Tag Archives: Arts

Book’s Summary in Images

If you are still thinking about buying my book, I thought it might be helpful to explain the structure of the book using three images.

I think that my book can best be described as one operating in four dimensions.  The first two dimensions, forming a geometric plane, are the ideas presented by the ancient philosophers and modern thinkers.  The ancient philosophers provide the base of the triangle.  Two modern “positive” psychologists provide one side of the triangle and the works of Joseph Campbell regarding the myths of the world provide the other side of the triangle.

First Two Dimensions of Book

However, the above is only two dimensions and doesn’t do the subject of happiness any justice.  If you add the viewpoints of the masters of the fine arts, you get a much more three dimensional perspective.  Now, the attainment of happiness becomes much clearer.

Three Dimensions of Book

However, there is one thing missing – the means of climbing to the top of the pyramid and the achievement of happiness.  For finding the means to reach the top, a fourth dimension is needed – a set of stairs.  The means for climbing the stairs is the entrepreneur within each of us.  The traits of the entrepreneur propel each of us upward along the stairs to the very top of the pyramid; the very top is where happiness resides!

Fourth Dimension of Book

Belongingness – Great Poetry

In my previous post I talked about how great art can depict the feelings that we all share when our belongingness needs are being satisfied by being with friends and family.

In this post I would like to present two poems.  Both of which use the art of poetry to express the same feelings that are expressed in the art of painting.

Friendship, verses 46-55 (Thoreau, 1840-1844)

Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,

Withstand the winter’s storm,

And spite of wind and tide,

Grow up the meadow’s pride,

For both are strong.

Above they barely touch, but undermined

Down to their deepest source,

Admiring you shall find

Their roots are intertwined


Many of the artist’s poems are concerned with issues expressed in his essays: nature, truth, and social justice.  This poem uses his love of nature to evoke the feelings of simple friendship.  This is a powerful interpretation of the desire to satisfy one’s need for belongingness with others.


I Hear America Singing, from Leaves of Grass (Whitman, 1867)

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off 

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand

Singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The woodcutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or

At noon intermission or at sundown,

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of

The girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,

The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows,

Robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

The poem, one of Whitman’s most famous, presents an image of America as a collection of proud, individualistic, healthy and productive individuals.  The poem’s genius is that the individual songs are blended together to create a unified and strong America.  The poem provides a clear interpretation of belongingness and involvement, and the benefits of each to the individuals as well as society. 

Both of these poems depict the satisfaction of close friendships and ties to the community.  Both go a long way to accomplishing our need for belongingness.


Great Ballet!

This post builds on the theme of the previous posts.  It presents the fourth fine art – Ballet.

The piece below is a masterpiece of music and choreography depicting the innocence of childhood and the security of the child who is protected by a loved one.  In this ballet scene, the character is protected by its mother, Nature; however, there is more to the scene.  The character, now secure in its basic needs of food, warmth, and safety, is becoming restless and is interested in reaching out to others, the nymphs.

The description below is an excerpt from my book.  I think that this one artistic piece captures perfectly and with great beauty the feelings that we all share when our needs for food, clothing, shelter are satisfied and we begin to look for the next chapter of our life – belongingness and the desire for being with others.

The Afternoon of a Faun (Choreography by Nijinsky (1912), Music by Debussy (1894))

The music of this ballet is considered by most experts to be a turning point in the history of music.  It is one of the first modern ballets and the music is one of the composer’s most well known works.  The music and the dance evoke the afternoon in which a single faun, nurtured and protected by nature, awakens to the sight of nymphs.  He flirts and chases the nymphs but with no success.  He soon retreats back to his place of rest.  This short ballet represents a character whose protector, Nature, gratifies both his physiological and safety needs.  It also presents the beginning emergence of a new higher need involvement with others, which cannot be satisfied by the faun’s protector alone.

