“If you can stay light and stay loose and stay relaxed, you can play at the very highest level. Don’t be afraid to do what comes naturally. Fight the urge to be serious. Don’t let it destroy the very thing that makes you you.” ~Bill Murray
Sometimes you will just have to show up and start even if you don’t see where the finish line is....as the virtual, drive-thru, and backyard graduations wrap up, I find myself reflecting on the past, recognizing the present, and staring down the barrel of our uncertain future. While only a tiny sliver of the population had the foresight to predict our current situation and it may be too soon for hindsight, what we can do is focus on the now.
“When you know what you want without ambivalence, never let it out of your mind. Never let go of your vision. Never let go of your dream.” ~Henry Winkler.
There will always be people in your peripheral vision. Some will be there to cheer you on, while others will be there to distract you and try to knock you down. Don’t let them. Stay focused on your dream. Put the blinders on and don’t look back.
Each one of us can look through a lens and see something different. That is what makes us unique. Who we are is our greatest tool in learning, growing, connecting with and inspiring others. Stay focused on being true to you, not another person’s perception or expectation of you. Finding purpose and self-actualization may take time-so be patient with yourself and wait for clarity to develop through your life experiences. If your lens gets blurry along the way and distracts you from time to time, wipe it clean and start fresh. Balance your talents and never stop talking to your inner you...as you will continue to gain insight and answers.
Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning “change for the better”. Kaizen emphasizes continuous incremental improvement. Strive to stay present and improve a small amount every day. Learn as much as you can from smart people and pass on what you learn. Always reflect on your experiences and construct meaning from them. Link those experiences together time after time and things will become clearer every day!
Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint, and ....“The Marathon Continues” ~Nipsey Hussle
*These stunning images were taken by Sophia Mickelson. Sophia is offering photo shoots with all proceeds donated to the Equal Justice Initiative. The EJI, founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, focuses on ending mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality. You can find more information about this organization at www.eji.org or @eji_org on Instagram. For those of you in San Diego who would like to schedule a photo shoot with Sophia, you can contact her at email@example.com. For my New York friends and family, Sophia will be attending Columbia in the fall and will continue using her talents in photography and filmmaking to raise funds and awareness for the Equal Justice Initiative.