I suspected that it’s going to be a great break that allows me to step back and think about what I do and for whom I do it. I learned in the first sabbatical that it’s maybe the best strategy… to make sure that what I do remains a calling and doesn’t deteriorate into a job or a career.
The way the time is dispersed from person to person and from job to job, and I don’t think it matters that much. What matters — what really, really matters — is that time is planned and is kept pretty holy, meaning is not interrupted by anything else.
Celebrate the launch of the fantastic new Sagmeister & Walsh site with Debbie Millman’s equally fantastic Design Matters interview with Stefan Sagmeister, in which the celebrated designer discusses the value of sabbaticals, the danger of adaptation in happiness, and the difference between design and art.
Sagmeister is the author of the excellent Things I have learned in my life so far.
For more on preventing creative purpose from becoming “work,” see how to do what you love and how to avoid work.
Virtue is … the only true happiness of the mind and the best means of preserving the health of the body.
The joy of the creative process, minute by minute, hour after hour, day by day, is the sublime path to true happiness.
1. Laughing uncontrollably
2. Zero gravity
4. The first 10 seconds in a hot, hot bath
9. A raw oyster – very fresh, but no larger than an infant’s ear
Gratitude can have such a powerful impact on your life because it engages your brain in a virtuous cycle. Your brain only has so much power to focus its attention. It cannot easily focus on both positive and negative stimuli. It is like a small child: easily distracted. Oh your tummy hurts? Here’s a lollipop. So you lost your job? Isn’t it wonderful we’re having KFC for dinner? On top of that your brain loves to fall for the confirmation bias, that is it looks for things that prove what it already believes to be true. And the dopamine reinforces that as well. So once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for. That’s how the virtuous cycle gets created.
To make progress, we need to be able to imagine alternative realities, and not just any old reality but a better one.
The ironic frame functions as a shield against criticism. The same goes for ironic living. Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.
Ironic living is a first-world problem. For the relatively well educated and financially secure, irony functions as a kind of credit card you never have to pay back. In other words, the hipster can frivolously invest in sham social capital without ever paying back one sincere dime.
What’s your definition of happiness? A flowchart from Jed Alger.
“Despite our global beliefs about lousy Mondays, we conclude that this belief should, in general, be abandoned,” the researchers said.
Scientists debunk the myth that Mondays are the downer of the week, which, like much of pop culture mythology, was originated by the ad industry.