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Edit My Life – Please

Edit My Life – Please

Look at Dad take pictures of little Joey go down the playground slide. Wait – hasn’t he taken about 100 shots of that little boy this morning? Oh yeah – digital – our lives are digital now. Content is overwhelming: words, images, sounds. That same proud Dad uploaded this week’s most precious 150 images to the Joey’s Cute website, so all his dedicated fans can view the little darling.

Those phone photographers are in play too. The phone is now a ubiquitous capture device making no one immune from the serendipitous photographer documenting our most inelegant moments. Unedited, they’re thrown up on Flickr.com for your viewing pleasure – often for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

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Pleasure? I’m not so sure. Just like those jokes we used to forward through email as web-neophytes, they swiftly become annoying. We learned only to forward those that were extra-specially, extraordinarily hilarious. The best ones traveled the internet like a virus, but as with a healthy immune system, minor viruses are cured. Who’s going to cure the information overload virus? Who’s going to help me edit my life?

As a professional photographer, I eagerly validate the intimate relationship between quality and quantity in a healthy creative psyche. The more bad photos I take, the more apt I am to discover greatness. As my second grade teacher told me, mistakes are how we learn; True creativity is fearless. Are you afraid to be bad? Then you are destined for mediocrity, no matter how pleasant and salable it is. Albeit true, just because we can, does it mean we should increase digital bulk?

Editing is where the skill lies. Revered is the talent of knowing great when seen, and nurturing its growth to new heights. In the new digital creativity, old shackles are released only to be replaced by others. That haystack needle is buried in a mountain of digital bails. I used to push against the budgetary boundary of exposing greatness onto 40 rolls of film, but presently find myself pushing against the time limit of editing ten thousand digital frames down to the lean and mean 100.

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Editing for greatness: in an odd twist, isn’t that one of life’s goals? Editing choices of careers, reading, films, friends, business acquaintances, life partners, food, and on, and on: choose the quality and toss the swill. Digital dating can amplify the old commitment dysfunction now that choice is categorized by body preference, lifestyle, and zodiac sign. An employer who uses on-line job services finds a 6 foot high pile of resumes after a few short days. It’s the spam of life: where do we find the filter?

More than ever, the closer one gets to “on the spot” editing, the more their skills are in demand. I’ve been married twice so I’ve demonstrated, in clear fashion, that I’m not always good at editing my personal life, but I have had some luck at the point of image capture as a photographer. Even so, I’ve often been confronted professionally with editing thousands of images further reminding me to hone my skills with “on the spot” editing. Seemingly no matter how sharp my skills become, quantity compensates. More, more, more – is the mantra of the digitally enlightened.

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In theory, I’ll get so skilled that the quality – quantity intimacy will send my career into hyper-drive. I’ll find that digital equilibrium that budget seemed to control in the past. My chosen career makes me a work in progress, but what about Joey’s Dad? He seems to be an endless source of content no longer worthy of my short attention with no filter in sight. If I only had an easy edit button for the massive digital swill.

The Author, Bruce DeBoer, is a Commercial Photographer in North Carolina, USA. http://www.deboerworks.com or http://brucedeboer.typepad.com

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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