Tag Archives: Fine art

Book’s Summary in Images – Part 4

In my previous post I discussed how the fine arts provide a third dimension of experiences to the two dimensional triangle of the “prose” of the great thinkers.  This three-dimensional pyramid contains all the necessary ideas and art to understand and experience the requirements for traveling the road to happiness.

However, there is one final dimension missing: the vehicle for traveling the road.  How do you get to the top of the pyramid where happiness if found?  You can read the works of the great thinkers, and you can experience the human feelings through the works of the great masters of the fine arts.  But you need a vehicle for traveling through the pyramid and upward to the apex.  This vehicle is the entrepreneur within each of us.

Fourth Dimension of Book

The entrepreneurial instincts that we all have must be harnessed if we are to reach happiness.  This includes social interactions (what I call “involvement” activities) and enhancing our self-esteem earned through many different risky activities (what I call “exposure” activities).  Embracing this activities, encouraged by flow (which distances us from our everyday existence), complete the journey segment of our road to happiness.

More importantly, we must trust our entrepreneurial instincts at the end of our journey and consider the adventure that follows.  Like all entrepreneurs, we must be willing to exploit opportunities in life that others do not see so that our future will be lived well-above today’s expectations.  In addition to seeing these opportunities, gained through wisdom earned during our journey, we must be courageous to accept the adventure.  We must then remain humble and modest during our journey, and near the end of the adventure, we must be concerned with the well-being of our family, community, and society.

Harnessing these entrepreneurial instincts will take us up the staircase within the pyramid: first by way of a journey of “involvement” and “exposure” and then by way of the adventure, if accepted.  And the adventure could not be completed without the virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance (moderation), and justice.

But one remaining step is needed to reach the very top of the pyramid.

End of the Journey: Part 2

One final point on reaching the end of the journey.

I have talked about the psychologists, Maslow and Csikszentmihalyi, and their teachings regarding the importance of self-esteem in reaching happiness.  Both psychologists place self-esteem at the second to last stage of human development.

I have also presented numerous artworks that support and validate the teachings of the psychologists by translating their ideas and research into human feelings and experiences.

Also, I have mentioned that harnessing the entrepreneur within us is the best means of traveling along the road during the journey.  The academic researchers have highlighted the traits of successful entrepreneurs and it is these traits that illuminate the beast means of reaching the end of the journey.

One final point that I would like to mention is the teachings of the philosophers regarding the journey.  Aristotle and St. Aquinas mention that health, wealth, friendships, and recognition or prestige are common human goals and are needed along the road to happiness.  In addition, the Stoics mention that individuals progress from valuing food, warmth, and safety, to social interactions.  The teachings of these esteemed ancient philosophers mirror the theories of the psychologists, artists, and entrepreneurs.

It is nice when many very different disciplines reach the same conclusion.  I think that we can rest assured that the journey that I have outlined, which takes us only part of the way to happiness, is viable and trustworthy.

Press Release for New Book!

A publicity firm that I am working with is submitting a press release for my book.  I thought you might like to see it: 

Serial Entrepreneur Announces New Literary Format; “Prose/Art Exposition”, Helping Readers Navigate the Road to True Happiness.

Written by Oliver Abel IV, “Happiness: Cashing in Life’s IOUs” weaves together the worlds of psychology, philosophy, myth, the fine arts, and contemporary entrepreneurship into a ground-breaking new format coined “Prose/Art Exposition”. With his book helping readers answer five of life’s toughest questions, Abel’s work is poised to resonate with people around the world.

For Immediate Release

New York City, New York – There’s no denying that everyone wants to reach true happiness. However, while it may appear to be easier said than done, a compelling new book by Oliver Abel IV lays out the definitive roadmap to reaching this bold achievement.

The success of “Happiness: Cashing in Life’s IOUs” emanates from a groundbreaking new literary format designed and refined by Abel himself.


This book weaves together the worlds of psychology, philosophy, myth, the fine arts, and contemporary entrepreneurship into a refreshing and entertaining narrative answering five questions, questions that most of us would like answered:

What is the roadmap to happiness?
Is the roadmap reliable, can it be trusted?
If I reach happiness, what can I expect when I get there?
What is the vehicle for traveling along the road outlined by the map?
With so much attention on achieving happiness, how does society flourish?

