I have had the good fortune of mentoring people all over the world for many years, one piece of advice has always been constant, “the key to success is happiness”. Chasing a job because of money or doing something because it is the easy option, will never make it the right option. The biggest risk of such a move is pigeon holing yourself. Think about school or college, the courses you enjoyed the most, the professors you liked the most, were likely the courses in which you received the highest scores. But let me be clear, it is the job of family, friends, managers and mentors to support and encourage these passions.
Case in point, my daughter Daniela is an artist. From a young age she has loved to draw and create. I remember her writing and illustrating her first book before she was 10. Her preferred language of communication has always been art. My wife and I encouraged our children’s passions and never smothered them with our desires for them. We decided it was our duty to encourage their passions while being honest with them so it wasn’t a fool’s folly.
Wherever we travelled, we visited art exhibitions, when we moved to the US, we chose a high school that focused in the arts, precollege was at Ringling and she chose her college – The School of Visual Arts (SVA). When she wasn’t drawing for studies, she was drawing for herself.
For her thesis, she partnered with two friends from SVA, who together, wrote and produced their final thesis – Hamsa. She was selected as the commencement speaker at graduation and last week, Hamsa won an Oscar from the Student Academy Awards. I can’t begin to say how proud I am of Daniela and her friends Chrisy and Maya.
At the end of the day, their success is because of their shared passions but more importantly because they were doing what makes them happy. They are my proof that happiness breeds success.