Category Archive : happiness

Love, Service, and Living Your Truth with Danielle LaPorte

Chase Jarvis Photography Chase

Let’s face it. We all have our inner journeys and the compulsion to improve, yet how can we both be growing and improving without feeling less than or inadequate?  It’s a trap. ENTER: Danielle LaPorte – a best-selling author (White Hot Truth, The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map), poet, former think tank executive and business strategist – and she’s on the podcast today to help us, among other things, to reconcile these competing principles. As one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul 100 Leaders”, Danielle is a sage at helping us answer life’s biggest questions for ourselves. And, while taking care of one’s self + staying true to who we are seem both obvious and something that should be easy…but why – if you’re at all like me- is doing both waaay harder than it should be.  Again, Danielle to the rescue in this amazing episode of the show, served up nicely for you 😉 Also in today’s episode, Danielle and I discuss: SELF LOVE.  How to love yourself now, even though you are not where you want to be. Modern day life. How is it that social media can be both medicine and poison? It’s essential for business and getting your work […]

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Love, Service, and Living Your Truth with Danielle LaPorte

Chase Jarvis Photography Chase

Let’s face it. We all have our inner journeys and the compulsion to improve, yet how can we both be growing and improving without feeling less than or inadequate?  It’s a trap. ENTER: Danielle LaPorte – a best-selling author (White Hot Truth, The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map), poet, former think tank executive and business strategist – and she’s on the podcast today to help us, among other things, to reconcile these competing principles. As one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul 100 Leaders”, Danielle is a sage at helping us answer life’s biggest questions for ourselves. And, while taking care of one’s self + staying true to who we are seem both obvious and something that should be easy…but why – if you’re at all like me- is doing both waaay harder than it should be.  Again, Danielle to the rescue in this amazing episode of the show, served up nicely for you ? Also in today’s episode, Danielle and I discuss: SELF LOVE.  How to love yourself now, even though you are not where you want to be. Modern day life. How is it that social media can be both medicine and poison? It’s essential for business and getting your work […]

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Go Against the Grain with David Heinemeier Hansson

Chase Jarvis Photography Chase

David Heinemeier Hansson is a programmer, writer, and entrepreneur. He changed the future of technology with Ruby on Rails, has influenced the way businesses are being built and run with his books; Getting Real, Rework, and Remote; Office Not Required, and has helped many businesses (including my own photo studio) stay organized and productive with the integrated project management solution, Basecamp. David is passionate about finding alternative ways to do things. He loves looking at the status quo, ripping it apart and putting back together only the elements that make the most sense. In our conversation, David helps budding entrepreneurs cross the bridge from wantrepreneur to taking first steps as well as offers some animated anecdotes and mind shifts for how to make your existing businesses and teams ultra productive, passionate, and value driven. In today’s episode, If you want to build a successful business, try integrating existing ideas and tools rather than creating a new standalone tool. You don’t have to be a genius, nor do you have to outwork everyone to be an entrepreneur. You can build a profitable business starting with 10 hours a week and existing business models. Take control of the things that you decide […]

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A New Camera Just Came Out

PetaPixel Christopher Swan

There was a new camera that was just announced. It’s really good, apparently. It’s got more megapixels. A brighter screen. It can stack lots of images together. It does everything you’ve ever wanted.

There will soon be images on websites taken with this camera (resized for the Internet) that folk will pore over and convince themselves that they can see a difference between those taken with the shiny new camera and those taken with their own drab old camera. There might be some really cool photos of the new camera itself, probably taken with the old camera. Or maybe you’ll read a review by a photographer who’s been given one of these cameras to test. They always write a glowing review of the new camera and they always tell you they weren’t paid to write it.

You’ll probably see lots of articles in magazines and on boring websites saying It’s The Last Camera You Will Ever Need.

It probably is. It’s probably brilliant.

Although, didn’t they said that about the last one, and the one before that, and the one before that? And with every incremental improvement the price rises. Now the top of the line camera is $3,500 rather than $2,500. In just a few years with just a few improvements, another $1,000 gets slapped on the price tag.

So what? Nobody forces you to buy it. If you choose to spend your money on a camera that’s your decision.

But is it though? How much of that decision was driven by feelings of inadequacy when looking at your work? Or the hope that this new camera will elevate you to being a contender for Landscape Photographer Of The Year. Or the adverts which constantly bombard you about how great this new camera is compared to your current one. You know, the one which used to be The Last Camera You Will Ever Need. Maybe it’s not altogether your decision…

Recently, I posted online that any amateur photographer who spends $3,500 on a camera body needs their head examined and to be honest, I was sort of being flippant, looking for a reaction on twitter. But then I started thinking about it. Maybe what I was actually stumbling towards was the idea that consumerism itself is actually a form of madness.

I honestly think it is — and I know this from experience. In the past, I’ve spent ages deciding whether I “need” to upgrade my camera. Hours reading reviews or scrolling through arguments in comment sections, or watching boring men (it’s always men) droning on about a new camera in dimly lit YouTube videos. A pointless waste of time. Madness. There’s always something better, something newer, something shinier.

So, f**k this. I’m not buying any more stuff I don’t need. I’m off it. I’m Mark Renton, choosing life. I didn’t really need my last camera upgrade. Probably didn’t need the one before it either and it bothers me that even though I can see what is wrong with the system, I’m still sucked into it.

But why does all this matter? It’s not like I’m stealing to feed an addiction. I guess I’m basically just sick of consumerism. Sick of targeted advertising, lifestyle marketing, built-in obsolescence, product cycles, slave labor, unboxing videos, pro-endorsements, websites that cover tsunamis and relate them to when a new camera is coming out, magazines called “Stuff”, game changers, GAS, megapixels. The whole lot.

“Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?” —Chuck Palahniuk, “Lullaby”


About the author: Christopher Swan is a landscape photographer and architect based in Scotland. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work and writing on his website and Twitter. This article was also published here.


Image credits: Header illustration by Stewart Swan

Happiness is a choice (seriously – it is)

Chase Jarvis Photography Finn Mckenty

Happiness is not an accident. It’s not a state that randomly occurs when the stars align, nor a coincidence or a lucky windfall like buying a winning lottery ticket. In fact, there’s nothing random at all about happiness: it’s the natural product of our choices– small choices that all of us make every minute of every hour of every day. Yes, there are many things in life that we have little or no control over, and these may be non-trivial things like natural disasters or health crises that bring real pain, discomfort and stress. Nobody – not even the wealthiest or most culturally-speaking “powerful” among us – can control the whims of fate– but what we can control is how we react to what comes our way. I’ve always been a relentless optimist- partly because it’s my nature, but also because I make a conscious and continuous effort to maintain positivity as a core personal trait because – put bluntly – it serves my life and the life of those around me the best. As such, I’d like to put forth the pragmatic approach that’s worked for me – a simple approach built on the choice to be positive. What […]

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