We're probably all waxing a bit nostalgic or thinking about the future – it happens every time the calendar ticks over – but there's often good reason for that – we give ourselves a chance to start over and my friends Vincent Laforet and Jodie Marzett are helping by publishing some amazing stories.
Now I know you know who Vincent is but I'm sure you don't know Jodie, but maybe you should. She's very inspiring! But since this is a photo/video blog we'll start with Vincent's message for the new year, but please make sure to read Jodie's message as well – it has inspired me to try to think more often of helping others (tho that's a lot of what we do here at planet5D already!)
Heck, if you think about it, most success stories start with a bit of doubt and maybe a bit of luck – but mostly involve a lot of courage and hard work. planet5D is my story! Just look how I started trying to help people find information about the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and it has become my career and feeds my family!
I won't share all of Vincent's post because it is long and as usual, I feel that he deserves the click thru to his site just in case you haven't been there before. He has lots of great resources! But here's a bit:
As you start the new year … here is a little video from the first day of the year that to me defines: SERENDIPITY.
On a personal, and on an artistic level, this was the best way to welcome in the New Year.
The important part here is that this slightly complex aerial shoot originated from a very similar thought process that I would generally associate with the thought process of grabbing a Leica Camera and a 35mm f2 lens on my way out the door with me – “just in case.”
Years ago, a series of shots like this might have cost a small fortune and a significant amount of preparation and effort.
In this case, this video was shot somewhat haphazardly and was far from a sure thing from the start. AND FAR from a goal or necessity.
Allow me to explain…
The little drone that shot this footage can fit in a large cargo pants pocket, and costs less than $800 – and the little sucker shoots 4K footage.
Pause for a second.
please read the whole thing! SWARM 2017 – How lucky we are in 2017 « Vincent Laforet's Blog
Jodie Marzett's post this morning on Facebook was just plain inspiring – especially in the direction of breaking down barriers – both in ourselves and in others.
Today, while driving away from Starbucks with my chai tea, I saw a young man holding a “Homeless, please help” sign. He wouldn't look at anyone, just stared at the ground, as if he was humbled by shame, and I decided NOT to give him money.
I turned my car around, parked in the shopping center around the corner, then walked over to where he was standing in the middle of the Intersection, and asked if I could buy him lunch, and if I could join him while he ate (we were next to a restaurant). He happily accepted.
While sitting with him, I learned that his name is James, a young man (looked to be young 20's) who lived by himself in a tent somewhere in the woods of Manassas. He is originally from DC, but estranged from his family who was “headed in the wrong direction, and he didn't want to be part of the drama”, so he left, got a job in construction, had his own apartment, and then lost his job…. and eventually, his apartment… and everything he owned he gradually sold to buy food, clothes, his tent, etc.
I learned that James is an incredibly articulate young man who lacks a support system of any kind, but that he wants to start his own landscaping business someday. I asked what's stopping him, and he responded with “I have no tools, no car, and no money”.
I told James that he has all the tools he needs, he just needs to work on his mindset. I told him that I believed in him, and that the next time I see him asking for money, I'm going to pull over and hold him accountable for following up on his business dream. He smiled, got a small sparkle in his eye, and said “You really think so? How can I do landscaping without any equipment?”.
I told him that his tools are his hands and his physically capable body. In the beginning, he'll have to use his customer's landscaping tools, and that his mindset needs to shift from what he CAN'T do and WHY HE CAN'T do it, to HOW he WILL do it.
Almost all homeowners have landscape equipment – but the ones that live as far away from DC as we were having lunch (Gaineville/Haymarket) lacked TIME.
He could start his business walking door to door asking people if he could cut their lawns, pull their weeds, prep their gardens, rake their leaves – whatever they needed done.
I told him that he should change that “homeless, please help” sign to a sign that says “Landscaper looking for work” and put himself out there, start saving his money, to where he can buy some tools, and eventually, a vehicle to put them in, and eventually a team of people to drive his vehicle and tools around that work FOR him. Why NOT him, I asked?
He sat there, stunned at first, then he had a little sparkle pop up in his eye, almost like a “wow, I really CAN do this” moment. He thanked me and thanked me again. I then shook his hand, thanked him for allowing me to sit and talk with him while he ate his meal, and wished him well. He thanked me no less than 20 times during, throughout, and after the meal, but the most powerful part was the sparkle of hope in his eye when he realized the possibilities.
THAT is what I hope 2017 is for all of you. FULL of humanity, and HOPE. #UPLIFT2017
** I've never done that before, and not sure I would have if my kids were with me – only because, well, you just never know. But, I'm SO glad I did, and am certain that I came out of that entire experience with a gift far better than anything I could have given him.
So my question to you after seeing Vincent's video and Jodie's inspiring story about help and hope, what are you going to do this year to improve yourself?
(cover photo credit: Gif created from Vincent's video)