the great masters for the world of the fine arts.

More to come.

Davids and Goliaths

David by Michelangelo

David by Michelangelo

Last night I was watching a short BookTV interview of Malcolm Gladwell discussing his soon to be released new book – David And Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants.

At one point during the interview Mr. Gladwell was asked why is it that most Goliaths (large corporations, politicians, celebrities, etc.), with many successes in the past to be considered Goliaths, suddenly are beaten by Davids (the little guys) and disappear?  Or, why do Goliaths shoot themselves in the foot?  This is an excellent question!

Mr Gladwell answers the question by saying that Goliaths become too comfortable with their lives and rest on their past successes.  They stop innovating, become arrogant and forget where they came from, lose the courage to continue the struggle for the greater good, and refuse to break the cycle of the status quo.

We all can understand how hard it is to give up fame, fortune, and power, especially when it took some much time and effort to get.

I think that the great ancient philosophers, a few modern thinkers, and the masters of the fine arts knew what Mr Gladwell was saying, but they go an extra few steps in answering the question.  Many Goliaths shoot themselves in the foot for the same reasons that Mr. Gladwell mentions – they meet with many successes and stop.  The reason they stop is that they believe that they have reached the end and have all the prizes of life which they have won, and now they can rest.

What they don’t understand, and what the many myths and artists teach us, is that these successful people are fortunate to have the wherewithal to continue the call to adventure, if the call is accepted.  Many goliaths are beaten because they fail to accept this call, which requires courage, humility, moderation, justice, etc.  They cut short their own adventure and forego far greater rewards in the future than what they have accomplished to date.

Against all odds, David accepted the call and beat Goliath.  But as Michelangelo represents, David is not celebrating his triumph (he is not even holding the head of Goliath), he is simply resting knowing that there are many more trials that must be won before his adventure is complete.

Happiness in the Horizon

Veteran in a New Field by Winslow Homer

What can you expect from my book?

Three things:

1) the roadmap to happiness,

2 how to best travel the road by using the gifts of the entrepreneur within,

3) what to expect when you reach the horizon.

Just as with the farmer, a returning hero of the Civil War, the roadmap will be clear to follow if you harness the entrepreneur within you to travel the road and have the courage to seek out the blue horizon in the distance.

Prose/Art Exposition

Details on road to happinessYou might be asking what exactly is the Prose/Art Exposition found in my book.  Well, it is a new literary platform where the world of ideas meets the world of experiences.  The exposition is much like an art museum exhibition within a book.  Each gallery is devoted to one of six segments of life’s journey.  In each gallery the ideas and the art are presented and then discussed.

Surprisingly, the “prose” and the “art” reinforce and validate each another.  Sometimes, on topics as important as achieving happiness, one needs additional support or validation that the course of action that you are taking is the right one.

As you will see, the great modern and ancient thinkers validate one another, and, the artists validate each other, as well as the great thinkers.

Roadmap to Happiness, Part II


In my last post I mentioned that the first part of the roadmap of happiness requires an understanding of the teachings of three modern thinkers and a few ancient philosophers.  These teachings are the “Prose” of this Prose/Art Exposition.  These are the ideas that have been curated and arranged into six galleries of the exposition to better explain the roadmap.

Not to be ignored, the great masters of the fine arts (the Painters, Poets, Composers, and Choreographers) also have a lot to say about reaching happiness.  They share with us their experiences using their own unique artistic styles to present their own roadmap as only the great masters can do.

This second part, the works of the great masters of the Fine Arts, not only is validation of the prose mentioned above, but inspiration to us all as we travel the road of life.  What is interesting is that the artists, in their own unique ways, are presenting the same objective roadmap and the same state of happiness.

Stay tuned.