Create Your Own Reality - In Your Life

Mono Lake Sunrise. © Rick Sammon
"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." – John Lennon

"It's never too late to be who you could have been." – George Eliot

I often write about altering the reality of a photograph – creating a new reality in Photoshop or Lightroom. I teach this on my workshops.

Today I'd like to do "something completely different," as they used to say on Monty Pythons Flying Circus. I'd like to share some thoughts about creating your own reality in your life . . .  as far out as that may sound to some folks.

Here's an example: On a recent workshop I scheduled a sunrise shoot at Mono Lake in California. The folks who showed up (getting up at 2:45 AM) experienced a beautiful sunrise and made some wonderful images. The folks who chose to sleep in saw this:

Two different realities were created. Two different choices were made.

Before I go on, I know that we are not 100% in charge of our reality. For example, if I choose to walk outside during a storm and then get struck by lightning, my choice did not affect my reality. Or did it? If it was thundering and lightning, maybe staying inside would have been a better choice.

Again, as far out as it may sound, we are in control of our reality - our lives - to a great degree. The choices we make affect the here-and-now and our future . . . and to some degree the future of others. 

Don't agree about how we affect others? Think about your parents and your kids. Your parents' decisions affect and affected you, and your decisions (actions, words, behavior) effect your kids' decisions.

If you need some reinforcement of this idea, check out Real Magic by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I read Dr. Dyer's book, among many other self-help books, and realized a long time ago that we have the opportunity to create our own reality. 

Dr. Dyer suggests that if you are unhappy with your life, start living the life you want to live – and that it's possible that that life can become your reality.

My story: For 10 years (1980- 1990) I worked in an advertising agency in NYC. Shirt. Tie. Vest. Shined shoes. Train. Subway. BS. Etc.

In 1985 I decided that I wanted out. On my vacations, I played travel photographer: dressing like one and traveling to exotic locations. Each year I took more and more pictures and took more and more vacations . . . until I got fired for taking too many vacations. :-)

I created my own reality. I had enough saved, a "cush" as my account calls it, to tie me over until I started generating some income with my photography. 

I wanted to write books. I sent out enough proposals to publishers that I now have 36 books. No proposal letters, no books. No time typing, no books.

I also have 10 apps. This did not happy magically on its own.

I got the idea for this post after receiving this touching and sad email last week:

Hi Rick
You always seem so happy and to be enjoying life! My life is horrible and always has been. I'd love to be as happy-go-lucky as you are. What is your secret?

My response was to read Real Magic.

If you are unhappy, change. It's up to you.

When you are through changing, you are through.

If you have a comment, please post it in the Comments section here on my blog for others to see.

Happiness (as the Buddhist monks would say),

P.S. If you need some inspiration, you can get it from nature. My favorite inspiration quotes are in my iPad app: Life Lessons We Can Learn From Mother Nature.

When You Are Through Changing, You Are Through

© Rick Sammon
"I'm not hip and young, and I really don't fit in."

"I think we have learned all we can learn."

These comments were made my two photographers I know - both of whom are younger than I am.

My advice to these very good photographers would be to think about this well-known quote: When you are through changing, you are through."

© Rick Sammon
We need to change, especially in this world of social media. 

We need to change (and to keep up) with new plug-ins and versions of Lightroom and Photoshop.

We need change to grow. We need change to keep healthy . . . because "learning is health."

And on the topic of health, we need to be physically healthy to be mentally healthy.


© Rick Sammon
If you need some inspiration to change, just look at a butterfly . . , which starts out as a crawling sack of goo and is magically transformed into a beautiful flying creature.

I took these three pictures are of the same (exact same) animal: a dagger wing.

So if you feel as though you are through, please think again. As Dr. Wayne Dyer suggests in his book Real Magic, we are in control of our own reality to a great degree

A closing thought (another famous quote): It's never too late to be who you could have been.

Explore the light,

P.S. You'll find more inspirational quotes and pictures of butterflies in my Life Lessons We Can Learn From Mother Nature and Butterfly Wonders apps.

My #1 Book Reco for 2010

Hi All

I receive many emails saying: "I want to be a professional photographer - or at least I'd like to make some money with my hobby. Do you have a book recommendation?"

Here's the book I recommend: Real Magic - Creating Miracles in Everyday Life - by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

It's my favorite self-help book, and it sure helped me! I used to work in an advertising/PR agency in NYC, wearing a suit and tie for 10 years. That was 20 years go.

Check it out. Link at the bottom of my Books page.

While you are there, check out Dr. Zakia's book, too! He is another amazing author.

Best of luck in the new year!