Follow the Instructions

following-instructions-seth-godin

Every good little girl (and boy) is taught (cajoled, forced, berated) in school to follow instructions.

We are told instructions are very important. Big, bad things could happen if you don’t follow instructions.

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Seth Godin

No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.

Seth Godin

You want the authority to create, to be noticed and to make a difference? Sorry. There’s no authority left.

True Art Defined

seth_godin_icarus_deception_art_image

how high will you fly?

It’s the question on the cover of Seth Godin’s new book. It’s a self-proclaimed departure from his other books, a bit more honest, more hard-hitting, in hopes to wake up sleeping artists from their industrial-age induced slumber.

If you’ve read his other books, you’ll love this one.

If you haven’t read his other books, you’ll love this one and the others.

If you don’t think you’re an artist, you need to read this.

If you want to be an artist, you need to read this.

Is that clear as mud?

If you’d like to get regular updates on new DAILY DELIGHT with free wallpapers for desktops and mobile devices, it’s easy to sign up. Would love to have you join us for the journey in 2013!

Do The Work AND Have Fun

Do the work.

It’s important. Critical. Monumental.

So much so that legendary author of The War of Art wrote an entire book by that name. (Do the Work by Steven Pressfield is currently a free ebook on Amazon… it was published in collaboration with Seth Godin and the Domino Project.)

I just finished my coaching class and our charge is now to DO THE WORK.

Act. Execute. Move.

But… there isn’t any reason why you can’t have fun along the way.

Make the process engaging. Make it a game.

Give yourself timelines and goals and tie incremental rewards to completion. If you don’t, you may give up entirely and not ever reach your final destination. There is no shame in needing tangible or intangible reminders of your success.

Constant driving toward accomplishing a goal without planned times to reflect and celebrate is not a good strategy for long-term success. It’s a strategy for burnout, frustration, and killing your passion.

Do you want that?

No? Good.

Here’s your homework for today.

Choose one of your current goals. Write down in the comments how you can reward yourself either daily or weekly for reaching that goal!

BONUS POINTS if you share how you’ll make the process more fun too!

Free Trip to Anywhere and Big Blog Giveaway

Scroll down to watch Chris Guillebeau’s “Downfall” parody or watch on YouTube.

Paris isn’t for changing planes, it’s for changing your outlook!
For throwing open the windows and letting in… letting in la vie en rose.
—Sabrina, 1954

That’s where I would go… plan to go actually. I’ve wanted to go to Paris since I was in elementary school and first learned the French alphabet and made crépes with my French tutor. Why then, after all these years, has it remained a dream just out of reach. My books about France take up two shelves and I don’t want to see another souvenir Eiffel Tower, I want to feel the wind blowing through my hair at the top of the Eiffel Tower (what little hair I have, that is).

Paris is always a good idea.

Yesterday morning at 10:30 am, this dream took one giant leap forward in possibility. Chris Guillebeau, author of “The Art of Non-Conformity,” announced a 25,000 free miles giveaway for a trip to anywhere. Just leave a comment on his blog about when and why and you’re entered. Really? That easy?

If you know me at all, you know I don’t take the easy road. I knew I had to do more. This trip is worth it. This dream needs to happen. So I enlisted the help of my creative hubby and together we brainstormed video ideas. Take a look at what we were up until 3 am creating, then keep reading to find out about my BIG BLOG GIVEAWAY just for you!

A “Downfall” parody of Chris’ Free Trip to Anywhere contest. Now, if you don’t follow his blog and aren’t familiar with his book, what’s wrong with you? Just kidding. But seriously, if you like my stuff at all, you’ll love his too! He’s authentic, encouraging, approachable, and he even responds to his own email. Both my daughter and I have become raving fans and were equally excited when he actually responded to an email I sent him earlier this week. Most of the dialogue in the video is taken directly from the contest page, complementary authors on lifestyle design, and my own take on it all.

BIG BLOG GIVEAWAY

If you enjoyed the video (or even if not), would you consider dropping by Chris’ blog to leave a comment and encourage him to pick me as his winner?!? I’ll love you for life. Well, if you’re one of my blog readers, I already love you for life, but we can keep that between us. Chris said people could cast their vote for others in the comments.

