in life we are often driven by our past.
both by the known and unknown forces that shaped our lives.
these forces drive us. how we live and act. what we do with our lives. what keeps us motivated.
yet these forces are not necessarily who we are at our most true self. or even who or what we want to be. it is who we show the world.
yet when we are quiet. with ourselves. and get honest with ourselves. we feel the need to get out of the box we often create. and live in.
so i decided to live a more authentic life, so i asked myself, what is true to my spirit? true to my soul? what life do i want to look back on? i want to know that i led the life i chose to live, to create.
this might sound a bit esoteric, or psycho-babble-ish. but it is not for me.
i had to dig deep. really deep. and push myself. to my place of joy – my place of creativity.
my place of honesty.
so i did a LIFE 180.
this means i turned toward my true self, my deepest goals and dreams. and my purpose. i no longer ignored what created real joy and purpose for me. and thus for others.
after working for 10 well-known and respected companies, companies that gave me a sense of power and validation, i decided to bet on myself. i started my own company, doing consulting, video production and social media marketing for major companies. betting on yourself is the only real bet in life worth making.
i landed clients. major global clients, lots of them. and we did innovative work, especially for the london and sochi olympics.
yet, i still craved to get closer to my dream of being an adventurer, a photographer and filmmaker. to really explore and capture the remote parts of the world and all its glory, and to share these glorious moments with the world in the hope of inspiring others to further recognize, respect and protect our glorious planet.
plus i desired to be an activist for what i believed in…and so i decided to dedicate my time and energy to helping others through volunteering, pro-bono wildlife work, and speaking engagements.
i moved toward my goals.
and moved deep inside my heart.
i rolled around in penguin poo and elephant dung. slept in tents in 50 below zero weather, with up to 50mph winds. i’ve stayed in shacks that have been broken into by polar bears. running water was a distant fantasy. i’ve eaten frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on icebergs. i’ve scraped penguin crap out of my boots with my toothbrush…only to find out that this was my only toothbrush (now that’s what i call a mistake).
THE MIRROR PROJECT.
in 2012 i created the mirror project.
this art project is about going beyond the surface to see our own lives. about going beyond the surface to see nature and wildlife differently.
and to encourage us to reconsider, reframe and refine how we want to live our lives…and our lives in concern with nature.
i’ve photographed and filmed penguins in the falkland islands and antarctica with mirrors. and the same for orangutans in borneo. plus lions, cheetah, giraffes, jackals and elephant herds with mirrors too.
my life journey has had lots of joy, laughter and highs. and some pretty crappy and tragic downs.
fortunately, i’ve got a loving and supportive family. and an amazing group of close and trusted friends.
through it all, i have come to believe that we can all achieve at least a bit of our dream. if we are willing to let go of the past…and pro-actively pursue our true selves. and if we do so, we look back on our lives with joy, pride and honor.
so go ahead. get uncomfortable somewhere, somehow, someway.
because the real risk in life, is not taking one.