Sister Subsets and Brother Brackets – Part 3 in a 4 part series

Each time I start a series of article, here on The Survivor Manual, I begin with a concept and an intention of sharing my knowledge and my (H)(E)art.  It’s not like I have all the articles planned out on paper or in my head before I start.   Sometimes creating and sharing your art comes easy and sometimes you just need to be hammer it out.  Let’s just say, I’m hammering away at this one.  Either way, it’s all worthy.  The goal is to deliver  your (H)(E)art,  which isn’t about perfection.  “Art is never defect free.” (Quote from Linchpin by Seth Godin).

Here is the concept, I started with,  for this series of articles;  You, Your Community, Your Job and Your Compensation.  In Part one we visualized, you as the center of  your community. In Part two we covered, how the labels we place on ourselves influences how well we can do our job.  In this installment we’ll touch more on, your job as an artist and explore your expansive reach with 1-on-1 interactions .

Everyone Is a Leader

In this physical world, if leadership really looked like this, who would be at the top and where would you put yourself?

Is this how you visualize leadership?

Ok, let’s use The President of the United States, Barack Obama, as our example.  If he were the ultimate supreme leader, who leads him?  Imagine the people that have surrounded him throughout his life and his present advisers.  Should they be placed above him?

I will reference a book given to my son, Barack by Jonah Winter to provide insight to individuals who have shaped a person, we label as a leader.  Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, son of an  African born father and Caucasian mother from Kansas.  His father left when he was a toddler.  His mother re-married and they moved to Indonesia.  Later he went back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents.  In college he discovered his art, moving people just with the power of his words in a speech.  Later, in Chicago, his job was to help poor people help themselves. His journey led him to Trinity Church, which surrounded him with the people from his neighborhood, including many he had helped.  Illinois State Senator and U.S. Senator followed and then President of the United States, with his wife and family at his side.

Imagine all the people that surrounded him and shaped him, knowing that his life was not pefect by any stretch of the imagination. Would you consider them leaders?  Would you place them above Barack Obama?  Imagine the individuals who surrounded him, centered in the core of their universe with the intention of giving their art, from their heart.

Consider the word art.  We tend to think of it a physical creation to be hung on a wall, placed in a gallery or a movie or song to be watched and heard.  Expand your definition of art to mean, emotional labor as described by Seth Godin in Linchpin.  “Emotional labor, was first coined forty years ago by sociologist Arlie Hochschild in her book, The Managed Heart.  She described it as the “management of feeling to create a publicly observable facial and bodily display.”  In other words, it’s work you do with your feelings, not your body. Seth goes on to explain. Emotional labor is the hard work of making art, producing generosity, and exposing creativity. Working without a map involves both vision and the willingness to do something about what you see. Imagine art as, listening, working a spreadsheet, organizing an amazing event.  It’s art when you lose yourself inside it and would do it without monetary reward.  It’s the inside yes, as I like to call it. Art; sometimes it comes easy and sometimes you just need to hammer away.

Your Job as an Artist

Your job is to create your art and ship your art.  Remember “Art is never defect free.”  And it has more to do with the emotional labor you put into your physical output.  So what is your clay, paint, instrument?  One person’s paint is another persons statistical equation. The only way to find out is to start creating and taking note when you feel that inside yes. Then do more of it.  Start building your body of work with less regard to where each piece  fits into the larger picture.

For Whom Do You Make the Art?

A lot of the stress we feel in the modern world comes from this conflict between the small world in which we’re wired to exist and the large world we use to make a living. (Linchpin page 155) .  A tribe is a community in which you participate and do not charge interest.  The whole bit about not charging interest makes me chuckle because I know married couples who would indeed charge each other interest, so I guess technically their blood family isn’t considered their tribe in this instance.  And if you charge everyone interest I guess that means you are a one person tribe, in this instance.  Looking at the circles above, imagine your tribe as the purple ring around you.  These are the people that you don’t charge interest.  They are the recipients of your free art via 1-on-1 interactions.

I’ve come to call my tribes, sister subsets and brother brackets.   These subsets include my family, close personal friends and 2 organizations that have synergistic goals, values and generosities to my organization.   The sisters and brothers in my tribe have other people in their tribe for whom they do not charge interest.  They may not directly interacting with me, so by virtue of me sharing my art it benefits a person I may not even know through mutual tribe members.   Together we create value which may or may not be sold for monetary gain, which is never the overriding goal.

In the past three years I have found a subset of sisters that I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t of traveled, explored and made an effort to connect.  I spoke to people  about my dreams and aspirations.  Some listened and encouraged.  Some gave me strange looks, but ultimately the explorations and declarations were key to me re-discovering my art and giving it freely.

Your Compensation

Here’s the beauty of community, as Angela would say, “You make my work, work.”  As it turns out another artist wrote the final installment of this article.  Part 4 – Get Rich – A Secret to Absolute Wealth by Lia Mack.  When I read Lia’s article I thought, “This couldn’t be more perfect.”

Call to Action

Now to get our artistic juices flowing consider this; for 29 days straight wake up every morning with the intention of giving.  Your gift can be anything and doesn’t need to be of monetary value.  It will open you up to what you have to offer, which is your art, your gift.


  1. ladyjtalks says

    Another article well said. Though many times it is hard to give to others when you are in emotional pain, it does help to help others. It is in the giving that we get back in many ways we don't even notice some days. Thank you so much for sharing your world with us here at the Survival Manual site.

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