You could also tweet: Hey @chrisguillebeau – Watch your “Downfall” and pick @tasradawson for a Free Trip to Anywhere! http://bit.ly/aonc-video

IF or WHEN I win the contest (just sayin’), I’m going to do the first and biggest blog giveaway on The Femme Fotóg to date! Here’s what I’ll give away…

  • One Hour Coaching Call to help you create and live a life you love (about photography, creativity, productivity, scrapbooking, life balance)
  • $100 package of goodies, including resources on photography, creativity, relationships, etc.
  • 5 autographed copies of Real Women Scrap

HOW TO ENTER

Enter as often as you like…. just remember to pop back over here and let me know what you did!

  1. Comment on The Art of Non-Conformity contest post encouraging Chris to pick me as his free trip winner.
  2. Tweet: Hey @chrisguillebeau – Watch your “Downfall” and pick @tasradawson for a Free Trip to Anywhere! http://bit.ly/aonc-video
  3. Facebook: Post the above tweet on The Art of Nonconformity (AONC) group fan page.

Of course, feel free to enter your own tweet, Facebook post or comment on Chris’ blog. We’re all in this together. Let’s make our dreams come true!

How Clear is Your Vision? (D313)

With so much talk and buzz about VISION the last few days, I couldn’t help but think about my vision and your vision. What is it that drives you to pursue what you love?

Listening to a podcast with Seth Godin, I saw similarities in what he was describing about being a Linchpin. You can’t be a Linchpin without vision. No one just goes the extra mile or steps outside of themselves for kicks, there is always a vision, a purpose, a reason.

So what’s your vision? What is it that keeps you awake at night wondering how you’ll make it happen? What drives you to spend your free time studying or practicing photography (or any other pursuit)? What nags at you deep in your core that just won’t let go?

That’s what I want to hear about. Let’s talk about that!

Here’s my vision for today… re-reading David duChemin’s amazing book VisionMongers. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’ll inspire, challenge and set you on a course for living out your vision.

Technical Knowledge: Read page 3 in Canon EOS 5D camera manual since that’s my new (previously owned) camera! More on that later, but I have to admit I feel a bit like Pinocchio… “I’m a real boy photographer now.” Not to say the tools are everything because they’re not… as Chase Jarvis says, The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You. And as his iPhone pics can attest, talent goes a long way. But, I was definitely feeling like I had outgrown my camera. Like my hubby always says, “It’s the talent, not the tools.” Regardless of the camera, a talented storyteller and someone with a good eye can take amazing pics.

Images: Looked at images from Emerging Photographers of the Year since I submitted my portfolio to apply for one of the final few spots. Have you submitted your portfolio? What’s stopping you? Never hurts to give it a shot!

Never Underestimate the Power of Words (D232)

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
Seth Godin, Linchpin

I wanted to just write a quick post with some images and call it a night… to not share what’s really going on or what happened today, but this quote won’t let me… so I write the following with courage as a gift in hopes that it will create change in another…

I never considered myself an artist in the traditional sense, i.e. someone who draws or paints. I have always known I was creative and thrive in environments that provide me creative freedom. Somehow Linchpin is connecting with a hidden place in my soul that I keep protected from the outside world. Seth is calling my bluff and asking me to reach in deep to give the creative gifts that I hold back… and I’m afraid.

I believe I’ve mentioned holding back in an earlier article and one reader asked what I could possibly be holding back since it seems that I put myself out there a lot. After holding back tears reading Linchpin, I’ve become even more aware that there is more mining I must do in order to give and share, in order to be spent at the end of my days, instead of hiding and hoping no one notices I haven’t given it all.

That makes me think of Jesh de Rox and how photographers describe him as an open soul, leaving his heart out on the floor, of being willing to be wrung out. I think of the way he sang at his Beloved workshop at WPPI and shared not only his photography and images, but the music within his soul.

I’m reminded of how closely I guard my emotions and hide my heart when I fear its unsafe (which is almost always). If I sense any threat, I immediately withdraw and shut down, emotionally, creatively, even physically crawling under the covers and willing the night to come so I can hide beneath its dark black veil. Today was one of those days.

