"The thing I remember best about successful people I've met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they're doing... and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they're doing, and they love it in front of others." -Mr. Rogers
I think that might just be the best advice I've ever seen or heard: Love what you do, and Love it in front of others. I went into New York City yesterday, and I found people everywhere following this advice
Whether it was two people in love with each other and not afraid to kiss in a fountain.
Or a ninja and photographer capturing incredible feats of human movement, unafraid of being called silly or strange.
Or a man who loves to commune with nature, even in a big city where many people are too busy to notice or care about pesky pigeons.
Or a future entertainer, trying out his new show on the masses. Unafraid of poor reviews or a disinterested audience. (BTW it was a great puppet show.)
That's something I Love about New York City. There are so many people, and so much diversity, people can do almost anything they want and not seem out of place. When people regularly dress as Elmo or the naked cowboy and take pictures with tourists for money, everyone else can be less self conscious. Because compared to waking through times square almost naked and taking thousands of pictures with strangers, whatever you do seems pretty normal. I've heard camera makers use the same psychological tricks. They always produce a fantastically expensive top line model so that their 'mid-range' models seem more reasonable in comparison. Normal is whatever falls between the extreme highs and lows. And New York City is definitely a place of extremes, so you can feel normal doing whatever you want in public.
Too often we hide who we are from others, afraid of judgement or scorn or ridicule. But if you want to be truly happy, you must be strong and do what you Love in front of others. And don't just do it for yourself, doing what you love in public helps others be more comfortable with who they are.
And my last piece of advice is this: ALWAYS stop to watch a children's puppet show.