5 Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way

I’m sure I’m not the only one, who sabotages their self from time to time.  It could be I stop myself from saying or doing something that could help me in my career or in my relationships.  Or it could be that I didn’t stop myself from saying or doing something and paid the price.Fin Paviment (end of pavement) sign on Osorno Volcano, Lake Llanquihue, Lake District, Chile  Regardless, all those things should lead to lessons learned.  I’ve had to repeatedly learn some lessons.  Most times, I just need to get out of my own way.

Five ways to get out of your own way:

  • Let go – I am not a quitter by nature so it’s hard for me to know when to let go. When I’ve given someone or something my “all”, and things don’t work out like I may have hoped, I remind myself that I cannot control others or circumstances. I can only control how I let myself react to them.
  • Move Through It – It never seems to work if I try to ignore an uncomfortable situation.  It just prolongs the stress of the situation.  In the long run, it’s always better to deal with things head on and move through them – not around them.
  • Talk Yourself Into Things (not out of them) – We think we are being prudent to talk ourselves out of those “crazy” and risky ideas that we have, so we do.  That’s not prudent, it’s succumbing to resistance and it’s the kiss of death for someone in a creative career.
  • Don’t Expect Perfection – If you wait for things to be perfect, they usually don’t get done.  Nothing really is perfect – there is always room for improvement.  And, there never is a perfect time.  Don’t let perfectionism stop you.
  • Stop Over Thinking It – when what life throws at me overwhelms me, I need to remember to stop, breathe and try to just be in that one moment.  Whenever I begin to over think a situation, I tend to make more out of it than it really is, which only stresses me out more.  I remind myself to focus on the now and it puts things into a manageable perspective.

Orson Welles once said “If you want a happy ending, it depends on where you stop the story”. Life is a journey – let it play out.


It’s All About the Story

I’ve said it a million times “It’s all about the story”.  If you don’t have a good story to tell – and tell it – you’ve got nothing.

Last night I watched the documentary Sugarman“Searching for Sugar Man” and all I can say is WOW – it is probably the most incredible story I have ever heard in my life.  It’s the kind of story that’s almost to good to be true and yet it is.

It’s a story about Sixto Rodriguez, a Detroit folksinger who in the early 1970’s recorded a couple of records that were brilliant and “well received” but – they didn’t sell.  Rodriguez went on to live a simple life as a laborer, spending his time demolishing abandoned buildings in a city wracked by ruin and hard times.  Little did he know that on the other side of the world, in South Africa, he was a legendary music icon and an inspiration for generations who grew up with Apartheid. 

Back in the early ‘70’s, a young American woman went to South Africa to visit a friend and took with her one of Rodriguez’s records.  At that time, in South Africa, you could be put in jail for just listening to records like Rodriguez’s. It was a heavily censored society and ripe for rebellion.  He became a cult hero, bigger than Elvis.  Rumors grew up around this legend where it was said he committed suicide in front of his audience, at the end of a concert.  No one could find any information about him at all, because nothing had been written about him, unlike many of the popular rock musicians of his day.

Meanwhile, back in Detroit, Rodriguez had no idea his music had touched millions.  It wasn’t until the 1990’s, that a few die-hard fans tracked him down using cryptic clues from his lyrics and the Internet.  They finally found Rodriguez alive and well in the city of Detroit and brought him to South Africa.  What transpired was a series of concerts to sold out stadiums for this folksinger who had lost sight of his musical dreams.

It’s one of the most powerful inspiring stories I have ever heard.  Almost like parallel universes colliding to complete dreams across the divide.  Of course it took another 10 years for a filmmaker to bring awareness of this story in this incredible film.

When I was at the Traverse City Film Festival, I saw and met Rodriguez at the opening night outdoor party.  I couldn’t get into the screening because it was sold out and I had to wait until it was available on DVD.  It was worth the wait and it’s a film that you shouldn’t miss.

If you want to know what Rodriguez is doing now – well you’ll have to watch the movie.

PS I just bought his CD that was released in ’71. You couldn’t find in America before this film was released.  Like Orson Welles said “If  you want a happy ending that it depends on where you stop the story”.

Closing Thoughts and Best of Best

It’s been a very full year for me. I mean that in every sense of the word full – full of new experiences, full of hope, full of achievements – but also full of my share of rejections and disappointments. I’ve shared a lot of these experiences through this blog.

There have been times I haven’t written in a while because I didn’t feel like I’ve had anything worthwhile to say. And there have been times when I did write but I probably shouldn’t have because it wasn’t worth reading. I always told myself that when I didn’t feel like writing in my blog, that I just wouldn’t do it. So if there are long periods of time when I haven’t posted a new entry – it’s because for whatever reason, the desire may not be there. I have always appreciated the comments and feedback.

Here are the top 5 posts as far as number of hits:

My DSLR Kit for a Three-Month Road Trip

Gearing Up With HD DSLR’s


Standing on a 10-Foot Frozen Wave

Putting Together a DSLR Video Kit – and Why

Cultural Context and Photography

As you can see, the blogs about DSLR (for video) gear is where the interest was.  But I’d have to say that out of those 5 posts, “Standing on a 10 Foot Frozen Wave” was my favorite.  For me, it’s all about the story. And as Orson Welles once said “If you want a happy ending, it depends on where you stop the story”.

Happy New Year everyone.

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