“Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés” is a French proverb that came back up recently around privacy, whether on personal or professional matter. Jodie Foster brought it up in a subtly articulate manner at the Golden Globes last Sunday. Although my entourage does not necessarily qualify for paparazzi material, it seems easy to fall into some kind of public exposure, wanted or not. The concept of social media in general certainly exacerbates that publicity. My blogging about it definitely makes this topic rather ironic too, I must admit.

The idea of this proverb touches on how living discreetly (or hidden, as per the direct translation) can preserve and nurture happiness. Multiple theories and scientific research studies have been conducted to determine what triggers happiness, in a conscious way or not. It seems that fame does not feed serenity, glee or bliss: recognition and moral support do (and many other expressions of presence as well). As much as the Golden Globes, or some entrepreneur-of-the-year-award ceremonies are a pleasant way to add another title on one’s business card (and potentially justify heavier future invoices), they are just that: a point in time, to celebrate, and keep going from.

The “any publicity is good publicity” adage is fairly debatable, and famous speakers selling a venue out without much essence or foundation (shared to the public anyway) are still a mystery to me. Maybe I am more drawn to the human side of interaction than I am with the basic, and sometimes cold-hearted, business one. Jodie Foster may have been successful and wealthy, she mentioned having suffered from loneliness, apart from when she was working with her film crews. Ah, that sacrosanct social animal we all are: living without sharing would be meaningless indeed. The question is how far out to the public (rest of the world?) one is ready to share to maintain sanity.

Finding the balance between secrets and information outpour to the world is the idea. If one does not have anything to hide, then should s/he should expose it? Tough question, however who has any authority to legally stop anyone from doing so? What need is there to spread so much that it looks almost narcissistic sometimes? One needs to give to receive, and aspiring or existing entrepreneurs looking for venture capitalists got that part, learning about/from sharks and dragons.

Completely hiding might be a bit much, and close to unconceivable in business. Showering the world with any detail, personal or business-related, sounds a bit scary, and probably invasive at some point, to the point of losing track of one’s life to the benefit of simply existing, through the eyes of others. Glad Foster got the lesson, early in life, and chose to share it (and share it again, almost virally, through social media).