It’s been a while since I’ve stopped by here, because, well … life. 2017 has been a challenging one. With the balancing and the struggles, well it’s just been hard. D has mentioned a couple of times this past week that I’m being Mrs Negative, and you know, I was a little surprised, but when I thought about it not really surprised.
Recently I’ve re read the four hour work week by Tim ferriss. He talks a lot about mini retirements. Mini retirements are about taking extended breaks now instead of deferring them until you’re older and retired. The first time I read the book this concept didn’t resonate with me, but this second time, we’re more settled emotionally, it seems like a feasible idea.
Meditation has never really been my ‘thing’. The self improvement kick I’ve been recently on has changed that. I read something by Tim Ferriss about setting your intention for the day and journalling it. Meditation fits into this practice perfectly. Imporoving your mindfulness during the day brings you back to your intention.
I’ve just been on a little trip to Melbourne to pick up a wide angle zoom. Previously, the widest lens I had was the 28mm on a 28-75 zoom. And as I’m sure as a photographer yourself, you can relate – after hours spent researching and debating the options, I decided on the Canon 16-35 f4.0 IS. It reviewed well for sharpness and the IS is a great feature when you shoot video as well as stills.
Standing in the one spot, doing the same things you’ve always done, will continue the sameness of your life. One thing we’re not taught as kids, or even adults, is that we need to keep learning and improving, and working towards you thing (goal, dream or achievement).
I’m not sure whether it’s the influence of our society, the media, our friends or something else, but collectively we have a view that someone will come and save us. That they will bring us the things we desire whether that’s wealth, fame or happiness. Somehow we’ve forgotten that we need to define what it is that we want or where it is we want to go; and, then that we need to work our butts off to get there.
I love a good quote that makes me think about who I am, and reminds me that my life isn’t about anyone else. It’s just about me, and the work I want to do. In his books, Ryan Holiday has many gems that can sweet away the bullshit that shows up in your brain at different times.
“People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.” Ryan Holiday
Days are filled with the busy life. Raising kids, working the day job to pay the bills and the general “I’m so tired, I can’t drag my arse off the couch.” I’m tired of that so I’m making some changes.
Practice, practice, practice. The mantra of anyone wanting to be great at something. Now to schedule in time to do more of it.
It’s been a long year. From December holidays I had a plan that this was the year to improve my photography and start my business. I was going to shoot every day, and process every day. That hasn’t happened. Life, you know? It just gets in the way sometimes doesn’t it? Working, partnering, parenting and just general day to day living can really take you away from your dreams.
But you just need to remember that getting to where you want to go takes work. There’s a few quotes that keep popping up that embody the best way to approach reaching your goals …
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.” Liz Gilbert. Liz Gilbert is one of my favourite creative inspirations. I’ve never read Eat, Pray, Love but I have read Big Magic and heard her speak on a number of podcasts.
Ultimately creativity and making great things comes down to two things: having an open heart and grabbing on and curiously exploring the small threads that interest you; and working your arse off.
My daily journalling and meditation practice has been kicking on for over two months now. After finishing the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (effectiveness and efficiency – are you working on what you should be working on?) I’ve made some changes in my life. I’m now reading more non fiction than I ever have before. And much to my surprise, I’m really enjoying what I’ve been reading.
This time last year, Groovin the Moo morning, I was excited and petrified at once. I was embarking on an adventure I’d never experienced before. About to shoot a music festival with no experience and a small child I was reluctant to leave all day.
The sun was shining with a pleasant forecast for the rest of the day so I didn’t have todays worry of protecting my gear from the rain. I prepped my gear, charged batteries, formatted cards, cleaned lenses and packed my bag.
I find it to be a meditative process to write every morning. One of the exercises I do when I’m feeling confused or upset is to write through it. And much of the time the fear is imagined … as Seneca said
“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.”
Writing through the process grounds you in reality. It forces you to actively think through and intentionally rationalise the outcomes that are worrying you.