Photos of yourself will confront you with your true nature
I admire photographers, in fact, many of my Facebook friends (and best friends) take photos for a living. Photos capture so much more than an image, they capture an emotional point in time with respect to humans.
Recently, I stumbled across a few of my pictures from 2001 and 2002, when I was just releasing Love Is The Killer App and moving up at Yahoo!. What a time. What momentum. And the economy was in the tank, especially if you lived in the Silicon Valley. I had a sense of zeal: Mojo. I saw the crash as an opportunity to be a leader instead of just a grunt in the cash pile.
Here’s a pic a photographer took of me on the day of my book launch on 5th Avenue in New York City.
This was a time in my life when I was getting paid, exposed to the public and rewarded for giving. When I look at it now, I peer into it to reconnect with my gestalt: You get only by giving. You succeed by growing other people. I can see it in the pics. You can too. Pull out old photos from a time you were on top of the world or in the positive feedback loop. Find the sentence or two that sums up your winning philosophy at the time. You’ll learn, as did I, that you can do it again — it never expires.
The other thing I noticed about the old pics I found, is that I was bubbly and exuberant. It was like I had found the Secret (not that one) and it gave me a Cheshire Cat grin about life. Here’s a pic taken by James Bland back in 2001 at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Dallas.
This really jolted me because it made me realize that I’ve grown far too serious. I need to find the gonzobiz sense of humor again and make people laugh, not just think. Find your happiest pictures, and look into them deeply to discover the joy behind the smile. Was it because of material gains? No. It was because you were tapping into the possibilities of life and loving it.
Finally, remember that there are waves of success in your life. You have had one big moment, but it likely led to after-shocks of plenty over the years. Love Is The Killer App made its way to other countries, and by 2004 it became a big hit in Brazil. It was 2002 all over again for me and I rekindled my spark and fell into a South American positive feedback loop. Here’s a pic taken for the largest newspaper in Sao Paulo.
In fact, as I look through my pics, every year or two an after shock comes along that offers new opportunities to stoke my Mojo and keep the Lovecat alive (and growing). You can too. I’ve already shared this with a few friends, and they all found the exercise invigorating. One person looked at pictures of her and her marriage to kids to first business. It shook her out of the recession-trance she’d been under for months. Another person that did this exercise looked at a range of photos from his winning season in high school football to the 2006 sales rally at his company where he won top rep of the year. He found some spring in these pics that he realized was missing in his 2009 life.
So try this, you might have the same positive results. Here’s my Flickr set from 2002=2004.