Thursday, January 10, 2013

Artist of Living

As I've been doing my homework about goals I came across what Barbara Sher calls being an 'artist of life'.   She brought this up when asking us to choose a target and suggests that when you are solidifying a target you must take into consideration what kinds of dreams actually mean the most to you.  For example, if someone wants to be rich and famous, is it for the public adulation, is it for the money and lifestyle, is it a stepping stone for other business opportunities, is it to prove to anyone who said you wouldn't amount to anything that you've made it?  The goal itself is important but why you want that goal is as important or even more so.  I've heard stories that once someone has 'made it' they looked around and it felt sort of empty, as if it should feel more rewarding than it does.  Understanding why you chose this goal makes a big difference in how you experience acheiving it. 
When I saw the phrase 'artist of life' I realized that this was me and that it is for a lot of island people, at least those who have chosen the island lifestyle.  This means that for us, total quality of life is all-important.  This really hit home, I've been in situations in the past where I could have chosen more of a career path and sacrificed other things but I find that extremely difficult and not worth it actually.  No amount of money in the world is enough for me to sacrifice my day to day pleasures of the small things in life.  I always feel like I'm wasting precious time, I need to have a good balance of both.
Last night I watched the movie Morning Glory on Netflix and I was kind of in awe of the main character, a woman who was extremely career oriented, loved to put every speck of energy she had into her work and loved every minute of it even if the pay wasn't that good, she loved the process and lived for it.  I said to myself, this is not me at all but I can vicariously enjoy her life (and wish I had half of her energy).  She was at the point in her career where she was giving it all and her personal relationships or lack thereof were beginning to show.  She was beginning to realize this and was forced to narrow down her life goals and make some decisions.  Her colleague Mike warned her not to make the same mistakes that he made, saying that he found out too late how important it was to put relationships up there with career goals.  Interestingly the director was the same director as The Devil Wears Prada where the message is the same, Don't Give Up Everything For Your Career or You'll End Up Alone and Miserable in Your Success.  Modern day Ebenezer Scrooges.  Still true. long as we know what we want, and are willing to accept the consequences of our choices, what the heck.  We CAN choose to be rich and alone and shallow if we want to be, it's our decision.  I always admire people who aren't afraid to admit that to themselves and others.  Like Miranda Priestly who suffers some heartbreak but ultimately said 'they all want to be like us', and went on with her life.  She paid the price willingly it seems.  Not me.  Not most of us I think. 
Those of us who put lifestyle first, who are Artists of Life (I love that phrase) have to accept and honour that our goals of life quality are at the top of our priorities and we don't need to be ashamed of that, on the contrary, we should be proud. 
This whole discussion has led me to another post, therapeutic movies and books.  Later.


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