Storytelling and photos

The article Six Photographers Took The Same Man’s Picture, What They Captured Will Make You Think popped up in my Facebook stream today. I’ve seen it before and it’s really worth watching.

Six photographers were told to photograph the same man but each of them was told a different background story about who the man was. For example, one of them was told he was a self-made millionaire whilst another was told he was an ex-convict. In reality, he is none of those things. The results of how the man was portrayed in their photographs was mind blowing and very revealing to say the least

We all have a tendency to label and judge people. What we believe affects how we see people and things, whether the belief is true or not.

The video is an excellent example of how powerful storytelling is. It, for good and bad, affects how we see people and the world. You can view the video below or on YouTube at THE LAB: DECOY – A portrait session with a twist.

Our own story

We are affected by the stories we tell ourselves about us. What’s your own story?

Can you rewrite that story and change how you view yourself?

Video

Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

I posted What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird? where there’s a link to a short video with Elizabeth Gilbert talking about jackhammers and hummingbirds. Now I have found that entire presentation and it’s really worth watching.

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion, she talks about what changed her from a promoter of a single passion to a broader view. Watch the video at Elizabeth Gilbert: Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life.

I have posts about finding your passion on my sites. Those posts and a single burning passion make sense to many but never really worked for me personally. I’m the hummingbird style and that’s perfectly OK.

What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird?

This is short video with Elizabeth Gilbert has an important message. You can be a jackhammer or a hummingbird. Neither is better than the other, be yourself. Elizabeth Gilbert: If You Can’t Find Your Passion, Try This

There’s more text at You Might Not Be Built To ‘Follow Your Passion’ — Here’s Why, it’s the same video.

“Jackhammers are people like me,” Gilbert says. “You put a passion in our hands and… we don’t look up, we don’t veer, and we’re just focused on that until the end of time. It’s efficient; you get a lot done. But we tend to be obsessive and fundamentalist and sometimes a little difficult.”

“Hummingbirds spend their lives doing it very differently. They move from tree to tree, from flower to flower, from field to field, trying this, trying that,” Gilbert says. “Two things happen: They create incredibly rich, complex lives for themselves, and they also end up cross-pollinating the world.”

While jackhammers may be built for following one passion in life, hummingbirds provide the world with a very different service.
“Hummingbird person: You bring an idea from here to over here, where you learn something else and you weave it in, then you take it here to the next thing you do,” Gilbert says. “Your perspective ends up keeping the entire culture aerated and mixed up and open to the new.”

I love Elizabeth’s view of curiosity vs passion.

“If you’re willing to just release yourself from the pressure and the anxieties surrounded by passion, and you just humbly and faithfully continue to follow the trail of the hummingbird path… one of these days, you just might look up and realize, ‘Oh, my word, I am exactly where I’m meant to be,'” Gilbert says. “In other words, if you can let go of ‘passion’ and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.”

Me? I am a hummingbird. What about you?

See also Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

A wake-up call. What matters in YOUR life?

This is an interesting story about how his daughter’s list made him change his worklife. My quote below is from The Independent.

While at the top of world finance, Mohamed El-Erian juggled £1.2trn of investments and wrestled with the knottiest economic problems. But it has now emerged his greatest dilemma arose from asking his daughter to brush her teeth.

When the Oxbridge-educated economist stepped down last year as the chief executive of the PIMCO investment fund, one of the largest on the planet, rumour was rife that he had fallen out with its founder Bill Gross. But Mr El-Erian yesterday revealed one main reason for leaving his high-pressured post was a mundane conversation with his then 10-year-old daughter about brushing her teeth which led to her writing him a note listing the 22 important events in her life he had missed due to work.

In an interview with Worth magazine, he said: “About a year ago, I asked my daughter several times to do something – brush her teeth I think it was – with no success. I reminded her that it was not so long ago that she would have immediately responded.

“She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. Talk about a wake-up call.”

He continued: “I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event! Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-dos. But it dawned on me that I was missing an infinitely more important point.

“As much as I could rationalise it… my work-life balance had gotten way out of whack, and the imbalance was hurting my very special relationship with my daughter. I was not making nearly enough time for her.”

Are you doing what matters most in your life?

Worth: Father and daughter reunion
Mashable: Daughter’s List of 22 Big Moments He Missed Prompted Pimco CEO to Quit
The Independent: Mohamed El-Erian reveals daughter’s talk led to PIMCO exit

Giving up old dreams allow new ones to soar

After a really bad accident Janine couldn’t walk so she decided she should learn to fly. It’s an amazing and impressive story.

Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal — until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: you are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar. Doctors didn’t expect her to recover. But she not only learned to walk again — she learned to fly.

Video: A broken body isn’t a broken person

You can watch her presentation below or on YouTube A broken body isn’t a broken person.

The Four Agreements

Be impeccable with your word.

Speak with integrity.
Say only what you mean.
Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t take anything personally.

Nothing others do is because of you.
What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t make assumptions.

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always do your best.

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.
Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

There are many more hills to climb

Here is a great quote from Nelson Mandela

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
Nelson Mandela

This is a description that fits well on personal development. There’s always another hill to climb. An important lesson in life is that we shall enjoy and celebrate what we have achieved. Nelson Mandela put it well, “I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come.”

You ARE more beautiful than you think

I came across the Real Beauty Sketches video on Facebook, it’s an amazing video that clearly shows how hard we often are on ourselves.

Mail Online describes the project in You ARE more beautiful than you think.

Dove hires FBI-trained forensic artist to prove women judge their appearance more harshly than strangers.

Artist could not see the women, so he sketched pictures based on their descriptions of themselves.

He then created a second drawing based on a stranger’s description of the women. In all cases, the pictures created with stranger’s input were much more attractive.

Watch the video and check out the drawings at Dove Real Beauty Sketches.

Change and Freedom

I came across a photo of Freedom by Zenos Frudakis. It’s an amazing statue about breaking free. Zenos writes that:

I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process.

Although for me, this feeling sprang from a particular personal situation, I was conscious that it was a universal desire with almost everyone; that need to escape from some situation – be it an internal struggle or an adversarial circumstance, and to be free from it.

Coaching is about change, this statue shows the phases in the process from being stuck to being free.

Do You Have A Problem In Your Life?

This flow chart turned up in many places, I don’t know the original source. It’s a simple way to describe how we should deal with problems. It reminds me of the Serenity prayer.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

There’s no need or use to worry about things we can not change.