This is the second article in my series on “Living From a Photographer’s Perspective”. The first article was on “Focus”; this article is on “Defining Boundaries”.
When a photographer takes a photo, they must decide what to put into the picture and what to leave out. They create a boundary, a frame, around the objects of interest and exclude everything else. Similarly, in our lives, we need to decide what to include and what to leave out. This process of discrimination allows us to simplify our lives by prioritizing what’s important and eliminating what isn’t.
Some people have trouble saying, “No”. They want to help or be involved with everything. Or maybe they just want to “sample” everything, to make sure they are not “missing out”. Certainly, everyone needs to understand what is available. But with time and experience, we soon have a good idea of what we would like to continue to pursue and what does not serve us.
People that never say “No” run the risk of being so busy with the details of living minute-to-minute that they never take time to see if their life is creating the story they want. Just as each photograph tells a story by what the photographer puts in the picture and what he omits, the events of our life create a context for our own story. Does it represent who we are and what we dreamed of becoming? Does it show a dominant theme or themes? How would you “frame” your life?
Just as the most powerful images are often the simplest, our lives have more meaning when we remove everything that is not allowing us to become our greatest version of what we want to be. This means physically de-cluttering our home and workplace and mentally de-cluttering our minds, spending most of our time and our thoughts on the items that are important to us. With fewer physical and mental distractions, we will become more efficient in achieving what we desire.
To achieve this uncluttered life, we must first develop clarity in what we want to achieve in life. We should consider what we believe our purpose to be and what desires will help satisfy that purpose. Then we should establish goals that will help us to achieve our desires. As we visualize our goals being achieved, they will begin to “out picture” into our reality.
The idea of defining boundaries is related to determining what’s important in your life. I expressed this idea another way in my recent poem, “What’s in Your Vessel?” This article focuses on the qualities — such as peace, faith, and love — that make for a happy life. In the end, what you are is much more important than what you have! And what you are is a function of what you put into your life and what you keep out.