Someone didn’t give thought to the weight of their words… they threw them out like so many knives searching for open flesh to wound. They found their mark, the wounded wound others. I know the drill, I’ve been through it before, but the flesh still bleeds and the words hold power, more power than I want them to hold…

I want to throw them off, let them slide like water off a duck’s back, but I haven’t learned how and so the words stick and sting… I give them more power than they deserve. The artist puts down her brush, stops painting the vision, and crawls back into the cave. Defeat. Failure. Retreat.

I’m calling to you from my cave… never underestimate the power of your words. Is it a coincidence that yesterday I wrote about the power of life and death being in our words… or is it another lesson? I believe it’s a lesson this creative heart needs to learn, to push through the pain, to continue painting the vision until the hand can no longer hold the brush.

Instead of a brush, today I created with sandpaper and ink, a journal that captured what I felt, that would give me the courage I needed to continue expressing my art because it is all about the recipient, not the casual or disconnected observer. My art is for the audience that waits to see what is next, that needs what I have to offer, not for the heckler, the critic, the destroyer.

  • That audience is the teen girl who stared at the image I had taken of her because she couldn’t believe how beautiful she was… she was seeing her true beauty for the first time, through my eyes, my lens.
  • That audience is the teen girl who looked at herself in the mirror for the first time in a year because we shared the message of true beauty and true value with her and it changed how she saw herself.
  • That audience is you when you join the tasra365 photo challenge and begin to transform your images, your vision, and your life through discipline, courage, and commitment.
  • That audience is you when you read an article that resonates deep within your soul, enough to inspire you to share your gift with the world, to encourage you to reconnect with your inner artist, and spur you on to the next challenge.

At the end of the day, the black of night will come, but morning brings hope that some day people will realize the power of their words to bring life or death to those around them.

My sincere request and hope is that you will bring life to all you meet…

Move One Step Closer to Creative Action (D229)

Stick with me on this one…

Question #1: What is a wheel created for?

Short Answer: to roll, revolve, move around

Long Answer:

  • a circular device that is capable of facilitating movement
  • A wheel, together with an axle overcomes friction by facilitating motion
  • In order for wheels to rotate, a moment needs to be applied to the wheel about its axis, either by way of gravity, or by application of another external force.

Question #2: What were you created for?

Short Answer: to make art, produce generosity and expose creativity

Long Answer:

  • ART: You are CAPABLE of facilitating movement and change in yourself and others. You are not stuck in the ground like the wheel above. You do not have mental blocks. You are not limited.
  • GENEROSITY: You, along with a community of others, OVERCOME obstacles and friction by assisting the forward motion of others. Like the quote from The Incredibles… “It’s NOT about YOU.” It’s about US.
  • CREATIVITY: In order for you to expose creativity, you must be willing to TAKE ACTION when external forces give you a nudge… whether it’s attending a workshop, listening to a webinar, or reading a blog. Don’t let those moments pass without moving one step closer to your truly capable, generous, creative self.

What do you think? What steps are you going to take today?

Technical Knowledge & Images: Studied lighting setup, technique and images from Scott Kelby.

Can You Become Indispensable and Remarkable? (D228)

At the age of four you were an artist.
At the age of seven you were a poet.

And by the time you were twelve, if you had a lemonade stand, you were an entrepreneur.
Of course you can do something that matters, I guess I’m wondering if you
want to.

– Seth Godin, Linchpin

Can you become indispensable and remarkable?

Yes you can. But will you? That’s the question you must answer. I pray your answer is yes.

Do you remember back to age four… when the artist in you flourished… before fear and anxiety took over?

Do you remember playing dress up or acting out made up plays without a formal script?

There is something magical and powerful in the mind of a child that allows them to see life through a different lens. All the creativity and inspiration hasn’t been lost to the training of formalized education and peer pressure. They aren’t living their entire life just to fit in and please other people.

Perhaps a real-life illustration would help you understand this childlike fearlessness…

dress-up-image

Socks are kind of like hats and perfect for dress up play.

Life is good... laugh with me... I'm laughing too.

batman-dress-up-image

Peeking out from under the mask. Time to stop hiding!

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