You are the artist of your own life. Don’t let someone else be the paintbrush.

You are the artist of your own life. Don’t let someone else be the paintbrush.

We get one draft of making a life painting.

Cumulatively it feels as if we are able to make thousands, given our first person perspective. In studying history, we are treated to a third person perspective of countless individuals who preceded us. These stories (when told with a fair bias and accurate accounting) paint a picture of who that person was, what they stood for, how they felt, what they set ambitions for and so on.

Most of us will never be historical figures of whose accounts numerous others will read and discover. For most of us, it is a first person journey, survived by those who knew us (or thought they knew us) and remembered as such.

So given those parameters, would it not be wise to recognize our unique ability to take our own life and direct it with finesse and flair? One might respond that we are caught in the daily turmoil of life, so what is going to enable us to make those brush strokes?

That is the key perspective from which I opt to share. The painting we create is never going to be a masterpiece. The more I read the aphorisms of all of the legends, and learn about their strengths and weaknesses, the more evident that detail has become to me. All of the people whom I admire were clearly flawed figures, capable of genius, intellect, creativity, vision and so on. But every single one of them had qualities that could have been stronger, more defined and more evolved. I used to make it a point not to learn about the contemporary people I admired, for, in doing so, it tarnished my larger than life perspective of them. But we are all flawed characters working towards self improvement, and hoping and expecting to achieve the dreams and visions we aspire to. 

The fly in the ointment comes when a third party starts to have some governance over who we are and what we are going to be able to set our minds to achieve. At that stage, we are finding ourselves a prisoner (of sorts) dancing to the rhythm of a different drummer, a person who is calling the shots and allowing us to pursue only those variables that appeal to them.

I believe that self determination is paramount to the happiness quotient. In those moments, our choices cause new parts of our painting to flourish and our efforts and energy drive the proverbial brush strokes of this lifelong masterpiece we are working to sculpt. The outcome does not have to be monumental by anyone else’s standards than yourself. Your experiences can be on the global stage or entirely in a tiny community known by few but those who inhabit it. What is most important is that you have created the experiences, your life is generating the outcomes and you are continually determining what comes next.

If this is not resonating for you, then in 2022, pick up that paint brush and start a new segment of your masterpiece. The canvas is as wide as your imagination and as vast as your creativity and positivism will enable you to make it.

Happy Thursday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!