“Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.”

werner herzog bearWerner Herzog is one of my favorite filmmakers. Happy People, his movie about life in Siberia, with all its hardships and stark, hard beauty, is one of my all-time, desert-island favorites.

Today I stumbled across this gem from back in the day: “24 pieces of advice from Werner Herzog for filmmakers.” I don’t agree with every single one—”take revenge if need be,” for example—but I adore his badass worldview. Here are a few of my favorite bits:

  • Always take the initiative.
  • Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
  • Learn to live with your mistakes.
  • Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
  • Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
  • Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
  • Don’t be fearful of rejection.
  • Thwart institutional cowardice.
  • Get used to the bear behind you.

Read the whole list here.

How to be happy, according to a French philosopher.

protea

It’s difficult to get what you want. Even if we desire something, most of the time we don’t take the right steps to get it — that’s the problem with pleasure. We want to be happy, but we prefer pleasure. But pleasure and happiness are quite different. There is no happiness without pleasure, but if you want to be happy, in a deep way, you have to choose not to search for short pleasures, but to make the effort required for greater pleasure, which is where real happiness lies.

A good reminder that being happy is hard work, coming from the author of Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide. (The book is a bestseller in France but was only recently translated into English. Here it is on Amazon.)