Living Life Through Our Lenses

Living Life Through Our Lenses

Are we spending too much time behind our iPhone cameras?

As I sat on my balcony in my hotel room in Menaggio, Italy, I took in the colorful landscape behind my iPhone. I was capturing a panorama of the Italian sunset in front me. Lago di Como is the kind of place you see for the month of June on a calendar. The skyline is formed by snow capped mountains and backlit by splashes of bright blues. The lake is crystal clear and sparkling. The seaside villages along the leg-shaped coast are straight from a storybook. I left my vacation with over a thousand photos on my iPhone.

Everyone is a photographer these days, thanks to smartphone accessibility. High quality and high megapixel cameras are always in our pockets and purses. Gone are the days when we must purposefully lug around a camera if we want to capture a moment. Not only do we have portable phone-cameras, but we have all the tools to easily edit our photos and share them on social media. With the click of a few buttons, our followers could be peeking in on our vacations and experiences real time. Is our camera accessibility distracting us from being in the moment?

It can be hard to find a balance between snapping photos and enjoying the present. Pictures and videos can remind us of our travels, our dinners, time with loved ones and friends. Pictures can capture emotion and beauty and simplicity. What pictures can not capture, however, is the exact feeling that overcame you at the moment you clicked the capture button.

At least once a week since I came home, I happily flip through the photo-book I created after my vacation to Italy. I'm happy I have the photos I do, both posed and candid, but I wish I had spent a few less minutes trying to snap the perfect sunset photo from every angle rather than capturing it in my mind.

Cover Image Credit: Brittany Hoops

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How to Actually Achieve Your Goals

The Art of Making 2018 Your Year

 

Goal setting is important. Really important.

With the New Year, everyone is sharing their New Year Resolutions.
Six pack abs, more money, travel, etc.

Resolutions and goals are life changing and changes don’t come easy.

It is common knowledge that gyms see a spike in memberships during the beginning of the year and declining attendance in the later months.

The truth is goals and resolutions require a lot more discipline than people expect.

It is no wonder that people give up so easily and so soon.

To attain our goals realistically and seamlessly, we need to have them supplement our existing lifestyles. We can organize this into a system. To set this system up, you need to do 3 things:

1. Set The Goals You Really Want to Achieve

“The journey of a thousand miles begin with one step.” – Lao Tzu

The commoner lets other people set goals for him. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. He sees everyone else going to the gym so he thinks that would be it.

He sees people posting up luxury watches so he thinks he should get one too.

Don’t be him. Please.

The goals are yours. So you are fully accountable as to how it pans out.

Remember the time something you given to you and you sort of treasured it, compared to the time you actually had to get it yourself and treasured it fully.

You tend to take things more seriously when it is entirely yours.

2. Break Your Goal Down Into Small Actionable Steps

Let’s say your goal is to make more money in your day job.
What are the steps you need to do to get there?

You need to take on more responsibility at your job and be more wise to when it comes decision making.

But the first won’t happen till you do the latter.

Question – how do you become more wise?

Besides putting myself in situations to make decisions, you need the right frame of mind to make it.

You can go about it by reading books.

If you break it down to small bite sized pieces, that would be a few pages at a time.

If you wanted to workout, you can start with just 5 pushups.

“5 PUSHUPS? I rather not do it!”

Trust me, it’s better to start small and be consistent than to go big and unpredictable.

3. Make It Complement Your Lifestyle

So let’s say you have decided that reading books are the way to go for you.

But the problem is, if you never liked reading books, you would have an uphill battle.

Like you, I didn’t enjoy reading books so much but I wanted the benefit –  the knowledge.

I discovered early on that no matter how many books I bought, it would take a lot of time and effort to get through 30 pages in one sitting. And it’s a strain on my eyes.

The solution?
Audiobooks.

It wasn’t until I discovered audiobooks that I was able to listen to up to 2 to 3 books a week without carving out extra time on my schedule.

I got to this conclusion with this question:

What form does your action step take?

For example, reading books is a form of _______.
My answer? Consuming information.

With that, take a Sherlock Holmes approach and reflect on how you regularly consume information.

For me, it was:
Music – through my headphones
Radio – speaker in my car
YouTube videos – headphones and my smartphone
Facebook – on my smartphone



I was already used to consuming information through my ears i.e. listening – therefore, audiobooks were a great fit to me. I just had to swap out the music for audiobooks.

