Every Man

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Besides being a Roman Emperor (and damn good one at that), Marcus Aurelius was also one of the great Stoic philosophers.

His "Meditations" is one of the first self-help books, and it’s amazing how much of it still applies today.

Besides being a fantastic read, the interesting thing about Meditations for me is, they were written while Marcus still had a very demanding day job i.e. he wrote them in his military tent at night, while campaigning against the Goths. Like blogging is for many of us, it was his way to unwind.

Marcus Aurelius’ example reinforces my belief that a certain famous myth is a load of crock: that one can only produce great art if one does nothing else, besides “make art” yada, yada, yada.

Like the great art teacher, Robert Henri said, the artist is interested in everything around her, not just the stuff she makes.

But just as the artist must be interested in the world around her, so must the world be interested in the art around it. Both halves feed the other, both halves teach the other, both halves inspire the other.

That’s how real innovation happens, for artists and for everyone else.

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