Michael Rice Photography: Blog https://www.michaelsrice.com/blog en-us (C)MichaelSRice2016 michaelrice1971@gmail.com (Michael Rice Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:18:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:18:00 GMT https://www.michaelsrice.com/img/s/v-12/u509982506-o838720298-50.jpg Michael Rice Photography: Blog https://www.michaelsrice.com/blog 120 80 Self Investment… How Much Time Are You Investing In You? https://www.michaelsrice.com/blog/2017/6/self-investment-how-much-time-are-you-investing-in-you download

Life is a flurry of movement ninety-nine percent of the time. We wake up in the morning to hit the floor running trying to get ready as fast as we can. We have to get dressed, get kids fed and off to school, figure out what we are having for dinner tonight, when we will have time to stop at the cleaners or do the laundry, who we need to call back on the way to work, make sure we have all our crap in our hands, kiss our loved one in a furiously fast flyby and hope to God we remembered to feed the pets and turn off the appliances as we warp speed out the front door! Then we have to race to the gas station, fight traffic to work, hurry up and clock in, dive right in to what can only be described as a ‘to do list’ of someone elses agenda designed to help THEM achieve THEIR dreams. We dedicate 40+ hours a week to making someone we don’t know successful, at least the same amount of time to helping our kids and loved ones achieve their goals and then (more often than not) we spend the remaining time we have in a given week descending into mindless entertainment on television or the internet because, let’s be honest, who has time for anything else after all that?

In all this we get overwhelmed by responsibility, necessity and the unending barrage of unimportant distractions. We have so many people asking us for some many things that we often default to ‘yes’ just to get them to go away and we find ourselves looking at our days, minute by minute, with frightful despair at the lack of time we have remaining. Then, there is the powerful and unrelenting gravity of the media giants we have filled our lives with, not the least of which, social media, tugs at us with the strength of Jupiter. We spend hours a day, often the most important hours – that should be spent in planning and celebrating our days- in the clutches of social media where we analyze our lives by comparing them to the updates of others. We check in, update, comment, and critique. We capture our ‘highlights’, the least common moments of our lives, in videos and photos and wait to see how relevant they are by the number of likes and comments we receive. We are checking into the irrelevant reality that has been built for us but we are checking out the most important moments of the day; the moments we should be investing in ourselves.

As human beings, we are a by nature investors. We invest in homes, financial stability, education and careers. We invest in family members, friends, religion and the pursuit of all things that we believe will bring us happiness. But what many of us are not investing enough in, is ourselves. We are checking in on social media, but we are checking out of our own stories. We are achieving goals that are largely for the benefit of other people but we are not allocating time to the pursuits of ourselves. We are being parents, employees, husbands/wives, friends and helpers but we are not being who we are truly meant to be; free, joyously happy people. We have disconnected from our true purpose in this life, to pursue and experience happiness so that we can conform to the world that has been built for us. We have become intricate parts of other peoples stories, but WE ARE FAILING TO WRITE OUR OWN.

We live in an inclusive universe of abundance; that means that we cannot exclude anything from our experience in life, we can only include what we choose to include. By focusing all our attention on the needs of others and INCLUDING an exclusion of ourselves we are magnifying that exclusion in our lives and moving further away from writing our own story. We must be intentional in our inclusion of ourselves, our dreams and our goals in our daily life if we are to see those become reality. But we are in luck because the only thing necessary for us to invest in ourselves, to inclusively write the story of our lives, is the universal currency we all already have available to us; our time and our intention.

It’s not a hard task to invest in oneself, but it does have to start with a understanding of what it is YOU want in your life. You have to be willing to imagine, to say and to believe it. You have to be able to visualize your story in your mind. As the saying goes, ‘If you can believe it you can achieve it.” And let’s be real here, this is YOUR STORY so don’t be cheap or modest! Dream big or go home! Imagine that life you want and then hold on to that image because it needs to become a part of your everyday life, in those important pivotal moments of the day that will carry enough emotional weight to ingrain it into your heart and your mind.

The first hour of the day, when you are compelled to initiate warp speed in a mindless flurry of repetitious actions, take that moment to be intentional about your day and your story. The mind works really fast so it isn’t like it’s a big investment of your time. Take a few moments, a few minutes at most, and think about everything you need to do that do. Prioritize the activities so that you can focus on the most important, because the truth is that you probably aren’t going to get it ALL done today. What is equally, if not more so, important than prioritizing the mundane tasks of the day is taking a moment to build that mental and emotional bridge between what you MUST do today and how it will get you to the story that are you trying to tell about yourself. That’s the real key, because if you can’t build that bridge of connectivity, it’s going to be real hard to motivate yourself to traverse it with any real passion, isn’t it? These few moments in the morning can really set the tone for the day, help you keep focus on what needs to be done and keep you headed in the direction of the dreams that are part of your story.

The end of the day can be as equally impactful and important as the first hour of the day. Its when the flurry of the day has slowed and the responsibilities your life has dictated to you are done, or at least as done as they can be, that you can (and should) take a moment to reflect on the day. What happened today that you liked? What happened that you didn’t? What could you do better tomorrow, next week, next month, next time? What occurred that you would like to never see a part of your story again? What happened that you would? What should I celebrate about this day? Don’t get sucked into the negativity of ‘this sucked’ and that  was ‘crap’ because that’s just subjective labeling of an ambiguous and fleeting emotion. Really dig in and identify the what, why and how so that it can be of real value later.

