So full 2 weeks of the New Year have come and gone. If you are still holding on to your resolutions good on you! If have already you broke them for whatever reason, well you only 2 weeks in so you can always wake up, shout “Mulligan!” and start over. If you didn’t make any, you do you as best as you can, because you never know who’s watching and looking up to you! My resolution for 2018 is actually something along those lines, but before we get there some background.
I’m not one to make clear cut resolutions each and every year. Some years I do. And some years I make resolutions that may not be for that particular year. In 2011 it was to get fit and lose some weight, a constantly renewed resolution since then that its not actually a resolution anymore. 2016 was my year of action, I decided that I had talked myself up and out of too many things and that I was going to do more. And for the most part I did. And there’s the long standing chicken farm resolution that will need to be worked on before 2022. Last year I can’t remember making a resolution, I just did more and kept my head down and at it although if I am honest with myself I could have done more, especially with my running. The truth is I got comfortable (aka lazy) and I should have done much more.
Which brings me on to my 2018 resolution. This year my aim is to be a positive influence to as many people as I can. Why, you may ask, would I think anyone would want to be influenced by me? Well there are already a few who are. I noticed last year that just by doing what I would normally do I would be asked for advice and for guidance. And I am ever the willing to share my knowledge to anyone who will listen. So I convinced my colleague Anand to start running with me, I shared photography and drone advice to my friends and even played field guide a couple times. But where is the work in influencing people if all I do is what I would normally do.
I figured out over the course of the last few years that there are a couple things you need to do first before anyone actually takes you seriously:
- Do the things you are passionate about. This may sound obvious but when you actively pursue the things that make you excited to pursue them it shows and people will naturally gravitate towards that! If you are truly passionate about something you will also find that the time for those passions sorts itself out in your schedule because you will make it a priority. The corollary to this of course is that if you are not passionate, you may start of doing something and then eventually find that you just don’t have the time to do it because something more pressing keeps coming up! And that leads me nicely into my second point.
- Be consistent. If you run every week on a Sunday morning, then every week on a Sunday morning you better be out running. If you aim to be out and shooting in a nature reserve once a month, even if the only shots you get are weavers building nests then once a month you should be shooting. Passion without consistency in my head is the fastest way to get distracted. Trust me, I know distraction too well. Again, if you are consistent in what you do and people start to see that they begin to trust that what you say is what you will do and almost without knowing it gravitate to those things they see you doing!
- Lastly stay humble and true to yourself. I know that I am not the fastest runner. My running pace was actually called slower than power walking recently. But in recent months there has been nothing that has brought me more joy than getting up and out with my small group of running friends and putting a few kilometers on the clock. How do I find joy in watching my buddies run away from me? Because I love running and I love being out (1 and 2 above) and know what I am capable of and 7min/km is not one of those capabilities. Similarly I love my photography but my eye for a shot is often, if not always different, to someone sitting right next to me. So I often get very constructive critique as to how I can myself improve which I accept as freely as the advice I give out.
So this year I aim to run more and perhaps complete my first marathon in November at Soweto. The group of running buddies I mentioned previously try get together once a week at Emmerentia Dam – if you would like come join us contact me and I will send details and we will burn the kilometers together. I also aim to switch my gear to Sony and to justify that switch I will hopefully be making many more trips to Pilanesberg and the likes. If you want to join and learn the few wildlife and birding photography tricks I know get in contact as well. Its going to mostly be me doing me but I would love to have you along!