It's a typical Sunday morning, but maybe just a little different. I've got a greater appreciation for Molly the Wonder Dog asleep near my feet. And, I woke up knowing exactly what I wanted to write about, which is a spin-off from a conversation I had with an old buddy, Ken Sklute, two weeks ago, just before we recorded his episode of "Why?"
"Why?" is most often one image and the backstory to go with it, and Ken sent me four. I looked at the images, all of them beautiful, and rolled my eyes, saying to Sheila who was in my office, "Doesn't anybody listen?" Then I called him, figuring we could decide which image had the best story and we'd go from there.
Within minutes, I felt stupid for ever questioning why he sent me several different photographs. He chose four because of the point he wanted to make - he wanted to talk about the importance of pre-visualization BEFORE you click the shutter. "Instead of people going out with a camera in their hands to see what they can find, what if they thought about what they wanted to photograph beforehand? What if they pre-visualized how they wanted an image to look before picking up their camera?"
It was a perfect topic/backstory for his episode, and his insight into life as an artist. Pre-visualization isn't a new concept. "Previs" is used extensively in filmmaking, and Ansel Adams talked about it as "the ability to anticipate a finished image before making the exposure." But as Ken talked, I found myself thinking of it as a stronger commitment to things beyond photography.
Stay with me, because it's dangerous when I start sounding like an episode of "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" from early SNL shows! Here's my point:
Over the last few years, more of my life is pre-visualized. I wake up visualizing it's going to be a great day. Sheila and I walk almost every morning, and I find myself excited about what we're going to see on our walk, even though it's the same four streets in the neighborhood each time. I come back to my office with a certain optimism when I turn on the computer and look at what I need to write; calls I need to make or things I need to read. I'm already visualizing new ideas, things to write about, and projects to develop.
I've mentioned reading Melodie Beattie every morning for a dose of inspiration. We have to feed our brains and heart just like our stomachs! Well, this morning is a perfect example, because she wrote a short piece called "Break Through Your Resistance," and it's worth paraphrasing here to share:
"We sometimes resist new lessons...what we resist the most is likely to be what we most need to learn...
Lessons require us to let go of old feelings, old beliefs. If they didn't, they wouldn't be lessons.
We'd already know them...We need to embrace the surprise element of life.
Embrace the mystery of life as it unfolds, as the lessons appear, as we grow and change...
Remember the point of greatest resistance is often the point of greatest learning."
Now put together Ken's thoughts on pre-visualization with Melody Beattie's thoughts on breaking through your resistance. I'm not suggesting it's easy, and I'm still work in progress, but after being accused of repeatedly being too much of an industry cheerleader, it's an explanation of why I love this industry and my life. It's why my life is fun and rich with smiles, a lot of laughs and even the tears and sadness here and there help define the intensity of the journey.
And here's the bottom line - because on Sunday mornings there's always some reason I'm sharing what's bouncing around in my head. All of us need to not only pre-visualize what we're doing with a camera in our hands but with our lives in our hands. We have more control than we think we do and it starts with our attitude.
"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude."
Wishing everybody a terrific day and hoping you'll take the time right now to pre-visualize the day's potential and the great images you're going to capture, with or without a camera! As always, scoop up those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with everyone most special in your life and make it the day you visualize from this point forward.
Happy Sunday everybody...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world.
PS I mentioned Ken sent me four images as examples of his thoughts on pre-visualization. I only used three in the episode of "Why?" But, considering today's topic I chose to use the fourth one to share in today's post. As always with everything he does, it's spectacular.
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.