The benefits of leading two lives

In our professional lives, we’re constantly in motion. We serve our clients by solving tough problems, meeting their needs through strategy and innovation, and often under shorter and shorter deadlines. Amidst all of that lies the research, experimentation, client collaboration, endless tweaking, and production – all leading to myriad deliverables that everyone can be very proud of. Intertwined in the demands of work life, is our life outside of work: our personal passions, our charities, our deepest held beliefs, and of course, our families.

This is the life we lead – our visible, active life. And those of us, who haven chosen advertising and marketing as their life’s work, know it all too well. We thrive on it. After nearly 40 years, I still love what I do. But there is another, arguably more important, life – our invisible, contemplative life. It’s where our imagination lives and our creative thoughts are born. This life fuels our active life, and it does so expecting nothing from us at all – except that we pause every once in a while to consider it.

Our contemplative life offers us beauty – for no other reason than something within our mind’s gaze is beautiful. It offers us mindfulness – for no other reason than we deeply care about something. And it offers us perspective – for no other reason than because we have taken time to stop, to think, and to appreciate all that we love, and all that we know to be true. Our contemplative life is the wellspring of our active life. It fills our active life with inspiration, motivation, and intention. It can teach us, guide us, and propel us forward. If we let it. All it asks is a little of our uninterrupted time to care for its well-being.

Designers know and appreciate white space. Copywriters understand the power of a properly placed pause. This art director’s hope is that everyone in the coming year will make a practice of living a rich contemplative life. Your active life will thank you. Especially at this the time of year, when it seems we can all use a mental break. Let’s please remember to take it.