I’d like to share this information with everyone because I believe the sharing of know-how and information which may lead to another person’s success is also crucial to one’s personal success. Of course, much like a magician such as David Blaine or Criss Angel, there are certain tricks that they wouldn’t divulge so I can’t reveal everything. The law of Universal abundance states that, your desires , if you really believe and visualize them can and will manifest itself in your life. “Ask and you shall receive . Give and you will receive.” This is a key Universal Law that determines the flow of abundance and prosperity in our life experience. In a perfect world where everyone is sharing and caring, there will be enough food, prosperity and resources for everyone.
I must admit when I got an email and call from JT International’s Manager of Corporate Communications & Philanthropy, I was caught totally by surprise. On top of that, after negotiations, I was offered an all-expenses paid trip to travel around Tohoku,Japan for 3-4 days with an hourly wage to boot. The hourly wage was equivalent to more than one-month’s salary of my normal day job. Yes, some NGO groups do allocate a large portion of donations to their marketing and advertising budget in order to attract more future charitable donations.
So, how did I land a paid assignment with Japan Tobacco’s JTI Foundation?
For many of you who have followed my photostream on Flickr , you may already have heard this story or are at least familiar with what I did up in Tohoku. I joined Flickr in 2005 needing an online portal to share my photo snaps of parties and weddings with my friends. In 2006, I moved from Australia to Japan and when I first stepped foot on this new country, I was constantly bombarded and overwhelmed with new visual stimuli. I found Japan such an interesting, inspiring and culturally different place to anywhere I’ve ever been before and that started my journey into documenting my daily life. This eventually led me to purchasing a DSLR in late 2008 and exploring the many talented amateur and professional photographers alike on Flickr in order to improve my photography. A year later, I delved into the world of film photography which was something I did when I was in high school only this time, I studied and analyzed the processes, compositions and techniques rather than simply “going through the motions.”
Fast-forward to 2011 where I’ve had a few paid portrait sessions under my belt and built a reasonably decent “amateur” portfolio. Then came 3.11, Japan was jolted by the massive quakes and ensuing tsunamis. The devastation and havoc it caused really struck a chord with me and I went into a deep self-instropective road trip, alone, down to the south and west of Japan. A month after in April, instead of living in fear and helplessness I wanted to do something and to see for myself what had actually happened on the coastlines of Miyagi. I set out to document what I saw on the shores of Arahama, Wakayabashi and I rented a car and drove there. To cut a long story short, I brought back a couple of rolls of film and eventually made them into a self-published book on BLURB. To be honest, the photos were not very impressive and lacked character and personalities as the region I went to was destitute and devoid of souls. You can view my book online here.
However, this was enough and opened the doors to an opportunity I never expected. The communications manager who initially contacted me was impressed with what I did maybe not from a visual standpoint but more from a personal and emotional side. She actually thought my photography was too dark and grim and asked if I could show more hope and happiness and of course I adamantly said that “I am the man for the job.” At that time, I only had a simple and slow flash-based website in order to showcase my personal work rather than anything professional but it was sufficient – I gave her the confidence and enthusiasm she was after and she trusted in me. It was enough to leverage myself during the negotiation phase and the rest is history.
So what I’m saying is, have an online presence, market yourself and align yourself with something you believe in and you have a deep interest in. Whether or not the project immediately leads to anything worthwhile financially does not matter. I believe it is important to continue pursuing personal work as it will eventually one day , somehow or another lead to doors opening whether it is the week after or 10 years down the track. And even if it doesn’t you can still be satisfied with doing something you truly have a passion for.
I took over 1000 photos over the course of 3 days and below are two pages from the tearsheets of a seven-page spread in JT International Inside Magazine in addition to my photos being used in their monthly newsletters and websites. I won’t post up all for obvious reasons. This one job has since led me to other editorial and commissioned assignment opportunities.
Oh, one more thing. I used to take individual photos with no central theme or coherent story and I still enjoy it on a daily basis. However, I realise that it’s much better to do a theme-based project with a focus. Take on photography “projects” from time to time. I’d like to leave you with the below article which I feel are good principles of life.
Universal Laws and Principles of Success
by Kathleen Rainbow
For anything to function effectively there needs to be some kind of structure. There are laws that govern our universe called Universal Laws. These laws apply to everything, everywhere at all times in our universe. These laws enable our universe to function in an orderly fashion. Without these laws there would be chaos in the universe. By studying, understanding, cooperating, and applying these Universal Laws in our daily lives we can lead the most successful, fulfilling, abundant, joyful, and healthy life possible.
Successful people have an intuitive understanding of these Universal Laws applying them consistently in their lives. These laws and how they work may or may not be consciously understood by the individual. Very often beliefs are taught to us during our youth by our parents or teachers. The Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you — is an example of such a belief. Joe Batten, author of the best-selling management book Tough Minded Management, teaches the importance of this type of respect in his philosophy. We may not have given too much attention to how this Golden Rule works or have an understanding that it is a part of the Universal Law of Cause and Effect – that thought is cause and the physical is its manifest likeness — however, if it has made sense to us and someone whom we admire practices it then we probably have adopted it as a part of our own lifestyle.
Sometimes we may have been aware of a Universal Law from a young age even though it wasn’t taught to us. Some people have an innate understanding that there has been the existence of the Self before this lifetime. They may also have an innate understanding that there is existence of the Self after this lifetime, even though they have never been taught ideas of reincarnation. This was my own experience at about age three. This would be an understanding of the Universal Law of Infinity – that we are always at a point of beginning and ending. Any moment is a reflection of a stage in a process of continuity. A universal principle that is agreed upon by most successful individuals is that there is some greater power than themselves. They believe that there is a reason for everything that occurs in life, and often that they are guided by that greater power.
