Monday, October 17, 2011

Ignore Everybody with Uncertainty and Happiness

No worries, I am not turning into a self-obsessed hermit. The title of this blog is not a profound statement, but a mash-up of the three books I'm currently reading.

1. The first book I am almost finished with is Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.

The best quote I've taken from it is this:

"If you don't see yourself as particularly creative, that's not reality, that's a self-imposed limitation. Only you can decide whether you want to carry that around with you forever. Life is short."

And this is a print and description from his shop:

Stepping out off the beaten path to do something purposeful can often draw attention from those still marching away in the same direction. That attention, however, may not always be rewarding. More often than not, it can make us question everything, even our own sanity.

I fall into this same trap all too often.

Trying is the key word here. You have to make an effort to make something really unique—be it something that makes a difference in the world or something just for yourself. It may be hard as hell, but just remember you’re actually trying.

You’re not crazy for wanting to do something “different”. You’re not a failure if you’re still trying. This is just another little token for all the creatives, entrepreneurs, young up-and-coming’s and out-of-the-box thinkers out there.

2. I've also just started reading Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman.

This book is page after page of entertainment and inspiration. So far it ranges from simple pictures of fruit platters and broken down chairs, to more profound observations about death, obituaries, and the little things in life that make it important.

One of my favorite pages I've come across is one that reminds me of my mother (and of myself, because we are just a tad similar)

Maira has illustrated everything form children's books to The New Yorker, and now that I've had a taste of her style I'm itching to pick up some more of her books. I'm also very inspired to start my own journal of illustrated thoughts and encounters.

3. The third books is The Happiness Project (Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun) by Gretchen Rubin.

I've really just picked this up and flipped through it for a minute, but a great introduction is, fittingly, in "A Note to the Reader"

A "Happiness Project" is an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions.....I hope reading the account of my happiness project will encourage you to start your own.

Whenever you read this, and wherever you are, you are in the right place to begin.

I'm really looking forward to getting into this book this evening.

If you've read any of these books before, or if you want to read them at the same time I am and discuss your thoughts, just let me know :)

1 comment:

Mrs. Cheerio said...

I have the Principles of Uncertainty, too. it's a cute book.