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Winning Stoically

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via Winning Stoically — youwineverythingwithkids – Many thanks for sharing

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In recent years I have developed a real interest in Stoicism. Although I wouldn’t yet consider myself a Stoic, I have enjoyed learning some of the underlying principles that make up this philosophy of life. There have been many Stoics over the years but probably the most well known are Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor. I would recommend ‘Letters from a Stoic’ by Seneca or ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. If any of these whet your appetite then Ryan Holiday has written two great books called ‘The Obstacle Is the Way’ and Ego Is The Enemy’ Both of these will give a modern feel to Stoicism. I will guarantee you that Stoicism is not what you think it is and can be translated into a modern philosophy of life.

Many of us don’t have a real philosophy for life as we jump from one issue to the next. We deal with what is in front of us. Many people think a good life is having a good job. This allows us to buy ever more stuff to impress people in our belief that this creates a meaningful life. But ask yourself how long the happiness lasts, that we create when buying the latest gadget before we crave the next shiny thing? This is a process of hedonic adaptation which I may well pick up on future blogs.

You are probably now thinking that he’s gone mad and what has this to do with grassroots football?  Well. if we could learn a few Stoic principles and put them into practice then we might actually move away from chasing the next shiny thing and build on what we already have. The Stoics chose ‘to want what they already have’ in order to make them fully appreciate what they had.

The Stoics broke everything into 3 areas:

1.Where you have total control

2 Where you have some but not total control

3.Where you have no control

There is no point bothering about areas where you have no control ie the weather; the pitch; the referee; your height; the position you are asked to play or what the opposition will do and how they choose to play.

The second point we should consider, as that forms the largest group so we should try and influence this group while understanding that there are many factors at play that will affect the outcome. Examples are how you prepare physically and tactically but the biggest example is the final score of the game. Consequently, the first point is the most important. Concentrate on things in which you have total control. Examples of this are attitude, commitment, effort, enjoyment, opinions. These are all factors which the player has direct and full control over. Whereas the result, other people’s opinion and our reputation are not up to us.

There is much less energy required to do things in which we have total control over so we should be doing these as much as possible. We have it in our power to stop moaning at the coach; to be well mannered; to work hard; to take time to help our team-mates. The choice is within ourselves.

Consequently, a player who is looking to develop needs to set internal rather than external goals. Therefore, the goal is not to ‘win’ the match or the league or the cup (This is external and you don’t have full control over this) but to play to your best of your ability in the game.

The Stoics knew that our internal goals affect our external performance, but they also knew that the goals we set for ourselves have a direct impact on our emotional state. So if we set the goal to win the match, this does not increase our chances of winning that particular match. On the other hand, if we set playing our best game as our goal then we don’t reduce our chances of winning the match but we do lessen our chances of being upset by the outcome. We must then change the story we are telling ourselves and remove the thought of winning and replace it with playing to the best of our ability. This will significantly reduce your emotional anguish in the future.

Therefore I want players to ‘win stoically’ by setting internal goals for themselves. I can honestly say that I have never asked a team to go out and win. I have asked them to go out and enjoy themselves; express themselves and give their all. The result is of little significance but can they come off the pitch thinking they have given their all and reflect against the internal goal they set for themselves before the match? That for me is ‘winning’

If you want to read more on the Stoics then as well as Ryan Holliday’s books then you should have a look at the good stuff from Tim Ferriss. Also John Wooden and his famous quote “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” probably tells me that as well as being my coaching hero, he was also a Stoic at heart.

Finally, to quote Robin Sharma “The world belongs to learners” so let’s teach the kids to ‘win stoically’.

via Winning Stoically — youwineverythingwithkids

The power of solitude

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The power of solitude

This post was inspired by the article The Power of Solitude.

As much as I enjoy the company of others I also enjoy time alone. For me, solitude is an opportunity to be myself for a while – to read without interruptions, to sing without being heard and to dance without being seen. I can meditate wherever I wish, or do yoga in the middle of the living-room without bothering anyone. I can eat what I like and have a good cry as I watch a good old romance.

Some people fear solitude, they fear the turning inwards, afraid of what they might find. Mindfulness has taught me to spend more time looking inwards. Mindfulness helps us to approach what is inside us rather than to run away from it. We can approach our fears slowly, with compassion, edging towards whatever it is in a kind manner as we would towards a frightened child or animal.We can explore our emotions in a safe, gentle way and slowly begin to understand who we are.

