I will always remember being asked to go back to my old school a few years ago to give a career talk on the music industry in Ireland (where I started out). Mostly, I remember talking about the importance of fresh thinking and always pushing yourself to come up with innovative ideas.
One of the kids put up his hand and asked me, “How do you come up with great ideas?”
At the time, I told them it was all about working hard at it; with a few more years under my belt, I would still always say that hard work absolutely pays off – but if asked today, I think I might answer a little bit differently.
I don’t think there is anything more conducive to the creative mind than being – and feeling – happy.
My happiness is directly related to the quality of my ideas. Maybe it’s just me, but my best work comes out when I’m at my happiest. And my work hits a block when life does the same.
I learned early on how important it was to me to, above all, be a happy person.
If I’m not happy, I try to fix it – and if I can’t fix it, I change something.
So many people trudge through life with a sour look on their faces, exuding negativity.
They impact other people’s lives negatively in turn.
It’s the clerk at the store who really didn’t need a bad customer today – who then passes it on to the next customer. As someone who worked in a supermarket, I can tell your firsthand:
The butterfly effect is scary sometimes.
When I get in a bad mood – and I’ll be honest, that does happen – or when I’m upset about something, I have to stop myself and try and consciously pull myself out of that place. Of course, sometimes I just fall right back in – but you got to just try pull yourself out. It’s a lot harder to be happy when things go wrong! But if that wasn’t the case, life would be too easy.
So I try each and every day to come to work with a smile on my face and a good attitude at the ready – and if I do that for anyone, I do it for myself first. As a creative person, I lie in the group of people who leave their emotions out there for the world to see. And it represents itself in my work.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Alex Bogusky, former Creative Director at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. He gave a keynote during Social Media Week 2012 where he talked about himself being on the cover of a magazine at the pinnacle of his career.
He said he looks unhappy, because he was – he had become disillusioned with the industry.
What did he do?
He decided that life was too short to be unhappy and decided to pursue his happiness. He began to work on socially responsible ideas because he wanted to help people. The first thing I would say about Alex is that he just seemed like the happiest, nicest guy in the world.
He made the decision to make a change.
From that change he made comes my favourite quote, which I’ve used already in my first blog, Fear Less Love More. It blew my mind when I heard that, and ever since then, I’ve tried to live and work that way.
Creativity is not something to be taken for granted.
I know I’m creative – and I find it very easy to come up with good ideas and to solve marketing challenges.
Do I think it will last forever?
What I do know is this:
The more time I spend being happy, the longer and more successful my career in this industry is going to be.
My creativity and my happiness are very important to me. There are people in this world who have real reasons to be unhappy – and I would never take that away from anyone.
All I know is my life.
I’m only 25 years old. I have a great family. I have amazing friends. I was lucky to get a good education. I’m passionate about my work, and a solid 95 percent of the time, I’m happy.
I’m definitely very fortunate – and I try to remind myself of that everyday.
I’ve seen people go through genuine hardships and come out with a smile. So if they can do that, then I have no excuses. I like to think that I’m only getting started in this industry, and I definitely want to Fear Less and Love More. I want to achieve great things and help great people. Hopefully, when I’m an old man, I can look back on the things I did and think three things:
1). I had great ideas
2). Life was fun
3). I had a positive impact on people’s lives
I think those three things will add up to a very happy and creative individual!
It has been a pleasure to blog during Creative Week. And for those of you who read my blogs, I am forever grateful. This is my first stab at blogging and I enjoyed it immensely.
My mother always says that I wear my heart on my sleeve, so I decided in accepting the challenge to blog that I would be as open as I would normally be whilst talking with someone face-to-face.
I bought this poster recently, and I think it sums up everything I just talked about pretty well.
It will hang at the front door of every apartment, house or tree house that I ever live in.
Serving as my reminder of what’s really important.