Lately I have been dipping my toes into ancient forms of philosophy. I feel like there are wisdoms that can transcend time and culture, and I want to be exposed to those teachings to hopefully formulate my life, and my being, in a better and wiser way. Lately, I've been reading quotes from some of the most famous Stoics; namely Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. And while things have clearly changed since the 3rd century, when Stoicism began, I find that many of their writings are incredibly relevant today; particularly their reflections on wealth and possessions. We currently live in an extremely consumerist society, in which there's an underlying sentiment that we will be happier when we finally get that thing we want. The nicer car, the bigger house, the designer clothes. However, the Stoics point out, and I believe this to be true, that more things will never bring us peace or happiness. But becoming content and grateful with what we already have will.
"Freedom isn't secured by filling up on your heart's desire but by removing your desire."
While cruising on the river with friends a while back we spotted a river otter. Naturally, I grabbed my camera hoping to get a fun shot. The otter kept diving beneath the surface, leaving us to scan the water to see where it would pop back up again. Clearly it was diving down for a reason, because it finally came back up with what appeared to be a crayfish in it's mouth. An unfortunate morning for the crayfish, but a fortuitous one for the otter and I. Nature can be brutal, but I find it thrilling nonetheless. Especially when I have a camera in my hand.
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child."
Another shot of the "Old 395 House" taken while I was hurriedly on my way to Mammoth. I was about two hours behind schedule due to traffic, car accidents and construction, but this old house is one of the many iconic sites on the 395 corridor, so I had to stop. I gave myself five minutes, practically running from angle to angle to get the right shots. But the conditions were fantastic and I'm happy with how the photos turned out. Over time, I look forward to building a portfolio of photographs taken of this house during different seasons and conditions throughout the year. Even if I don't have much time, I'll make it a priority each time.
"If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got."
Even though it is far too early to count any chickens, or even any eggs for that matter, I'm very excited to have completed my first two sessions within the financial coaching and literacy course I'm developing. I have loved personal finance for most of my adult life, yet never considered building it into a service that I could provide others. But the idea kept coming up in my mind this past year, and recognizing that I, unfortunately, have a tendency to talk about ideas without ever actually putting them into action, I decided to jump in and see where it goes. I've already learned a ton from my first two sessions and am so excited knowing that I will undoubtedly continue learning at a rapid pace. For now, I will keep working with my first two clients for a while, then will likely work with a couple new clients for a while. From there I plan on opening it up to more and more people over time. As with any new thing, I know I will make a ton of mistakes along the way, but I'm more okay with that than ever before, and embrace the fact that each mistake will be a vital lesson to apply for the next time around. Even though it's too early to count any chickens, I'm definitely in the process of building a really cool chicken coop. Stay tuned for more! And in the meantime, check out this beautiful scene I captured as I re-visited the iconic "Old 395 House" while on my way to Mammoth recently.
"While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior."