Accomplishment in life can be found in a wide range of areas including family, volunteerism, creativity, career and business to name a few. It is common to hold up the accomplishments of others as sources of inspiration or motivation for our own goals and dreams. Sometimes our adulation of others is misguided.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/8, 1/5000, ISO-400

What is accomplished is only part of the story. How it is accomplished can be even more important. For example… wealth that is obtained through falsehoods and fraud is soiled, and tainted by the darker aspects of human nature. It is not worthy of adulation,  and certainly not emulation.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 27 mm, efov 72.9 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-3200

Depending on our interests and talents, it may take us years to learn the intricacies of our craft. Building up the requisite knowledge and experience requires perseverance. We may fail because of our lack of dedication and follow through.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5, 1/1600, ISO-320, subject distance 151.7 metres

We can sometimes overlook how various types of knowledge and skills interact, and are mutually supporting. Forming a strong foundation for future accomplishment.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 2X teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO-4000, subject distance 950 mm

It is the integration of those individual skills and abilities that creates the strength and flexibility needed for our accomplishments to be realized.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 44.2mm, efov 119.3mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

If not properly maintained our skills can erode with time, and hold us back from reaching our full potential.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 30 mm, efov 81 mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-160

We do not control all aspects of our environment. Sometimes road blocks appear. Adjusting our path or taking a significant detour may be required. Not properly assessing risks as they arise can lead to turmoil and stress.

Carmichael Point Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-160

Pursuing our dreams can feel like a lonely, arduous journey at times. Discovering our life purpose provides the energy, hope and faith to keep pressing forward.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 24 mm, efov 64.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-3200

Unrealistic expectations of large and immediate rewards can dominate our thinking…. and fuel disillusionment when they are not forthcoming. Accomplishment need not be tied to material acquisition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4.-56 @ 100mm, efov 270mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-800

Regardless of our financial and material accomplishments in life, we will leave behind the same amount as the richest among us. All of it. For many of us, materialism fully reveals its hollowness at the end of our journey. A cruel and untimely revelation.

Powerscourt, Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 9 mm, efov 24.3 mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-400

Life can be full of vibrancy and variety. We can become a tapestry of equanimity and compassion. The most important and valuable accomplishments are of human connection.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with 16 mm Kenko extension tube, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-6400, Hand-held Hi Res Mode, subject distance 190 mm

Comparisons with others can make us fearful of not measuring up on some arbitrary scale. We risk withdrawal, not daring to dream and challenge ourselves. To hide from life, rather than embrace it.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 64 mm, efov 172.8 mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-160

Our inaction can lock our potential away, causing us to live in self-induced prisons. Pointing fingers. Blaming others.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD @10mm, efov 27mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-160

We can pause… and look back on our lives. On where we’ve been and what we have accomplished. Ultimately none of that matters.

All we have is the gift of today. And, how we choose to use it. Only we know if we have the courage to turn and face the uncertainty that is tomorrow.

 Technical Note

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All of the other images were produced from RAW files using my standard process in post. This is the 1,336 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

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2 thoughts on “Accomplishment”

  1. Someone said that life happens while you’re making plans for life. I have 2 pieces of advice that I think are worthy of putting into print. The first is to keep moving and the second is don’t wait for things.

    1. Hi Lewsh,

      Thanks for adding your two points to the discussion.

      John Lennon used the line, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” in his 1980 song Beautiful Boy. Although Lennon is often quoted as the source of the line, it was published in newspapers a couple of decades earlier than his song. Some sources attribute the line to writer Alan Saunders.


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