The Happiness Project

A chronicle of my attempts to test-drive every tip, principle and scientific study that promotes happiness

Do You Ever Wish You Could Hire a Boss?

It’s very important, and difficult, to grasp the obvious.

Andy-Warhol-Campbells-Soup-Can-Tomato-1962

Assay: I’m not a huge fan of Andy Warhol’s visual art, but I’m a devoted fan of his writing. (Sidenote: it’s striking how many visual artists are brilliant writers, for instance, I love Eugene Delacroix’s Journal and Edward Weston’s Daybooks).

What interests me about Andy Warhol is that he makes seemingly obvious observations in very simple language—and yet, upon reflection, I often realize that he has managed to articulate something very subtle. As one of my Secrets of Adulthood holds: It’s very important, and surprisingly difficult, to grasp the obvious.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

For instance, I read this passage from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to B and Back Again) several weeks ago, and while it didn’t particularly grab my attention while I was reading it, I find my thoughts repeatedly returning to it. The more I think about this observation, the more profound it becomes.

Andy Warhol wrote:

When I think about what sort of person I would most like to have on a retainer, I think it would be a boss. A boss who could tell me what to do, because that makes everything easy when you’re working.

 

That’s it, I keep thinking. That’s it! I wish I could have a boss on retainer. (Note Warhol's nuance of having a boss "on retainer.")

As the boss of myself, I often wish I had someone to set my priorities, to give me assignments to start and finish, and to tell me how to improve—or better yet, to give me some gold stars.

Telling myself what to do, and then doing what I have to do…it's challenging. Self-command isn't easy. How about you? Do you ever wish you had a boss on retainer? Even if you already have a permanent, real boss.

* If you're interested in writing, check out the blog Jeff Goins Writer. Lots to read and think about there.

* Want to get my free monthly newsletter? February's newsletter is going to feature a big reveal! (well, it seems big to me.) It highlights the best of the month’s material from the blog and the Facebook Page. Sign up here or email me at gretchenrubin1@gretchenrubin.com.

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a book and a blog about her adventures learning to be happier.

more...

Subscribe to The Happiness Project

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.