Those who truly desire to direct their own lives pursue the reason for the situations they encounter. They do not spend their time and energy blaming others, finding a scapegoat for their victimization. They recognize this is a distraction for them. They strive to identify the cause. By identifying the cause, which is always mental, they can then see how they have created their present situation whether it is desirable or undesirable. When the present situation is a manifestation of their desire, they can see how to reproduce this success. This is application of the Universal Law of Cause and Effect — identifying the causal thought — and the steps taken to manifest the desire which would be using the Law of Relativity.
Successful individuals have a “can do, will try” or “I can, I will” attitude. They know believing they can do something is half the battle. They know their attitude determines their altitude in any endeavor. But they’re not just thinkers or talkers. They talk the talk and walk the walk. They know that they have to get out there and physically cause their goal or ideal to become a reality. They have determination and don’t stop until they have reached their goal. They’re called the “extra milers”. They have developed their imagination and will. They can image what they want and then make the choices and put forth the effort until it is realized. They believe and know that success will be theirs. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich said, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.” Successful people never buy into the limitations of physical conditions. They know their imagination is much more expansive and powerful than any limitation of the physical experience.
Successful people know about the Universal Law of Duality. Duality is necessary for creation to occur. The positive and negative, male and female, or aggressive and receptive principles must be present to create. Successful people are creative people and know when to be aggressive and when to be receptive. “Any best-selling books have been Divinely inspired” Joe Batten put it. An inner idea was conceived in the conscious mind of the individual. How many people have ideas that have come to them, but fail to respond to those ideas? Many people lack receptivity to new ideas because they are insecure. They think that receiving something from something or someone outside the self weakens the self, could threaten or take from the self. Successful people respond – aggressive principle – to good ideas that they receive. They are not attached to the source of the information. The universe is their resource. They recognize truth from wherever it comes. They also express from the heart. They listen to their own thoughts and then communicate those thoughts honestly without adding to or taking away from the image that they perceive in their mind.
Notable individuals have the courage to pursue their dreams. They are not stopped by public opinion, people saying it can’t be done. The desire to learn and grow and realize their dreams is always strong. Against all odds they will commit themselves to what they desire. A perfect example is Dr. “D” Brown, the first black female surgeon in the south who grew up in an orphanage in New York. She was the only black child in the orphanage and at age five determined she would become a doctor. Resourceful and determined, successful people are always looking for good ideas and are open to receive from any source. They are always striving to be a greater individual than they were yesterday — a better parent, boss, spouse, employee, friend than before. They do not compete with others, they compete with themselves, always wanting to add to themselves. This is the Law of Evolution in action.
Because successful individuals respect and use their free will, they live with no regrets for the past. They realize that what has already occurred cannot be changed and so their attention is firmly placed in the present while holding their ideals firmly in mind. They are willing to be responsible for who they are and the choices that they make. They recognize that being in the physical plane means making choices on a daily basis. Learning means that we are approaching something new, something that we haven’t yet mastered, and so we cannot know ahead of time all the right answers. Making mistakes is a part of the learning process. Successful individuals make a note of what hasn’t worked and they imagine what other options could accomplish the desired result. Then they move forward by trying the new ideas, until they find the one that works. They respect their own choices and the choices of others. They look for what is productive in every situation.
People are attracted to the charisma of great individuals who appreciate what they have and who they are. They are content with who they are at the present moment, while always looking to improve themselves. In recognizing that they are part of a whole, they strive to aid others in whatever way they can. They realize that they are like a grain of sand on the beach. They are not the beach, but they make up the beach, and without them the beach would not be the same. They believe in teaching rather than preaching. They lead from the front rather than push from the rear. They teach and lead by example. As one great leader, Mahatma Gandhi said, “My life is my message.”
Joe Batten talks about two flocks of sheep and their shepherds in the desert. The flock that was herded from the rear by the shepherd became nervous, always looking over their shoulder, not eating well. The flock that was led from the front by their shepherd were healthy, content sheep with a good attitude. People respond in a similar way. They want to aspire to something greater than themselves. The successful individual aids others to become the most that they can be. They always have the time to give to those in need. Gandhi exhibited great leadership by spending time each day talking to individual followers about their daily challenges and domestic life. This did not limit his ability to aid heads of state and world leaders, he gave wherever he could give. Successful individuals are open to all kinds of people. They welcome diversity as a place to learn more about themselves and others. They embrace different physical origins, knowing that we are all part of a greater family. They look for the good in other people, and they appreciate what is good about themselves. They practice the Law of Abundance in their lives.
Successful individuals are very serious about their ideals and mission in life. They do not take themselves too seriously though. They have the ability to laugh at themselves and use humor on a daily basis. The Dalai Lama who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize exemplifies this. Even while facing the obliteration of his native Tibetan culture by the Chinese, His Holiness harbors no hatred. He practices discipline to still his mind and lives with compassion, giving him an endearing charm. People who have learned how to be happy at whatever they do know how to create purpose for their life. They have given attention not only to their physical desires but also to their emotional, mental and spiritual desires. They are individuals who balance their time and endeavors to lead a balanced, well-rounded life. They understand how to use the Universal Law of Proper Perspective. They know what area of their life needs attention at any time and they respond to that.
Successful people come in all shapes and sizes. One quality that is common to all of them is that they give their love and their life blood to whatever they set out to accomplish. By learning from their attitude toward life and emulating their example, we can all embrace the Universal Laws and the Principles of Success.•