Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Park Central Hotel / End of 2013

The end is nigh. Not in some apocalyptic fashion, but of course I mean the year 2013. I always post the pictures at the beginning of the blog posts, knowing that a lot of people will be only interested in seeing the photograph, and that is absolutely fine. But for others who read what I write as well, I would just like to write about my thoughts going into the new year 2014. Before I do though, I should  quickly say that the picture above was taken in Miami, in the famous art deco street in the South Beach region. Among all my processing, I have tried to give this picture a little vintage look, to match the wonderful car in the foreground.

So 2013 is about to be gone, and to keep with tradition, a new year is about to begin. The reason I want to share my thoughts on this New Year's Eve, is because there seems to be an extra amount of motivational messages/goal-setting exercises, that are spring up in the internet world this year. Now I am very interested in personal development, and am completely for people bettering themselves as time goes on. Some of you may know, I launched a website this year called PhilosophyOne.com, which was all about personal development, and sharing whatever knowledge I had learned about how to achieve success. If you search the internet for this website now however, you won't find it. This is simply because I have reverted it to my HalewoodPhoto.com website, which it initially replaced.

The reason I ultimately think I decided to not proceed any further with my personal development website at the moment, is because I read a book in July that changed my life. That book was 'Man's Search for Meaning' by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was an Austrian Logotherapist (a type of therapy he created), who survived the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz, and others as well. Man's search of meaning is not only a heart-breaking recollection of his experiences in wartime death camps, but also his thoughts on finding meaning in life, and how having meaning in life, is essentially the only way we can live happily. I could probably write a whole essay and more, about my views on this book, and the lessons within. However, I will quote Frankl from his preface of the 1992 edition of his book (he died in 1997).  This little passage has become my basic philosophy for living now:

"Don't aim at success - the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself."

Having real meaning in life (and these days it is not easy to find as Frankl acknowledges), would replace all the goal-setting exercises and motivational speeches you hear. The kind of meaning that makes you get up with no problems every morning, and helps you look to the future with excitement. Of course, I am not suggesting not listening to motivational speeches, some speakers are extraordinary, and indeed very inspiring, but I would suggest replacing all your goals and new year resolutions, with the simple question - what am I living for? Then ask yourself, are you happy what you are doing, and do you feel that you are doing what you put on this Earth to do? I believe that when you find that meaning, that has perhaps been lacking from life, you suddenly realise that you now have all the motivation and happiness you ever needed to sail through life.

Which brings me back to the point, why did I ditch my personal development website? Well, because I realised that after a lot of soul-searching, having read Viktor Frankl's book, my main enjoyment came from Photography. It is everything I love, and everything I want to do in the future. With the plans I have for my photography (you should hear a lot more about these during 2014), I wake up happy, and am looking to 2014 with nothing but anticipation. You cannot fail when you love the activity you are participating in. Perhaps when I have some more life experience, I will one day come back to the personal development side of things, but whilst I enjoy my photography and am pursuing my dreams within this field, there is nothing else I want to focus on.

Having shared my thoughts, I would like to wish you all a very happy new year, and hope you all enjoy your new year's eve. Without much fanfare, I will be back in 2014...more specifically Thursday.


  1. Pete,

    What a great post to end this year! I'm not someone who is particularly 'deep', philosophical or who thinks too much about the meaning of life but that passage above is it! That is what success comes from.

    I have enjoyed visiting your site this year, it is great to see you posting regularly again with some lovely images. This one is processed really well. The tone is so retro. take out those guys in their modern casual dress and this could have been taken back in the day!

    My blogging will re-commence tomorrow or Thursday and my aim is to boost my output a little as well. Happy New Year to you and yours, lets make 2014 a good one!

  2. Many thanks for your comments Tim! Your words are very kind, and it is indeed great to be back in the regular blogging scene, I definitely needed to get some structure and organisation back. It had drifted.

    I wish and your family a happy new year, and wish you must success in 2014!