Making Happy

Replacement graphic for NYC subway signage

The above graphic is not my idea. I merely recreated it.

Like when I was a kid tracing the Sunday funnies—I always thought if I practiced enough, the magic would sink in and I could do it on my own.

Post note: The art was made by TRUE. Here is more information about this work. (hat tip @jth)

Right after posting in the wee hours of the morning, I consumed my smorgasbord of daily feeds hoping to wind down and get some sleep.

I came across a link to Stefan Sagmeister’s presentation at TED more than once—and it lingered in a back tab of my browser waiting to be fired up. Usually this means I’ll get overwhelmed and just close everything down, but it took two reputable reads (Swiss Miss and Greg Storey) to force me to carve out the 15 minutes to watch it.

Here is the video: TED Talks – Stefan Sagmeister: Yes, design can make you happy
[ also note, I think the TED site design is the cat’s whiskers ]

If I collected all the funny YouTube I go through in any given period of time and channel it in to something else, I could actually, probably, learn something and enrich my life. Kill your television. Yada yada yada. That’s not the point here.

The point is, I really enjoyed Stefan’s talk and I’m glad this material is available online.

If you don’t have the time to watch it, here’s a list from Sagemeister’s diary:

Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
Being not truthful works against me.
Helping other people helps me.
Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy.
Everything I do always comes back to me.
Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
Over time I get used to everything and start taking if for granted.
Money does not make me happy.
Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
Assuming is stifling.
Keeping a diary supports my personal development.
Trying to look good limits my life.
Worrying solves nothing.
Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
Having guts always works out for me.

Good stuff.

20 comments

  1. If I collected all the funny YouTube I go through in any given period of time and channel it in to something else, I could actually, probably, learn something and enrich my life. Kill your television. Yada yada yada. That’s not the point here.
    I certainly feel that. I also think, “If I spent all the time I spend on youtube, on something worthwhile,” etc., etc.

  2. Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
    Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
    Don’t these two statements contradict one another, at least partially? [yet, I agree, don’t do drugs, and don’t smoke]

  3. Jeff,
    I think only very partially.
    Just because I avoid sacrificing today in the hopes of living tomorrow doesn’t mean I should shoot tomorrow in the foot.
    Now back to my coffee.

  4. I just emailed my friend that made these and I hope he gets back to you. They are shown in the back of Sagmeisters book, I believe with full credit.

  5. i can send u a file of the mta sticker, as long as u have no commercial intention for it…

  6. No commercial intentions here True. So glad you stopped by.
    I’ve got my recreation hung up over the desk. It makes me smile every time I glance up.

  7. I would love to hang a larger/sharper copy of this on my wall. Is there any chance of a larger/vector version making an appearance?
    Thanks a lot, Chris.

  8. Oh man, I need to print that and put it up in random spots at work.
    Any idea where I could get a higher res copy?
    .jgd

  9. Wow. I just happened to randomly stumble upon your site, and MAN it is fantastic. This is easily one of the best blogs I’ve read in a long time… I will be back regularly!
    And great post btw. I’ve been having a semi-crappish day today, and its great to hear something so positive. =)

  10. Yet another guy chiming in wishing he could get a high-res copy. If you’re worried about infringement, donate the profits to a charity.
    And I’ll keep pestering you, because I will not accept defeat. 😉

  11. Wow! these are perfect insights! I am now trying to live my life positively, get positive vibrations and a positive outlook. I need all these positive words in your post. I am so full of it. Million thanks!

  12. I love the graphic. It really says a lot. I agree about the instruction of life. Live life to the fullest. Enjoy while it lasts.

  13. Live life to the fullest? I certainly agree.Enjoy your life while you can and set aside those things and consequences that brings you to the positive side of your life.I love this post,very inspiring and full of message. Life becomes meaningful and happy if you live it in line of God.

  14. This talks about the reality in life. The following lines from Sagemeister’s diary catch my attention:
    “Money does not make me happy.
    Trying to look good limits my life.
    Worrying solves nothing.
    Being not truthful works against me.
    Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
    Having guts always works out for me.”

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