Finding happiness with work

I love when people talk about their work and their eyes light up. I usually hear that it doesn’t feel like a job, they're happy because they're doing what they love. On the flip side, I have empathy for those who feel uninspired, tired and are looking for ‘the next thing’ but aren't sure how to get there.

In Roman Krznaric’s book, How Should We Live? he explores many ideas about life including love, travel, time and how humans have valued these ideas throughout history.

On the topic of work he compares our freedoms to that of the industrial revolution - which, let’s face it, would have sucked to have been a worker then - implying that now is a greater time than ever to do what we want.

He writes, “… the history of work suggests we can find careers that not only embody our values, but have meaningful goals, give us a sense of respect and use our talents. Some, if not all these, may be within your reach, offering you a job that is big enough for your spirit.”

Krznaric’s goes on to talk about living a polymathic life and gives the example of Leon Battista Alberti (1404-72) who was an author, architect, poet, linguist, cryptographer, philosopher and musician.

Alberti hung out with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The man rolled deep. Michelangelo was renowned for encouraging people to put their range of talents to full use. Inspired by his peers no less.

A life of work could mean doing a lot of things.

Today we call these people slashies. And it usually comes with a huge serve of eye rolling.

Should we really believe that people have only one talent important enough to pursue as a lifelong career?

That was a rhetorical question.

I think, at least to some degree, this type of reaction stems from a fear of trying new things, both in work and life.

Perhaps other people’s responses are simply a nervous reaction of them not ever wanting to be in that position. Personalising. That they have life “set”. For good. And so should you.

Yes to trying new things! Even if you don’t make money off the new things, perhaps not at the beginning, at least you get to explore what may truly be a spark. And who says that you can’t start over again… and again?

One of my favourite people I’ve ever interviewed is Owe Sandström. Owe is known in pop culture for having designed the costumes for ABBA in their hey day. ABBA’s costumes are so treasured they’re protected by Sweden’s National Archive.

Owe just so happens to also be a Zoologist and Biologist.

When I met Owe in his home studio, his fashion career was well behind him. He spoke with such joy about his morning on the farm collecting eggs for his breakfast.  And after his very passionate interview about his work with ABBA, he told me he was off to a University to guest lecture about sustainability on behalf of the World Wildlife Foundation.

My face hurt from smiling so much in his presence. He was genuinely living life to the fullest.

Back to Roman Krznaric. Krznaric cited a great Ralph Waldo Emerson quote in How Should We Live:

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled and torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble” 

Written in: My LA Home

Listening to: Duke Dumont - I Got U feat. Jax JonesThe Giver and the gentle hum of home appliances and the distant mumble of my friend in another room practicing lines for a television pilot.

What you wanted to do as a kid

I spent some time upright in my bed last week and thought about some of my earliest childhood memories. To me, between the ages of 3 and 6, I felt I was really clear with what I liked and what I didn’t. An age where I wasn’t  influenced or persuaded to think differently. This connection to what feels good has really shaped the way I live.

As a child I loved nature, especially being in my grandparent’s garden. We lived on a huge block of land in Melbourne where my grandparent’s grew veggies, fruits, nuts and had chickens. Now I live in a place in Los Angeles where I’m surrounded by wildlife. Instead of hens there are hummingbirds, eagles and owls; instead of almond and fig trees there’s eucalyptus and bamboo.

I've loved music ever since I can remember. No surprise really that my career and life has always been intertwined with music. I loved television and the places it could take me. Hence, career in media.

Another one of my fondest memories were my family dinners, which is why I go to effort to create meals for friends here in LA and wherever I travel to. I’ve talked before about the memorable experiences that you can create over a great meal.

This way of living all came from the sparks I got as a child. I followed what felt right.

Yet in my stillness I remembered something that I loved but didn’t entirely get to weave into my life. And that is Art.

One of the art classes I enjoyed the most during school was ceramics. The spark came from turning clay into something that would be useful and beautiful to me.

I connected this thought with my recent move to LA. My move has meant starting anew with everything. And that means buying new items, like ceramics.

You may be thinking, they’re just plates and bowls, Faustina. Who cares? Just buy them.

Well, instead of buying a set over Amazon or at Bed Bath and Beyond, why not follow that spark and at least try and make my own?

They may not look incredible to begin with. I'll probably knock clay off the spinning wheel on numerous occasions, collapse the soft clay when trying to make a bowl. But the spark will keep me on my seat.

And my logic says that the cost of a single awesome plate would be the same cost of an introductory lesson to ceramics. The knowledge and skills to create my own - BOOM!

So I booked myself into a one-on-one intro ceramics class. I start tomorrow. Yes to the kid in me! Follow the kid within. 

Written in: My favourite secret cafe in LA

Listening to: General noise