What is a Good Life? #46
Love, Attention & Creativity with Dave Zaboski
On the 46th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast, I'm delighted to introduce Dave Zaboski as our guest. Dave is a classically trained painter, was an animator at Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros., has showcased his fine art at galleries internationally, and has painted for the Dalai Lama. While his work includes timeless films like “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” he has also illustrated several acclaimed children’s books.
In this episode, Dave tells us why attention is our most valuable commodity and discusses the connection between love, attention, creativity, and interdependence. We also explore the role of acknowledging and processing grief and its importance in creating something new, and moving on from anger.
Dave also delves into the immense power of our storytelling and touches on the collective shifts we can accomplish through our stories. He also points to the universal laws of creativity and what we can extrapolate from them regarding life (see 🎬 below).
If your life is lacking some spark, if you are feeling frustrated or even angry about not expressing your potential, this episode will give you plenty to contemplate. Dave is a force of loving nature, and I suspect that after listening to him for an hour, you’ll love and appreciate life a little more, while feeling inspired for action.
The weekly clip from the podcast (3 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (58 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
Dave makes a connection in this interview between the processing of grief and creativity; processed grief can then become fuel or inspiration for what is to come. The problem is that we are generally not very aware of our grief, let alone acknowledge it, and therefore not very attuned to processing it. This often leads us to a place of anger, which we remain in as we look to the outside world to lay blame or to vent at, rather than looking inwards.
When we consider grief, we mainly consider the theme of death, however, we can be grieving many other things in our life. It could be the passing of a phase of our lives, the ending of a friendship or relationship, opportunities that have slipped through our hands, or as Dave poignantly points out the grieving of our personal potential.
It may even be in scenarios where you would make the same decision again, and life, in offering you more than one option, has left you without the other. It could even be your own values and sense of priorities have led you to the forfeiture of something significant.
It’s not that you need to perpetually spend part of your day in mourning over things that you find innocuous on the surface. Just an acknowledgment of it and holding it in attention for a time is often enough.
The more we can acknowledge what we are grieving for and be honest with ourselves about it, not only are we helping ourselves move on from being angry and resentful, but it better informs whatever decisions we are going to make next. If we pay attention to the full consequence of our choices, their full lifecycle of experience, would we do the same thing again next time?
Whether or not we can unravel the life that we have built around choices we have made, some of us may have too many responsibilities or commitments to do otherwise, simply acknowledging and transmuting that grief into something else can change our present experience of the same life, and perhaps even provide fertile ground for surprising future changes.
If you’d like to work with me to awaken your own self-inquiry, message me here to a arrange a free 30-minute 1-on-1 consultation
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3. Full Episode - Love, Attention & Creativity with Dave Zaboski - What is a Good Life? #46
4. This week’s Questions
Is there something you could risk doing this week, that you have put off doing for so long? (as per the clip - asking for a raise, a date, starting something new)
Is there something you feel angry about in your life that grief may be residing behind?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed over 170 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.