I’m sitting in a hotel room in Lancaster, California. It’s a simple room with the basics: a bed, a desk, a TV, and a microwave.
And there’s a painting on the wall. It’s pretty big, and has an even bigger gold frame. I’m sure it’s just a print, and there’s a piece of glass covering it.
Now, I’m not an expert on art. But I think good art is supposed to capture your emotions. It catches your eye when you see it, and you interact with the painting in an emotional way.
In other words, it moves you.
I’m not being moved.
It’s colorful, but I’m not sure what it represents. I’m not driven to pull it off the wall and sneak it into my car.
That got me thinking. I don’t know how many nights I’ve spent in hotel rooms in my life, but I’m guessing it’s over 1000. Fancy hotels, cheap hotels, and a bunch in-between. In all those nights, I can’t think of a time when I’ve noticed a painting.
I’m sure there was a painting in almost every room. But I didn’t notice. They didn’t grab me.
But they didn’t irritate me, either.
I wonder if the hotels buy those paintings in bulk, and use them to decorate their rooms to set the tone and make them feel “homey.” By hanging nondescript art, nobody is offended – and they don’t have to worry about people stealing it.
I wonder if the original artist feels bad knowing that his/her artwork is so bland that nobody would notice it or steal it. (But then again, if the artist gets a little commission for every print that’s purchased, having it in thousands of hotels might ease the pain a bit.)
If I compare hotel art to a masterpiece in an art museum, it will always look cheap. But if the purpose is to set a tone for the room, it does its job well.
It makes the room feel comfortable. If that’s the purpose, it’s the perfect painting for the wall.
It’s a “masterpiece” in fulfilling its purpose.
Can you feel the life lesson coming? Here it is:
There’s nobody else like you.
There’s a purpose for your life that nobody else can fulfill.
If you fulfill that purpose, your life is a masterpiece.
If you compare your life with somebody else’s masterpiece, you’re trying to fulfill their purpose, not yours. When that happens, you’ll probably feel like cheap hotel art.
Don’t be somebody else. It robs the world of your uniqueness.
Be yourself. Make your own unique contribution. Quit comparing yourself to others.
Be the best “you” you can be, and the world will see a work of art.
Be a masterpiece today.