This book’s author, the curator of the exposition, delivers the elusive roadmap to happiness and the vehicle for traveling the road with map in hand, using a refreshing new literary device: Prose/Art Exposition, the space where intellectual “prose” meets “art.”

The “prose” is a synthesis of well-known ideas of three modern thinkers, leaders in their fields of psychology and classics, and four esteemed ancient philosophers. The “art” represents 78 works of great artists, poets, composers, and choreographers of the last 500 years, translating the “prose” into human feelings.

As the author explains, Prose/Art Exposition is more than a modern buzzword.

“This is the real deal; it’s an innovative device to deliver the roadmap to happiness. Everyone is in one of six galleries and each reader will discover which one they currently belong to. Most importantly, they’ll leave the exposition enlightened by an enriching display of life’s journey and inspired to harness the vehicle – the entrepreneur within each of us, to follow the lessons learned and travel forward to other galleries to reach happiness and the flourishing of society,” says Abel.

Continuing, “It’s much like a book-bound museum exhibit. However, by fusing the prose with art, readers will transition into a place where human feeling, experiences, and inspiration can empower them to achieve great things.”

With Abel as their curator, those with busy lives will find all ideas and artwork already sorted to uncover a visible roadmap that anyone can use as they travel along life’s journey.

With the book’s popularity set to rapidly increase, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible.

‘”Happiness: Cashing in Life’s IOUs” is available now: http://amzn.to/1g5dccc.

For more information, visit the book’s official website: http://happinessiou.com

About the Author:

The author has an MBA from Wharton and has spent the last 35 years as an entrepreneur. His career has taken him to Wall Street and into the operations of dozens of small businesses.

He’s also a semi-professional musician, an adjunct college professor, and is widely acclaimed for creating the unique college course, “Entrepreneurship and the Arts.”

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.

Why Art?

Degas painting - The Dance Class

Have you ever wondered why certain people visit art museums, read poetry, listen to classical music, and watch ballet?  And, in many cases it is the same people involved in all four of the fine arts.

These people enjoying the fine arts are not doing it because it is just fun to do – going to a baseball game is also fun to do, and so is playing video games and watching TV. In fact, to enjoy these fine arts requires visiting an art museum or a concert hall or a ballet performance; or, at least buying an art appreciation book or a poetry anthology.

Degas, one of the many artists contributing to the “arts” section of my book, knew a lot about life and was so gifted artistically that he could present his thoughts on canvas for all of us to see.  These thoughts of his could not be expressed any other way.  It is this representation of some aspect of life, with a good degree of inspiration, that is why people visit art museums.

Degas is but one of the book’s 78 artistic contributors helping us find our way in life.

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.

Roadmap to Happiness, Part I

happiness, well-being, fulfillment

Roadmap to Happiness, Part I

In my three previous posts I discussed how the philosophers, classicists, and psychologists present their own means of achieving happiness.

Unfortunately, each one by itself does not really get us to where we need to be.  Each takes us along the road for a while but then abruptly stops and we are abandoned by the side of the road.

However, if you add the three together, you get something very special – a roadmap that you can rely on to get you to where you need to go.

The modern psychologists give us the road to follow for the first half of the journey. The classicists continue the road, around the corner, for the second half of the journey, and the ancient philosophers give us the distance blue horizon that we all are looking for.  If you add the three together, you get a remarkable roadmap to the horizon – happiness.

But that is not all.  There is much more to come.

The Beginning of the Journey

Happiness, fulfillment, psychology

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.

In a previous post, I mentioned that we are all trying to get to the blue horizon.  This blue horizon is described nicely by the philosophers.

The modern psychologists, especially the positive psychologists, give us a roadmap, sort of.  Their road is very visible at the lower levels of human development but as we climb towards the horizon to the higher levels, where happiness resides, the psychologists’ models become less convincing and the road soon vanishes around the turn.  Nonetheless, the psychologists are helpful in the beginning of the journey.

More to come.

The Beginning of the Road to Happiness


Philosophers, Happiness

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.

But where do you begin.  Well, the ancient philosophers (like Aristotle), four in particular, are a good starting point.  They teach us that those things most needed for happiness are: wealth, education/skills, good health, friendship, freedom from worry and anxiety, and virtue.  It is virtue that is most needed, but the others come in handy.

This all makes sense, but they really don’t give us much of a roadmap as to how to go about reaching this happiness. They give us the blue horizon, but not the road below that leads to the horizon.

More to come.