Joy

Domino paper

Oiseaux & Feuillage

How beautiful is this handmade domino paper by A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson? Since 2012, Antoinette Poisson has been reinventing the artisanal savoir-faire of the “dominoterie” inspired by traditional 18th century techniques.

Happiness

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

– William Morris

Wildbit knows that “pursuing relentless growth at all costs isn’t a sustainable way to build businesses or help people find meaning in their work.”

Today, Wildbit, creators of People-First Jobs, is celebrating 20 years of putting people first. In this video, they share their thoughts on the future of business and ask some great questions.

What sort of workplace are you creating that gives space for people to have a whole life, and bring their whole self to work?

We shouldn’t judge success of business, just based on the fact that it can create more jobs … if the jobs are crap or if the impact of the business is bad on the world, then is that still success just because it creates jobs?

Olle Eksell

Old Town (Gamla Stan) – 1939
The Stockholm Palace – 1939

Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.

– Aristotle

Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

– Albert Camus

Navigating stuckness

… this year, I haven’t been doing very much. I’ve spent a lot of time wandering into churches, reading old journals, watching YouTube videos, and staring out of windows, but very little time making any work. I’ve been feeling really stuck, unsure about what to do next, and struggling with a lot of self-doubt and confusion. … 

I thought about stuckness, and about where I lost the flow. … I thought of my life as a series of chapters, and I realized that each time I’d been majorly stuck, it meant that a life chapter was ending, and that a new one needed to start …

When I think about my own future, my dream is always the same. I’m living in a small beautiful farmhouse in a small beautiful town among a small community that values me. I’m living with a wife and kids I love deeply, and I spend each day making art and watching nature. My mind is clear and calm, I’m in control of my time, and I’m kind. …

In America, success is a word we hear a lot. What does it mean? Is it money, power, fame, love? I like how Bob Dylan defines it: “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have. …

Inside each of us is a little ten-year-old child, curious and pure, acting on impulse, not yet caring what other people think. Remember what you were doing at ten, and try to get back to doing that thing, incorporating everything you’ve learned along the way.

When I was ten, I was writing words and drawing pictures.

Maybe that’s the path out of the stuckness.

Jonathan Harris

Building friendships

I personally really dislike “business networking” events. At almost every one of these events, it seems like the goal is to walk around and find people to trade business cards with, with the hope of meeting someone who can help you out in business and in exchange you can help that person out somehow. I generally try to avoid those types of events, and I rarely carry any business cards around with me.

Instead, I really prefer to focus on just building relationships and getting to know people as just people, regardless of their position in the business world or even if they’re not from the business world. I believe that there’s something interesting about anyone and everyone – you just have to figure out what that something is. If anything, I’ve found that it’s more interesting to build relationships with people that are not in the business world because they almost always can offer unique perspectives and insights, and also because those relationships tend to be more genuine.

If you are able to figure out how to be truly interested in someone you meet, with the goal of building up a friendship instead of trying to get something out of that person, the funny thing is that almost always, something happens later down the line that ends up benefiting either your business or yourself personally. …

So my advice is to stop trying to “network” in the traditional business sense, and instead just try to build up the number and depth of your friendships, where the friendship itself is its own reward.

– Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness

How to find fulfilling work

The way that education can lock us into careers, or at least substantially direct the route we travel, would not be so problematic if we were excellent judges of our future interests and characters. But we are not. When you were 16, or even in your early twenties, how much did you know about what kind of career would stimulate your mind and offer a meaningful vocation? Did you even know the range of jobs that were out there? Most of us lack the experience of life — and of ourselves — to make a wise decision at that age, even with the help of well-meaning career advisers. …

We can easily find ourselves pursuing a career that society considers prestigious, but which we are not intrinsically devoted to ourselves — one that does not fulfill us on a day-to-day basis. …

“Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies,” wrote Albert Camus. …

It is common to think of a vocation as a career that you somehow feel you were “meant to do.” I prefer a different definition, one closer to the historical origins of the concept: a vocation is a career that not only gives you fulfillment — meaning, flow, freedom — but that also has a definitive goal or a clear purpose to strive for attached to it, which drives your life and motivates you to get up in the morning.

– Roman Krznaric. Via Brain Pickings.