“Life is too important to be taken seriously.”  – Oscar Wilde

Last week was mental health awareness week. The theme was stress.

In a world where everything in appearance has to be perfect, we’re quickly under a lot of stress…

Have you read The Art of Possibility  by Benjamin Zander? If not, you should!

In this book, there is a story, and it goes like this:

“Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by a hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology. When the scene is repeated for the third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister. “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so g—damn seriously.” “Ah,” says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?”

“There aren’t any.”

In other words, life is so much better, satisfying, and human if you live it with as much transparency and sincerity and, above all, humor, as possible. And that you may be able to laugh with yourself!

This is also very important if you want to have fun by making your paintings and drawings. It’s actually important for everything in life! Making art is more fun if you don’t take yourselves too seriously. If you don’t expect a masterpiece as a result. If you don’t judge your art.

Drawing helps me relax. It’s is for me like meditation. It allows me to deal with stress, to disconnect from the outside world, to access my non rational, emotional right side of the brain by focusing totally on the pen and paper, and to access my creative self. It even unlocks great ideas that have to do with work or with other sides of life. Ideas that were hidden in that right side of my brain, and that the left side ignored…

I’m curious: how do you deal with stress? Does making art helps you? Give some of your tips in the comments below to help others!


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