Insights and reflections for the week.

I reconnected with two old acquaintances this week. One acquaintance, Jeff I photographed for his head shot and we discovered we could be of mutual assistance in achieving our goals. The other acquaintance, Adriana is an amazing creativity and spiritual teacher that taught me a lot about, growing my creativity, driving slowly, patience and visualizing  a positive intention for my 2 sons.
I went to an art opening of my college friend Anthony Redpath at Bau Xi gallery. I felt it was his best body of work, it looked great. I saw a mutual old friend I had not seen for 27  years. He was one year a head of me in my photography program and one of the top academic students. He was not practising photography any more and has become electrician. I did not recognize him except for his eyes and his quite kind personality which remained relatively the same. He would probably think the same of me.

Never Retire.
I often hear people tell me how they can’t wait to retire and that they hate work. I feel the complete opposite.
If you enjoy what you do , never retire. Work will flow seamlessly between enjoyment and play and keeps the body and mind engaged with the exciting Game of Life. When I was in elementary school I remember dreaming  of being a commercial photographer  and an artist . Then when I went to college and studied commercial photography  a lot of the guys in my class developed negative attitudes .  As I continued my career, I notice a lot of my colleagues  in commercial photography  have negative attitudes  to the business . I’m always surprised  when people dream of a career and then when they get  disappointment in their career  they let it defeat them. I love the words in an old Frank Sinatra song that goes” Every time I find myself flat on my face, I get myself up and get back in the race. That’s life…..”
I feel it is a honour and a gift to be able to work and to serve . I never forget that  the other option  is  looking for work  which is a lot harder than actually working and getting paid. So often when people start a new job they start with a positive attitude and enthusiasm, and they let every negative obstacle or challenge  change their attitude  on their career or job .  Another job always looks greener  and more lucrative, they think .  Then most people  start to develop a negative attitude  on their daily job . I admit I can get physically tired and a little negative sometimes then I remind myself that people often say to me “I wish I had a job like yours.” This reminder helps me to be stay super grateful and positive.
Find what you enjoy doing and what you are good at and make a career of it. Then work will transform to play as long as you are present. There is no substitute for good hard work. There are problems and challenges in every job, several times a day or even hour. That’s what I get paid for, solving challenges and with each challenge resolved a bigger one arrives to help me grow. I feel this is the winding river of life. All the while I continue to create my masterpiece.
One of my favorite analogies is,  life is like a winding river. Sometimes it seems like the river is not going in the right direction we want, but it always gets to our goal which is the great ocean.

Negativity, fatigue and being tired  are also a state of mind  which  is my option to change  at any given moment .  My father often told me  that young men never get tired .  I would agree that most fatigue and tiredness  can be erased  by simply changing my attitude towards it . I find the days that I work out early in the morning and go for a jog and or do my daily 15 minute routine I have more physical energy. Similarly if I put in a very long day I can sometimes feel mentally invigorated and excited and ironically have more energy at the end of the day.
When I started out in my career I prayed before sleeping for business. Now that God has blessed me  with work why would I ever want to stop. I often feel excited about the next day, so much so that it’s difficult to sleep. I feel when I have a purpose , the air smells sweeter , there’s more lift in my step , there’s more twinkle in every ones eyes, more presence in each moment and everything and everyone looks more beautiful. Simply put, life is more  engaging and dynamic when I have a purpose in my work/art/business life.

I feel I am fairly lucky and have a relatively simple lifestyle. I found that having a complicated Life Style can make my life too complicated. I have photographed very wealthy people’s homes and they had to maintain a large staff just to manage their estates. I never had aspirations to be like that. My goal is now to have less objects but a few quality objects. If you ever visit a Japanese Palace it has almost no furniture, unlike the European counterparts in France where you have to constantly dust the ornate furniture and decorations.  As I get older I want to minimize  the objects in my life  and simplify . Sure I like large spaces, fast cars, adventure travel and art but how I spend. My general rule is not to spend more than one months net  income on lifestyle. ( My 15 year goal would be to pay for one years personal lifestyle in one work day,  by growing my business.)

I found out that as a man I needed a purpose  a way to contribute and serve,  I needed and want to work.  I also watch my mentors and teachers continue to serve long after they did not need to work . Personal development and growth happens when  we continue to work  and face daily  obstacles and challenges with a positive attitude. I also notice that most people that do not work and stay home and watch TV, develop bad habits of often gossiping and letting trivial little dramas affect their happiness.

Work allows me the privilege of sharing my gift with the world.
Today I cannot imagine  a life without working  it’s such an amazing gift and blessing to be able to work, create and serve.
Other reasons not to retire…
– what happens to a tiger if he retires?
– an amazingly high percentage of people that retire die within 18 months, so better work to live a healthy long life.
–  Everything is either growing or dying why not extend the growing phase and shorten the dying phase.

Off topic: I really like the song ” Work” by Rihanna and Drake.
Peace out my lovely human beings.