This post was inspired by the article The Power of Solitude. As much as I enjoy the company of others I also enjoy time alone. For me, solitude is an opportunity to be myself for a while – to read without interruptions, to sing without being heard and to dance without being seen. I can meditate […]

via The power of solitude — My GO-TO MINDFULNESS

In a World

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In a world of doubt ………..trust
In a world of fear…………mindfulness
In a world of hate ………….love
In a world of ignorance….educate
In a world of  choices……select
In a world of taking ……….give
In a world of sorrow………forgive
In a world of curiosity….seek
In a world of hunger ………..feed
In a world of intolerance…..open-mindedness

source: Eddie’s Journal 2010
image: Eddie’s Images, Buddha
revised original post published 2010

In a world of doubt ………..trust In a world of fear…………mindfulness In a world of hate ………….love In a world of ignorance….educate In a world of choices……select In a world of taking ……….give In a world of sorrow………forgive In a world of curiosity….seek In a world of hunger ………..feed In a world of intolerance…..open-mindedness source: Eddie’s Journal […]

via In a World — Eddie Two Hawks

Power of Mindfulness

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Thanks for sharing…

So while looking at different blogs and discussions I found this awesome post on Thought Catalog about how being Mindful can reduce stress. I will summarize and highlight it here, but feel free to check it out for yourself!

Mindfulness is being self-aware and shifts in how we view what is happening and how we react to what is around us. This is what helps us respond in a way with flexibility and tolerance. One of my favorite professors in college taught an Event Management course. One thing we always talked about was how Nothing is a Crisis.

This mantra is phenomenal. Think of times when something was a literal crisis? It is now over, and we gained something from it. Freaking out about something you cannot change just adds more stress to your life. For an example, if there is a snow storm on the day of something you are planning with friends. You do not control the weather, unless you are Storm from the X-Men, so freaking out about that is going to cause more stress in your evening.

Something I truly like, and try to do daily, is have daily time for just silence. This can be done with prayer if you are religious or meditation. Essentially something that can anchor you to the here and now.

The first time I tried meditation it was so difficult to actually control and focus my thoughts. It took me really trying about 3-4 times to start feeling the benefits of it. Now I live for my silence every night before bed.

So give meditation a try, and see if you can find your center to reduce your stress.

 

via Power of Mindfullness — Managing Stress My Way

Inspiration – Mindfulness

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Thanks to Val Boyko for sharing…

“Ultimately I see mindfulness as a love affair – with life, with reality and imagination, with the beauty of your own being, with your heart and body and mind, and with the world.”    – Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindful living

What an inspiring way to describe mindfulness. Life is beautiful.

In the beginning it takes practice, and yes, some discipline to bring mindful awareness to our thoughts and feelings.   Many of us will choose to sit in meditation as a daily practice, and focus on our breath. This takes time and willpower. Which is also part of the mindful practice.

Yet, ultimately, it isn’t about the place we are practicing in, or what we want to gain from meditation. Its about opening ourselves up to being aware of every aspect of our life. Our actions, thoughts, beliefs, speech. Our body and breath. Our attitudes and how we relate to others.

Connecting to the world around us and within us.

It becomes a love affair with the world and our being-ness.

Namaste

“Ultimately I see mindfulness as a love affair – with life, with reality and imagination, with the beauty of your own being, with your heart and body and mind, and with the world.” – Jon Kabat Zinn What an inspiring way to describe mindfulness. Life is beautiful. In the beginning it takes practice, and yes, […]

via Inspiration – Mindfulness — Find Your Middle Ground

Mindfulness

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Thanks to gael’s photography blog for sharing.

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn Instagram: gaelsphotography

via Mindfulness — gael’s photography blog

A Beginners Guide to Aviation Photography

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Thanks to “An Adventure in Awesome” for sharing.  Knowledge without application is meaningless –Thomas Edison

Part one: Some thoughts on Aviation Photography

Troll disclaimer. This is not the only way to photography aircraft and aviation events. This is information that I have learned and what works well for me. My tips and tricks may not work well for you. My goal is to share what I have learned with others. Knowledge without application is meaningless. –Thomas Edison

This is the start of series that would help someone start to shoot aircraft and aviation events more successful. This has been a project I have had in minds for years now. When I first had the idea, I wanted to do it as one lengthy article but never manage to find time to complete it. Now here, it will make a great series, giving me time to figure out topics, how to say as well as find images to support the post.

