Try Anything Twice: Exploring the Parallels Between Creativity & Mortality with Hani Hara

Hani Hara is the first guest on Gravity who hasn’t had an official bio, but that certainly doesn’t make him any less compelling or insightful. A dear friend, mentor, artist, and spiritual advisor, Hani is one of the more personal guests to appear on the show and an important figure in my life.

Born in Cairo in 1948 to Jewish, Egyptian parents, Hani Hara was one of many siblings, and saw more than his share of hardship during The Suez War. His family moved to Paris which kickstarted his love of the arts. Even though his father couldn’t work due to lacking the necessary paperwork, his mindset made the experience into a fun adventure for Hani, who fell in love with creation after being taken to visit museums, the opera, and other world class displays of creativity in the area.

Eventually, Hani and his family found their way to America, where he made numerous lifelong friends. But as he went into education and a professional career, art was pushed further away – partly because he didn’t feel qualified to create. 

Thankfully, Hani later picked up a brush and he’s now an incredibly accomplished artist who is still learning and encourages all of us to do the same. He believes that we all have creation inside of us, whether we access it or not – a concept I am keenly in tune with.

He also believes our forties to be an incredible time in life, one where we can pursue passions and things we maybe stopped dreaming about earlier in life. It’s when our growth as people begins to peak, and we start being able to see ways to put who we are into action and to make the most of ourselves. 

Our conversation also covers manifestation, our relationships with mortality, and more. Tune in to soak up his wisdom and overflowing optimism on life and people.

What Brett asks:

  • [01:20] Let’s start at the beginning and talk about your early childhood memories.
  • [10:05] How much of your dad’s mindset was an important influence on you?
  • [11:27] Tell us about coming to New York.
  • [16:45] How did you juggle a desire to work in the arts with the need to build a life?
  • [18:37] How much of you not getting involved in the arts was a belief that you weren’t good enough?
  • [32:45] Tell us how art begins to enter your life again.
  • [37:18] How do you feel free to trust in your ability to create?
  • [39:45] What’s your relationship like with death now?
  • [42:00] What is good art and what makes a good artist?
  • [46:40] Can anybody create good art?
  • [47:16] Tell us the story about manifesting Ohio State game tickets.
  • [50:50] Tell us about the rule of 10,000 hours in relation to creation.
  • [54:55] Any final thoughts?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Hani’s obsession with death is refreshing. Instead of letting it define him with negative energy, he finds his acceptance of mortality to be completely freeing, unlocking another level of creativity and emotional freedom.
  • Hani believes that the ability to create is within all of us and we should do our best not to forget that. It’s easy to let life take over, but we could all benefit from creative outlets, whether or not we think of ourselves as creators or creatives.