Make Good Art

Growing up, I never really considered myself an “artist.” But over the years, that’s changed.

The Dude is now a believer that everyone is an artist. We all have great art inside of us. In fact, everyone has absolutely brilliant and unique “art” just waiting to be tapped and shown to the world.

Life is art, and our daily actions are the brush strokes we’re using to paint the world around us. If we can take ourselves seriously as artists, and not sabotage our efforts with negative thinking, we’ll be amazed by the art that we create.

This commencement speech by Neil Gaiman at the Philadelphia University of Arts 2012 graduation is a great artistic motivator. I’m not all that familiar with Gaiman, but I’m a big fan after this great talk.

His simple message: “Make good art.”

And a great secondary message: “Let go. And enjoy the ride.”

Nobody else is you. Paint the world around you with your unique strokes. Everyday. All the time. And have fun doing it.

Thanks for the great motivation Neil!


Perception is Reality

I heard the saying “perception is reality” years ago, and it’s been lodged in the back of my noggin ever since. It’s not something I think of often, although, it will jump to the front of my thoughts from time to time.

From a big picture perspective, the Dude has come to understand this as the basic glass half full vs. glass half empty view of the world. And I believe this is true. I think at the most basic level, we have a choice between seeing all of the greatness in the world or focusing on all the bad juju.

Look at life either way, and you’re going to find what you’re looking for; good or bad. From the most broad perspective, that’s what “perception is reality” means to me.

But the below video has me digging a little deeper into this saying. Perhaps there is a much more granular way to look at perception. Maybe we can consciously study methods to leverage our behaviors and beliefs to capitalize on perception.

I’m sure companies with big marketing dollars are leveraging perception, and we probably fall into their traps on a regular basis. But maybe we can/should start to be more conscious about psychology and the way our realities are perceived on all levels.

Rory Sutherland’s “Perspective is Everything” talk at TEDx was definitely eye opening for the Dude.

A countdown at red lights or waiting for a train changes everything! Brilliant. Wifi on a train rather than billions spent for a shiny new train that gets you there 30 minutes faster?…duh! And these are just scratching the surface.

Perception truly is our reality. Maybe we should start to pay a bit more attention to it.

Now extrapolate that to economics, healthcare, taxes…you name it. Seems like a bunch of great uses for leveraging perception.

By the way, I was surprised when Sutherland mentioned Ludwig Von Mises. Since the world’s economic “issues” started around 2008, I’ve been following economic/political lines of thought a bit closer, and Ludwig Von Mises name has come up quite a bit. He is the big name behind “Austrian Economics,” and I’ve been pretty impressed with the thoughts I’ve come across. Interesting that Rory digs him too. Worth a little digging if this is the first time you’ve come across the name.

Great talk Rory…