There was an interesting article in the NY Times recently that caught my attention – “Researchers said they found that in most activities, a mind that wandered could diminish one’s happiness.” The idea that the more you focus on something without distraction the happier you are is something I’ve experienced many times, and actually look forward to each and every time I go out with my camera. Happiness that comes from staying focused applies to many other activities in life as the article explains, but the most significant statistic was that work ranked as the unhappiest activity by those involved in the study. While at work, their minds wandered the most and lead to the least amount of happiness of all the activities mentioned.
This instantly made me realize several things:
- I am very fortunate indeed that I actually have the opposite experience, which is that I am most focused and happiest when I am working.
- Being creative requires tremendous focus and little room for distraction, at least that is my experience whether taking pictures, processing images, or making prints.
- There are an awful lot of people that are not happy with their jobs, and should really re-assess whether there are any options.
“Do everything as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered, while all the time knowing that it doesn’t matter at all.” – Pema Chodron
For me true happiness comes from somewhere much deeper and more significant than how much money I make, or whether I can buy more stuff. Is this a difficult, frustrating, and incredibly challenging way to make a living? …YES. But the value I derive from sharing my view of the world with others through my prints is what truly matters to me, and defines my “currency.” Sharing that with my customers and supporters is really inspiring and special. Sharing that with my family, my wife, and my 7 yr old son makes me happy, very happy.
Are you focused in your daily work?