Thursday, October 1, 2009

One ingredient for happiness

I was reading an interesting article about people in Iceland. It turns out psychologists have discovered they are population exceptionally high on the happiness scale. That seemed worth checking out for a place with such a bleak climate. When researchers went over there, their findings were very interesting. It seems Icelandic people don't have the same way of assessing failure and success as most of the western world. When people execute a task, they don't sit back and rate its merit as we do. And they don't have as many critics who come and tell them where they are falling short. They just get on with their work and have fun. As a result, it turns out there are more people who call themselves artists, writers and musicians. It is a very creative hub of the world.

I loved that. My first thought was, Well, how do they know when they need to improve? The more I pondered that, the more I thought it's not really an issue. When you love your work enough to pour lots of time and effort into it, you can't help improving. Improving is a natural process, like cream rising to the top of fresh milk. And why does it even matter if you're no Shakespeare or Beethoven or Picasso, as long as you're enjoying yourself? It comes down to the path you travel being as significant as the destination. If you don't begin these creative pursuits you want to try just because you think you don't have enough talent, think of the enjoyment you miss out on. I take my hat off to the population of Iceland. They're a wise nation.

As far as my own writing is concerned, I don't think about all those far more talented and celebrated authors. I just get on with what I enjoy. When people tell me that they loved reading my stories too, I think, Well, there you are. If I'd listened to my own misgivings, I wouldn't have been the only one missing out on a bit of fun.

Having mentioned Picasso, I found a wonderful quote by him. I am always doing what I can't do in order that I may learn how to do it. Maybe this attitude is what actually makes a master creator. Of course there's also the good old quote by Goethe, Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
By the way, copies of my new book "A Design of Gold" have arrived, if anybody would like to check out my website.


  1. And I am such a chicken when it comes to stepping out and taking risks, which I believe artists/writers/musicians do all of the time. My husband, thankfully, is more adventurous while I try to stay in the safety zone. He has even been teaching himself how to fix things as our vehicles. :) I guess it depends how much you've been raised to be concerned about what others think + personality...? Very thought provoking.

    Anyway, here's to the joy of our salvation in Christ Jesus! We do always have something to rejoice in, don't we? Have a great week.

  2. Wonderful post Paula! Congratulations on your book. I think it is very telling that happiness involves some amount of creative spirit. There is a need in all of us to express the Light within us.

    I may have to add Iceland to the endless list of place I would like to visit! :o)

    Peace and Laughter,