- Awareness, not thinking
- An attitude of openness and curiosity, not judging
- Flexibility of attention, not resisting
I’m trying harder to put the three bullet points above into practice, both at, and outside, work.
A photographic hobby helps to some degree: unless you’re out documenting something specific, or work as a photojournalist on assignment, I would think that the above traits are essential to getting started on a body of work that reveals something about what and how you see.
The post above puts the three points in the context of mindfulness and introspection, and how the latter can become a trap unless there is some distance there that “re-baselines” your sense of yourself. Perhaps a little dramatic at times (and themes do repeat themselves) but the essence is there: get some distance, compare how you see yourself and how others do, and above all else – engage in conversation and don’t spend so much time alone thinking. It’s the interactions that stimulate change, the (healthy) introspection which can then put it into context and direct it.
Where this becomes interesting is as this relates to work. Mindfulness in my private life, when I’m pursuing my hobbies, or when I’m thinking is one thing – being aware and empathetic in a work environment is something else entirely.
But then it’s not: it’s still listening (actively), putting yourself in someone else’s shoes (empathy), and ultimately generating that distance to what you are doing to better let you see whether a sprint is appropriate at this stage of a marathon, or whether it might be worth looking and feeling what is going on around you to aid the flow.
My photography just is; the subject creates itself. I point the camera at things that make sense to me to photograph. Any needed rationalizations come later, at the point of editing, selecting, sequencing, articulating. What I’m left with defines what I’ve seen and how I’ve seen it.