Hats Off

Paul Fairweather
5 min readOct 27, 2020


Old Hat at This Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2020

My father wanted to be an archaeologist but was given no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps and study engineering. After retiring from a successful career as a local Government Engineer, he completed his Masters in Archaeology. He also took up painting and writing. He continued to volunteer for Local Government Engineers’ Association and Vinnies, but he never let any of those things define who he was or was not.

YOGA Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2020

On the Common Creative Podcast this week, Chris Meredith and I interview Camille Woods, a young, social media entrepreneur who successfully mixes a career as an accountant with being both a yoga and meditation teacher. She explains that this unusual combination helps balance her mind, her body and her soul. I am inspired that she has started out in a very traditional career but has not let it defines her. What is great is that Camille has found a career that balances Mind, Body and Soul.

YOG-A-HURT Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2020

As well as being inspired, I am also envious of Camille and others of her UV-XY+Z Generation. A good friend of mine has two adult sons. One did an accounting degree and after a few years of compliance and audit in a well respected national firm, he launched a successful startup. His brother,
after completing his law degree and securing a position with an international law firm ahead of hundreds of applicants, then turned down an offer for full-time work to establish his own startup.

The working world that these young people have entered is so different from the one that I started forty-odd years ago, which was in some ways already evolving from the world that my father and previous generations had experienced. In my father’s day, you had one career, and maybe two or three different jobs at the most. What you did define who you were.
Now in the world of fluidity, not identifying with this or that or every other thing, younger people are career and work-fluid, and flow, seemingly effortlessly, from one to another and combine multiple streams
of ‘work’.

Along with my own successful career as an architect, I have had many and varied alternative careers, including property developer and business consultant, hobby businesses, and digressions that were in hindsight pure folly. But even after some success as an artist, and more recently my forays into writing, speaking and creative leadership, I still often struggle with how my own personal brand might be perceived by my clients, friends and colleagues. My ambition has always aspired to live as a master in the art of living.

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labour and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both. L.P. JACKS

So today I make a hat-tip to the many and varied ways we all show up in the world, whether it be at different stages of life, or on different days of the week.

Hats off to the Architects Watercolour Diptych
Paul Fairweather 2020

Hats off to the architects and the designers of the world, who know that design is too important to be taken too seriously. To those know it is not just about creating functional and beautiful buildings, but that besides creating spaces where people feel safe, they have some much more to offer in helping people solve problems and design a better life.

Hats off to the Writers Watercolour Diptych
Paul Fairweather 2020

Hats off to the writers who are religious about their practice and make a point of getting pen to paper every day. To those who not only write for a living but also for whom writing is part of a spiritual journey, inspiring others to access their higher selves.

Hats off to the Artists Watercolour Diptych
Paul Fairweather 2020

Hats off to the artists who often have a bit of a lopsided view of the world, but are always mindful of the colourful people and things in their lives. To those who have had a brush with fame, but don’t see the world through rose-madden or cadmium-red coloured glasses.

Hats off to the Speakers Watercolour Diptych
Paul Fairweather 2020

Hats off to those who want to be heard, who always have their soapbox on their mind. To those who shower their audience with their wisdom, often getting so excited about inspiring others that they foam at the mouth.

Hats off to those who wear many different hats, who are bold, brave and a bit quirky, and don’t care if they wear the wrong hat to the right occasion.

As a haberdasher (originally meaning a hat or cap dealer) of hopes and dreams, I seek to help you people be their most authentic self, pick hat styles that allow you to connect with and express your true creative self, and to find the right hat hooks that not only solve a practical problem but allow you to have different hats readily at hand.

Inspired by Bottles Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2008

Sort of a personal milliner for the creative mind.

It has become apparent to me that the reinvention of oneself is not just the territory of the young at heart with their fancy start-ups. I am starting a movement called Finish-Ups: It is for people who have reached halfway or beyond, and have a burning desire to re-invent themselves and wear different hats. Stay tuned.

Are you most creative authentic self, irrespective of your current circumstance?

What different hats to wear?

Are you Bold, Brave and a bit Quirky?

Listen to the latest episode of The Common Creative here https://tinyurl.com/TCC-Creative-Accountacy

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