“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’.
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
by Skip Cohen
Sunday is always my day to follow a different path other than business and marketing. "Sunday Morning Reflections" started as a way for me to share a thought or two about something other than photography. And, as I've written before, writing this post has a therapeutic value to help me recharge my thought process before a new week kicks off.
While sometimes I have no idea what to share, this morning, I knew exactly where I wanted to go and the topic...looking back.
Since celebrating my fiftieth anniversary in imaging ten days, I've repeatedly fallen into stretches of looking back. It started with that first post on February 6. That brought out a few hundred people from both my past and present, with an overwhelming never-ending flow of much appreciated congratulations. Thanks to social media through LinkedIn and Facebook, they came from all over the place in my career. Later in the day, I was a guest on Don Komarechka's podcast, Inside the Lens, and we talked about some of the lessons I'd learned over the years.
Then, a good buddy, Jerry Costanzo and his wife Sharon, came for a short visit. Jerry and I go back to my early Hasselblad days in '87, and while we don't catch up that often, our lives are deeply rooted in the industry and it's a friendship I cherish. Then on Friday, I kicked off a new post series called "Lessons Learned," an idea also thanks to Don Komarechka.
Last but not least, in a search for something new for next week's Throwback Thursday, I found three disks loaded with old images from Ofoto. Ofoto was the foundation for today's Shutterfly. Most of the images were from 20-25 years ago, creating another trip down Memory Lane.
Five different events have contributed to the longest stretch of looking in my rearview mirror I've ever experienced. It's been one of those out of body experiences people talk about, only my life didn't flash before me, but became a full-length feature film. I repeatedly kept stepping back into chapters of my story.
They say we can never go back, but that's not true. We can go back - we just can't stay there very long! While I could easily kick back and be one of those, I remember when kind of guys, I'm too excited about tomorrow and memories that haven't been made yet. I'm also looking forward to how much I still have to learn. I'm too enthusiastic about the new challenges in business and life. That's what keeps me going.
This time next Sunday I'll be sitting on a plane headed for WPPI in Las Vegas. The show's had its share of challenges since it went from a family-owned business to a corporate entity, but it's still a benchmark of potential. I'll be in the Platypod booth catching up to both old friends and new ones as I share another chapter in my career and a product line I've grown to love deeply. (If you're at WPPI, come by and check out Platyball!)
And that brings me full circle to my point. We've all got a rearview mirror to look back through. Those nostalgic journeys behind us give us the foundation to appreciate the new ones ahead of us. We can take long and short glances back, but it's the view going forward that feeds everything behind us.
Regardless of how you got here today - appreciate your roots. Remember that everything you've experienced and every person who's come into your life, good or bad at the time, has contributed to who you are today. They've all been building blocks in developing your sense of self, and your skillset well beyond when a camera's in your hands!
Wishing everybody a Sunday filled with just as many great looks back as you enjoy looking forward. While you can't go back, you sure can appreciate the path you've taken that got you here. Best of all, you can change the road you're on at any time. Always go for those long therapeutic hugs with the people most important in your life and make it a day when the smile on your face sets the stage for the week ahead.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.