So everytime I go and take a drive, I will be listening to about a fifth of a book in a round trip.

I didn’t need to change my schedule or lifestyle to get smart.

It is highly important that you take baby steps. Don’t go all in thinking you will get all you ever wanted in a few months.

Good things take time.

***

Written by Ben Sim from iPrice Group. Ben is content writer and copywriter. His work has been published in Forbes, Business Insider and TechInAsia.

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8 Depressing Songs To Keep The Tears Flowing And The Feels Going

When I'm sad, I listen to these songs and continue to be sad.

It's no secret that I'm a pretty happy person. I like to smile, and I have perpetually full reservoir of optimism. Similarly, I'm not a big fan of the crying thing. Fairly often, I like to say that I lost my tear ducts in the war and leave it at that, because I'm not a person to shed a tear at the drop of the hat. I blame my default cheerfulness.

However, I'm also not an emotionless robot, so I do cry when there's something in my life to cry for. When sad times strike down my mood, my music choices have to match. Here are my favorite "crying songs."

1. "Big Girls Cry" - Sia

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "And I don't care if I don't look pretty / Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking"

Number of Tears Shed: 146

This song kind of reads like a break up song, but it listens like a soul-crushing ode to being and feeling completely and absolutely alone. Combine this theme with Sia's haunting voice, and you've got a recipe for some rolling tears.

2. "Turning Tables" - Adele

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "I won't let you close enough to hurt me / I won't rescue you to just desert me"

Number of Tears Shed: 30

I used to think that this song was about someone who's been hurt before so refuses to let anyone else in, but now I realize it's about someone who's being hurt by their current relationship and is getting out. This is an angry-cry song, to listen to when you're crying because you're frustrated at a certain someone.

3. "Dreaming With a Broken Heart" - John Mayer

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "She takes you in with her crying eyes / Then all at once you have to say goodbye"

Number of Tears Shed: 74

If anyone can musically capture the sound of a heart breaking, this song is it. The feeling of hopelessness and crippling despair feels like you were just kicked straight in the gut, and I feel like this every time I listen to this song.

4. "Let It Go" - James Bay

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "Everything's that broke / Leave it to the breeze / Let the ashes fall / Forget about me"

Number of Tears Shed: 24

Similar to the Adele song, this is more of an angry/sad break-up song. While I can last most of the song, the above lyrics are what get me every time.

5. "Not Like the Movies" - Katy Perry

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "I didn't feel / The fairytale feeling, no / Am I a stupid girl / For even dreaming that I could"

Number of Tears Shed: 127

This song is all about having a significant other that doesn't feel quite right, but not being sure if there's someone out there that would fit better. It takes all the uncertainty that you feel in a romantic relationship and compares it to looking for that fairytale ending. It's equal parts hopeful and hopeless, which makes more sense after you listen to the song. I usually extend the song's meaning to the point where I'm questioning my life choices, and that's a pretty big downer as well.

6. "Not Today" - Imagine Dragons

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "It's gotta get easier and easier somehow / But not today"

Number of Tears Shed: 200

This song literally takes any sort of hope young love and young life could have and totally destroys it. Like, completely and thoroughly obliterates it. If you've ever read/seen Me Before You, which is what this song was written for, it totally makes sense, and it definitely makes you cry about 10 zillion times more.

7. "Terrible Things" - Mayday Parade

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "So don't fall in love, there's just too much to lose"

Number of Tears Shed: 1,092

This is a story song that will pull you in with how adorable it is and then proceed to RIP YOUR HEART OUT WITH NO MERCY! This is one of the very few songs that made me cry the first time I listened to it. You've been warned.

8. "Angel" - Sarah McLachlan

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "It's easier to believe in this sweet madness / This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees"

Number of Tears Shed: 5,000+

Fun fact: Sarah McLachlan wrote this song for a friend in the music industry who overdosed on heroin and died because of the pressure. This song is in one of those ASPCA commercials, and if you don't change the channel with tears streaming down your face when you hear the first line, I'm going to have to call you a liar. I can hardly think about this song without crying.

So, if you're ever in the mood to stare at the wall, cry your eyes out, and use an obnoxious amount of tissues, feel free to enjoy these songs. They really set the mood.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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