Of course, there is nothing that says you are tied to the ebb and flow of standard time. There is no ‘circadian rhythm’ to investing in ourselves. Invest where you have moments to invest, but be sure you are actually investing. Time is a tricky thing that will get away from you quickly and you will find yourself running ‘out of time’ if you are not intentional in how you choose to invest it. Yes, all those responsibilities seem really important in the heat of the moment but the most important moments of any day, which collectively become the most important of your life, are the moments you dedicate to yourself and your story. Those moments where YOU INVEST IN YOU to become the person you want to be, to live the life you want to live, to achieve the dreams you have dreamt and to tell the story that YOU CHOOSE for your life. It is the intentional moments that you put aside for you that make everything, and ANYTHING, possible. It is a universal truth that we must CHOOSE to set aside time for the things that we truly want and desire in life and all those wants and desires will coalesce around you when you choose to invest in yourself.

​The only limits in your life are the limits you place on yourself by not investing in yourself with your time and your faith.


Note: I’m just a regular guy. I’m not famous, financially wealthy or in any way ‘qualified’ by any means of the social definition to tell anyone else how to live their life. This is just knowledge that has been imparted to me, that has worked and is still WORKING FOR ME an that is universally applicable to anyone who chooses to engage in the process of actively telling their story. Take it for what it is.

michaelrice1971@gmail.com (Michael Rice Photography) happy life investing in yourself live better self investment self-improvement you're worth it https://www.michaelsrice.com/blog/2017/6/self-investment-how-much-time-are-you-investing-in-you Thu, 15 Jun 2017 03:46:12 GMT
Do You Know What You Are Searching For? https://www.michaelsrice.com/blog/2016/1/do-you-know-what-you-are-searching-for


What is it that you are looking for? Do you really know?

A few days ago, I was desperately searching for one of my athletic knee braces to take with me to the gym. I have been doing a rather intense anaerobic routine and my knee was in the midst of one of the greatest protests it has ever endeavored. I knew that those braces were in the bathroom or the closet but, despite all my searching I was unable to find them. I was so frustrated as I knew this would mean I would have to reduce my pace at the gym and, ultimately, limit the benefits of my routine. The next day, still suffering from the throbbing of my knee, I went into the depths of the closet again; certain they were there and I had just missed it. It was at that moment that it dawned on me, "You're looking for the exact imagine of a knee brace and haven't found it yet... you need to look for something else, something it could be in." And so, in a matter of a few seconds I located shoe box which had all my knee braces in them. Needless to say I was ecstatic. I had failed to find them the day before because I was searching with the expectations of finding the exact representation of a knee brace. I failed to identify that they might be perfectly placed right in front of me, behind or in something else. 

A few days before that I sat down at my desk to work. I was burning through my to-do list when I suddenly realized I needed some information from a sticky note that I keep hanging just above my monitors. The problem was, when I went to get the information it was gone! In fact, all my sticky notes were GONE! I immediately went into a panic as I couldn't imagine, for the life of me, where those sticky notes would have gone. I looked around the floor and nothing. In the trash? Nada! Sticky notes don't just get up and fly away! Then, I remembered that my mischievous 'other half' had been at my desk earlier that day. Of course! That explained everything! I texted her and asked here if she knew anything about it. A few moments later she walks into the room, smirking and giggling and tells me, 'look up.' Almost frustrated at this point I look up, six whole, horribly long inches and there they were. Literally, only a short distance from where they had been the day before. I was so focused on them being where they were supposed to be that I failed to see they had (been) moved a few inches away and, in my mind, I had lost them. Several months ago I would have written this all off to just aging, bad memory. But, as things have shifted and changed over the recent months, I found that there was actually a very valuable lesson to be learned in there; one that we can all learn from. 

It is, by most standards, inarguable that the human spirit is designed to search. We are programmed to find that which fulfills us and (for some) helps creates a sense of completion in our lives. We spend the better part of our lives not at all understanding what (exactly) it is that we are looking for much less being able to describe it to others in a sufficiently relatable manner. How many people have spent the entirety of their lives searching for something they couldn't quite put their fingers on? How many have achieved 'everything they want' but yet feel there is something they failed to find along the way? How often have we narrowed the vision of our wants so drastically, with all the details and expectations we build, that we go from having the unlimited possibilities of an infinite universe, to basically being limited to what we see through a keyhole? 

And in all this searching, by way of our expectations and imaginations, we literally become the very bumps in the road that make the journey so difficult. We become so focused on the details of what we imagine as the destination of our searching (finding that knee brace) that we fail to see all the possibilities and opportunities along the way. We become so hung up on the details that we have firmly planted in our minds (the location of those sticky notes) that we are unable to see that what we are looking for may be right in front of us, just (maybe) not exactly where we expect it to be. 

Of course, we have to get past our egos first. We have to get past the 'want' and get down to the needs. I see people complaining about being single, but their list of requirements for a partner are so vast and deep that its no wonder they remain repeatedly disappointed. I see people wishing they had more meaning in their lives, but they are so focused on a specific expression of that meaning they miss the multitude of opportunities that present themselves every day. People focusing on wanting what they see making other people happy and missing their own happiness along the way.  Maybe it's time to stop searching so intently. Maybe it's time to focus on the heart of what you desire and leave the details to whatever force orchestrates all this. Because as the end of the day, what we are a really wanting is that something, that someone, that life that makes us fulfilled. Everything else is just commentary. 

michaelrice1971@gmail.com (Michael Rice Photography) expectation is the death of joy expectations perspective searching stop and look https://www.michaelsrice.com/blog/2016/1/do-you-know-what-you-are-searching-for Sun, 24 Jan 2016 17:25:01 GMT