Successful people start before they feel ready

James Clear writes an interesting article about Why Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready

We all start in the same place: no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience. The difference is that some people — the winners — choose to start anyway.

James’ uses Richard Branson as an example, he readily admits an extreme example, but one that we could all learn something from.

It is an interesting and entertaining read and provides good motivation to getting on to the business of doing.


What time is it?

This morning I was sitting downstairs, typing away on the laptop, when I realised something was not right.  You see I am an early riser, any given day I am usually up about an hour before JJ wakes up.  Typically somewhere around 6 to 6:30 in the morning I hear his little feet hit the floor upstairs.  That gentle patter as he goes in search of his drinkie or mummy and daddy or just off to see what mischief he can get into.

Well this morning, as I said, I was typing away and something was not right.  It was so quiet and peacefully. It was 7:30, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom was not playing on the TV, then it hit me, I was still sitting by myself.  I had not heard those little feet, had I missed something, had he awoken and had I been too engrosed in my work to notice.

Sleeping beauty

Nope our little man was sound asleep, I guess I should enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts.

My Camera Bag

What is in my camera bag, I am glad that you asked.

Sony A65 Camera
Sony A65 Camera

The camera bag itself is a Tecno and is sold by Jessops in the U.K. (that is a story for another time).

My camera gear includes

  • Sony SLT-A65V Body
  • Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom lens
  • Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1/2 lens
  • Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens
  • Sony STP GB1AM Leather Grip Belt Hand Strap
  • 3 Legged Thing VYV Punks Tripod & Airhed 1
  • DSC-TX9 / T Series Camera
  • iPhone 6 (yes the best camera is always the one you have on you)
  • Spare batteries
  • Numerous memory cards
  • Camera kit for the iPad (allows me to transfer photo’s from memory cards)
  • iPad air, Macbook Pro (depending on when and where I am processing my photos)
Sony A65 Camera body
Sony A65 Camera body
Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom lens
Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom lens
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1/2 lens
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1/2 lens
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens
Sony STP GB1AM Leather Grip Belt Hand Strap
Sony STP GB1AM Leather Grip Belt Hand Strap
3 Legged Thing VYV Punks Tripod & Airhed 1
3 Legged Thing VYV Punks Tripod & Airhed 1
DSC-TX9 / T Series Camera
DSC-TX9 / T Series Camera
iPhone 6
iPhone 6
Camera Bag
Camera Bag


Macbook Pro
Macbook Pro

Behind the lens

As you would know I am an amateur photographer, and if you didn’t that fact you do now.

JJ Exploring

My earliest memory around photography was my youngest brothers first communion (at least that is what I think it was, it was a few years ago now and some of the details are a little hazy).  This was the days before point and shoot cameras, cameras in our phones, before digital cameras even.  Dad’s camera (and for the life of me I can not remember any of the details about the camera) was a film camera, I can remember having to manual focus before and wind on the film after each and every shot.

The photo’s from that day are in the album at Mum and Dad’s place, so I must not have done to bad a job.  That day started my passion for photography, there have been periods of my life when I haven’t picked up a camera for months, there was one period when I only took a handful of photo’s over the period of a couple of years.

Stream in Roma Street Parklands

The one constant in the my life is that the urge to get out there, peering at the world throught the lens, it always returns.  The other constant is that I am always looking to develop my skills a little further.  Whether it be using the camera to its full potential, how I frame a shot or post production in photoshop, I am always looking to improve my skills bit by bit over time.I have got to the point where I am comfortable with using the shutter speed and aperture on the camera to create the desired photo, whether it be freezing motion on a busy street or giving a stream that look of running water.  How good are the results, well lets say I am a strong believer in practicing and refining.

What gives me the most pleasure these days, is that I am no longer scared (worried my be a better description) of having the camera in appeture priority (or shutter priority) and being able to capture the scene as I envisage it.  There was a time when I would leave the camera in full auto for fear of not getting the shot. That is not to say that there are times when I elect to use the camera in full auto, especially when taking photo’s of children at play where the lighting is mixed, you quickly learn that having an automatic mode can be a lifesaver.

I still struggle to find the time to indulge in my passion, it is probably why I love going on walks with my family as I discussed here. It allows me to combine two of my favourite pastimes together.

Christmas Special
Sunshine Express Rail Tours – Christmas Special

I sat down this morning to write about what is in my photography bag, guess I while have to write a separate post about that.

My favourite gadget

The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone.And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.So, three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary mobile phone; and a breakthrough Internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone … are you getting it?

With those words Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone in 2007.  Interestingly in 2007 I was only just buying my first device from Apple and it was not the iPhone.

I had been a Windows/PC guy, to be truthful at the start it was PC not windows.  We got our first computer at home in the mid ‘80s, with its monochrome monitor, beige box and 5¼ floppy drive. No hard drive, everything was DOS based. Over the years I upgraded to ever better PC’s and into the Windows environment.  I was firmly in the Microsoft fan club, I had a windows compatible machine at home, at work, my favourite operating system was Windows XP and I used the latest and greatest Microsoft Office avaialable at any given time.