Tbird waving at Thunder

Before we go any further, there are two things I want to address. First, make sure you RTFM that came with your gear! And for those of you who are unwilling to read, you’re in luck. There is a wonderful website called YouTube where you can search the make and model of your gear and watch a video on how to use it. Before you start shooting anything with your gear, you should have a basic understanding of how to use it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know how to use your camera and gear properly. Here’s the thing, I’m going to be using some basic terminology of photography like ISO, Shutter/Aperture Priority, F-stops to name a few and I’m not going to define or explain them. These are a few things you should know what they are as well as how to access them on your gear. Just because you own a camera, does not make you a photographer! And second, what gear you should have to shoot aviation events with. For most of us, this is a hobby and we do something else for a living. I know I do not have $10 to $15,000 to drop on gear and tell anyone who want to start shooting aircraft is unrealistic. That is why knowing how to use your gear properly is so important. Yes, having great gear helps but it is absolute useless unless you know how to use it properly. Like anything you buy, you get what you pay for. A $4600 camera body does far more than a $700 one. Buy the best that you can afford, learn to use it properly, find and work around its limits then grow into better gear.

Let me share with you my feelings about Aviation photography and want to get you to start thinking about how you feel about it. When I think about Aviation photography, I don’t think about all the airshows and aviation events I want to attend however I do think about a list of aircraft set in great lighting conditions where I can create unique images. For me, it is a passion. (going to have a future post on Passion and what it means to me) It’s something that if I was told that I could never shoot aircraft and any type of aviation event ever again, I would fight for my life to keep shooting what I love. It is something that I’m never going to stop trying to master. I love being behind my camera making new images as well as being around aircraft of any sort. Warbirds to modern fighters, from helicopters beating the air into submission to spotting airlines at the local airport. If it flies, I want to try a make a great image of it. I also feel that like any other art form, it should be creative and not just documenting aircraft and aviation events. Using elements of design to create visual interest, adjusting my camera setting to get a sense of motions along with telling a story.

Corsair at Thunder

This leads me into my first question for you, “What makes a great image?” I feel it comes down to three things, light, subject and the story behind the image. How well did you capture the light along with what does the image say? I’m no professional but I do know a great image when I see one. And in those images, the photographer mastered the exposure, composition and the image speaks to the viewers. You should not have to explain what the viewer is looking at. Great photos just don’t happen, Photographers work hard to make them. You’re going to have to work hard too. Here’s a helpful tip, collect images from photographer that you like and study they’re work. Collect them from Flicrkr, Instagram, 500pix even from their personal website. Books and magazines are also a great source to find image that you like. Ask yourself how did he or she shoot it? If you have a EXIF viewer and the data was not striped from the image, you can as least know what setting were used. What you will not learn is how they saw the image before they shot it. Your “eye” or creative vision is something that you and you alone must develop and nurture. Looking at photos from other photographers can help train your eye to start to see thing differently. It’s not going to happen overnight and you can read every book on photography about to how do so but it’s not going to matter until you try to put what you read into practice.

Every time I’m out shooting, I see other photographers and I ask myself “What’s going to make my images stand out from theirs?” This is the second question I want you to think about. For me, it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and do something different. Can I shoot from a higher location? How’s the light now V’s later? Go portrait or landscape? Always pushing myself and constantly nurturing my skills. Over the years of shooting, failing and learning, I’ve manage to build a collection of images I can call my own. A set of images that are well exposure, creativity composed and unique to me. Every show and event I go to, I try to add new images to my collection but it does not always happen. This is my approach to Aviation photography, to build over the long haul a set of images unique to me from my mind’s eye and from skills that I learned.

86 at Thunder

On to the last question I would like you to think about is, “What type of Aviation events are you interested in photographing?” There are many to choose from. Airshows, fly-ins, base visits and exercises, museum visits and finally, spotting. All of them offers different perspectives and opportunities to photographing aircraft as well as they have their own unique challenges. I enjoy warbirds and I attend airshows, fly-ins that are mainly cater warbirds as well as visit the museums where they are based. The internet is the best place to find out what is happening and when. Google is your smart friend, used and learn! I will talk more about each type of events in a future post in this series.

The reason why I started with these third questions and not jumping into what’s the appropriate settings and how to pick a show/event is that I wanted to get those deep and untapped juices flowing about how you’re going to approach aviation photography before you start shooting. Along with to get you to start thinking about what is it you’re shooting. Like any other art form, it is a learning process and it going to take time. You’re going screw up shots, use the wrong shutter speed, forget to switch back to your previous settings and totally forget with the sneak pass is coming! There will be plenty missed opportunities to come. It’s just another chance to get it right.

Row of mustang at Thunder

I’m going to cover in future post of this series is the different types of aviation event and what to look for while choosing an event, setting to get results, element of design, panning and spray & pray, chimping and why it helps, getting out of your comfort zone and I will retouch on sorting images.

Part one: Some thoughts on Aviation Photography Troll disclaimer. This is not the only way to photography aircraft and aviation events. This is information that I have learned and what works well for me. My tips and tricks may not work well for you. My goal is to share what I have learned with others. […]

via A Beginners Guide to Aviation Photography — An Adventure in Awesome

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