I lost a friend this week.
It was one of these freak moments that causes you to realize just how incredibly vulnerable we are, as people. He was hiking in a gorge in CA and apparently slipped and fell to his death.
Moments like this always cause me to reflect upon my own mortality. I am quite confident that Stephen had no idea that he would be meeting his demise moments after tightening his hiking bootlaces.
There was an article floating around the web some years ago about the happiest cultures in the world. Since this article, numerous copycats have popped up. Almost all of these articles, which attempt to define happiness, mention three cultures in common:
The reasoning for Denmark and Iceland is because of the deep sense of community engagement and interaction of both cultures. It appears we need each other to feel happy. Bhutan was listed, as the people, as part of their religion, meditate daily on the impermanence of life. The idea here is that if you think about the fact that you are going to die (and truly, it could be today), you tend to live more fully.
Personally, I do not want to pass, with my life being summed up as trivial (by my own measure, of course). The solution I come to is 1. Invest in my community and family and 2. Serve others.
Arts Entrepreneurship can accomplish both of these goals.
If one focuses on what their community needs are and works to fill those needs, they become necessary (filling gaps)—while acting in a manner of service. When one is serving others, they are, unequivocally, fighting the good fight. It feels good to serve others.
In the relatively short time you have to live in this life, do you want to die, having primarily served your ego or do you want to pass, knowing that you had some sort of positive impact on another’s’ or multiple peoples’ lives?
Look at your community and its various cultural offerings. What is missing? What is necessary? What change would you like to see for the better? How can you serve?
There is nothing wrong in financially profiting, in the act of serving others. That is, I think, the best-case scenario—to be able to provide for our families, to have a comfortable lifestyle—while serving others and improving others’ lives. Entrepreneurs do not always have to be charities.
What are you committed to? If you don’t like the answer you come up with, what can you commit to?
Jim Hart is the founder of The Hart Technique. www.harttechnique.com To learn about licensing possibilities, contact Hart directly. firstname.lastname@example.org