Book Intended for Everyone

Painting by Munch

This book is meant for everyone.  It provides the roadmap for all of us no matter which gallery of life we may be in today.

This book is especially important for:

1) those who are stuck in a rut or are having a mid-life crisis,

2) those that have a passion to do something, but afraid to take it to the next level,

3) entrepreneurs that need some encouragement along the way to deal with the many risks that they will encounter (small business owners, professionals in private practice, intrapreneurs, and managers looking to instill entrepreneurship and creativity among their workers),

4) anyone who is unsure were they are heading in life,

5) anyone who is looking for inspiration and a little help along the way.

If you pass others on the street and they kind of have the look of those in the painting by Munch, you are not along.  This book can help you break from the crowd, like the lone figure in the painting, and begin your journey to the blue horizon.

Summary of Roadmap to Happiness

Summary of roadmap to happiness

In my two previous posts I mentioned that the roadmap to happiness is made up of both “prose” and “art.”  The “prose” is the ideas of modern thinkers and a few ancient philosophers.  The “art” is the works of the masters from the world of the fine arts.

So, the works of the thinkers, which I call “Prose” are those of 4 ancient philosophers and just three modern thinkers.  And the works of “Art” represent 78 masters of the Fine Arts of the past 500 years.  In all, we have 85 contributors for a great reading experience called the “Prose/Art” Exposition.

What is really cool about all of this is that the thinkers reinforce one another and the artists also reinforce one another.  In fact, the thinkers and the artists reinforce one another, which is very comforting.  If the thinkers disagreed as to the best roadmap to happiness, or the artists disagreed among themselves as to the best roadmap, or the thinkers and the artists disagreed, we would be in trouble.  But, they all say the same thing, just in different words, images, dance, or music.

We are getting there.

The Beginning of the Adventure

happiness, classics

My book, to be published shortly, is all about the road to happiness, which we are all looking for.

The book gives each of us three vantage points for reaching happiness: 1) intellectual ideas, theories, and research from great thinkers, laying out the roadmap for all of us to use, 2) works from the masters of the fine arts that validate the roadmap of the thinkers and inspire all of us forward in life, and 3) the vehicle within each of us that is needed to travel the road with the map in hand and inspiration by our side.

The classicists, especially those studying the myths, do a good job of explaining how to find happiness based on the adventures of past heroes.  But they are vague as to what needs to be done to prepare for the adventure.  They are very good at locating the road around the corner leading to the blue horizon, but are vague as to how to get to the corner to begin the adventure.

The classicists discuss the myths in great detail and with great insight.  But they are very  vague as to what is needed to prepare for the adventure.  My book has the answer.

More to come.

Fate of Today’s Entrepreneur

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Shakespeare knew the world of the entrepreneur very well (he knew of many worlds very well)!

These seven lines speak to the heart of the traits critical to successful entrepreneurship.  The traits implied in these lines include: alertness, preparation, courage, confidence, a desire to identify and capitalize on opportunities at the right time, and an orientation towards making decisions today so that life in the future will not be regretted (or regret living a life in the future that is below expectations).

There is an article that was just published in a major newspaper quoting statistics about the decline in the creation of new businesses.  The many reasons mentioned for the decline are tied to the current economy, aging population, and desire for less risk in an increasingly risky world.

I think that the real reasons for the decline are different and I talk about them in my soon to be published book.  I think that society has a large part to play in the decline.  I don’t think that would-be entrepreneurs are less educated or trained.  I don’t think they are less motivated.  But I do think they are misguided.

I think that society has been sending a signal for some time now that everyone should “live for the moment” and not worry about the future – the government will take care of everything.  Without an orientation towards the future and a desire to locate and capitalize on new opportunities, new enterprises will not be formed.  And perhaps more important, the journey to happiness of these would-be entrepreneurs will cease and the boring world of everyday existence will continue day after day after day.

I do have a solution and some much need encouragement and inspiration.  Stay tuned!