by Skip Cohen
Well, it's 7:00 am, and the Sunday routine is in full swing. The pups have been out to do their thing, Alexa's got music playing, and I'm stepping away from business and marketing to write about some aspect of my life. While there are some Sunday mornings where I have no idea what I want to write about, this morning was easy. The topic is aging.
This past Thursday, I celebrated fifty years in the photography industry. For a few weeks leading up to February 6, I wrestled with whether or not to celebrate or withdraw into seclusion! I even talked with several good friends about whether or not I should keep it quiet or put it right out there. The unanimous opinion was to celebrate and share what I've learned. Essentially, stop worrying about what people thought and run business as usual.
Except for creaking for ten minutes when I get up in the morning, I don't feel a day older than I did in my forties! I've got a few more scars, literally and figuratively, but there's no change in my passion for imaging and business. There's also no change in wanting to keep sharing ideas with you, so you can learn from my mistakes and make new ones of your own.
Thursday's celebratory post probably got the most significant response of anything I've ever written, and it's still going. Now and then somebody's shocked I've been around this long and even more surprised I still have something worth reading and talking about.
It's all about passion. "Passion" is probably the most abused word in any language, not only in imaging but in business, and in life. It's that one ingredient that if you've got it, you can do anything, and without it, you'll wander aimlessly.
Passion is what keeps us focused on our goals, even when we don't seem to know what they are. It's what keeps us looking forward rather than spending too much time staring at the rearview mirror. It's also what sets the tone for virtually everything we do.
Somebody asked me what my "secret" was? There is no secret. Your level of passion is involved in every single thing you do and think about. What's wonderful about my journey has been how my passion for everything in my life keeps growing as I've gotten older. Nothing gets in the way for how much I love my life, Sheila, the pups, our friends, having a new camera in my hand, or writing this post this morning.
I know it's a trite way to wrap up a post, but I found a few quotes that say it better than I could ever write it:
You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.
Those who love deeply never grow old: They may die of old age, but they die young.
Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.
This past week somebody congratulated me and wrote: "Here's to the next fifty." It's a little overwhelming to actually consider I'm going to be around for another fifty. We all know it's not going to happen. However, I'm not going to slow down or stop doing things I love just because I'm older - so my point is wake up every morning with the same enthusiasm and passion you've had since you were a kid! There's no reason to grow up because nothing is impossible!
Wishing everybody a terrific day ahead. Don't let anything or anybody stand in the way of your dreams. Age gracefully or with chaos - if you're passionate about your life, it won't make any difference. And, if lately, you've been off a beat trying to find the right direction on your internal compass, just remember, you can't create images that tug at people's heartstrings if your own heart isn't in it.
Go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with the people most special on your life and make time today to think about your next goal or dream. Most important of all, never waste time worrying about growing up!
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.