When I was at University I had access to a Macintosh computer and besides being an okay machine for word processing I didn’t think much of it.  To be truthful I was in the camp which was dismissive of mac users, real people only used PC’s.  I can remember thinking when the iPod come out, why would you want an overpriced music player from a company which makes overpriced computers.

During the 2000’s I bought a successive string of music players, besides one from Dick Smiths, I can’t even remember the name of them, let alone who made them.  The Dick Smiths music play I remember because it was so frustrating to use that to this day I still regret buying it.  Why I put up with it for almost 2 years, I don’t know, if I had to guess I would say stubborn and not willing to admit I had paid good money for a piece of crap.

It was in 2007, around the time that the first iPhones were making their way into the hands those first users that I finally bit the bullet, put aside my silly dislike of apple and their overpriced products and bought my first iPod. It was an 80gb classic, I ripped all my CD’s and filled it up.  I still have it, when I charged it up last (probably 6 months ago) it was still working.  It was such a joy to use.  Unfortunately it was the start of the descent into alternative universe which is apple.

Before I new it I had bought an iPod nano, because I wanted something a little smaller for when I was out walking. Then I bought an iPod touch, because I wanted the internet communications device, but I was under the mistaken belief that I would never need or want a smart phone.

Then I saw the launch of the iPad, it is the first time I can remember seeing a product launch for anything and thinking I want one. In June of 2010 I bought my first iPad and it lived up to all the hype. It changed the way I looked at computers and what I expected out of a computer.  The features just blew me away, 10 hour battery life, near instanteous shut down and start up, the mobility, being able to access the internet just about anywhere, I know the way I interact with my gadgets changed that day.

The following year, I started having issues with my computer.  I did not even think about buying another PC, based on my experience with the iPad in particular, but all of the apple devices I bought over the previous couple of years, meant I bought my first mac without a second thought. I got a 27” iMac, I ordered it online from Apple and it arrived a week later. 4 years later it still going without an issue.  As much as I would love to buy the new 5K iMac, my current machine is still running all of the programs I use without an issue and I can’t justify replacing it.

By this stage Apple had won me over. When the iPhone 4s came out later that year, it was added to my growing collection of apple products.  Admittedly it has been replaced by the iPhone 5, 5s and now my current dialy driver the iPhone 6.  It is the one device that I have with me at all times.  Whether it is at the gym or out walking listening to music, a podcast or an audiobook, having a camera at hand for just that moment, being able to communicate with my friends and family whenever or wherever I am, be it phone, messages, email or social media.  The iPhone has become such an integral part of my daily life and more importantly how I want to live my life.

Now our addiction to apple products hasn’t stopped there, there is another two later generation iPads, an iPad mini, a couple of apple TV’s, a macbook air and lastely a macbook pro. While there is other gadgets, even stuff not made by apple, without a doubt for both myself and my wife the iPhone is our favourite gadget.  How long will that last, who knows what the next exciting gadget will be, who knows what will be developed next year or in ten years. For now the iPhone is it, but there is always the apple watch……

Sunday Afternoon Ritual

Everyone has their own Sunday afternoon ritual, it could be an afternoon nap, watching the game on the tele, catching up with some friends at the pub, doing the housework, then list is endless.  For my family our Sunday afternoon ritual is to go for a walk.  I have always loved walking, it has been (and still is) my favourite form of exercise.

The family walks started before JJ was born, my wife found that it helped her relax during the pregnancy.  Particularly when we drove down to the Gold Coast so that we could stroll along the beach and breathe in the fresh sea air.  My wife loves the beach, but that is a story for another day.

After JJ was born we settled into a routine of going for a family walk on a Sunday afternoon.  One of the nice aspects of our Sunday afternoon walks is that we explore new places to walk.  Most Sundays we hop in the car after lunch and head out to somewhere nice or new for our walks. It has allowed us to explore different parts of Brisbane (with the occasional trip to the coast for the mandatory walk along the beach thrown in for good measure).

Along with the exercise and enjoying each others company the walks also allow me to indulge in my passion for photography.  Usually I will have my camera dangling from one hand (I prefer to use a hand strap when we are walking as opposed to having the camera dangling around my neck and bouncing off my chest each step).

Yesterday afternoon was our first Sunday afternoon walk in a while.  A combination of commitments over the Christmas/New Years period and the weather (it has been very hot and humid here over the past month) has kept us from our normal ritual.  Yesterday was no different, it was hot and humid, but instead of staying at home in air conditioned comfort we headed out to one of the larger shopping centres and walked there in air conditioned comfort instead.

JJ thought it was a wonderful idea and promptly went to sleep, he had the best part of a two hour nap as we strolled around the centre.  My wife though it was a wonderful idea, as she got to do some shopping while getting in the family walk. Me I was enjoying pushing JJ along and spending time with my family.

I can hear those little feet on the floor upstairs and it is time for me to go play daddy again.  Before I go, one final thought, it was good to get back into to the swing of our Sunday afternoon ritual, I hadn’t realised that I had missed it until yesterday afternoon.

What is your ritual, do you have one?