Better Your Life One Picture at a Time

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One Photo a DayLife is beautiful.

There are so many small, joyful, funny, and tragic moments that happen over the course of our lives that it begs us to ask the question:

How are we going to remember it all?

This was the question posed by young director Cesar Kuriyama in a very inspiring and intriguing TED talk I watched recently (posted below).

Cesar used to be in advertising. And he did what many of us are stuck doing every day: sitting behind his desk and plugging away at his computer. He had long work weeks and little time to do the things he loved.

One day Cesar made the decision to to take a year off to travel and to pursue his own creative ideas (something I think we all need to do).

And that’s when he started his one second a day project.

Let me show you.

Every single day, from the day he turned 30, Cesar would shoot one second of video to collect the special bits of his life. Every single day of his life got filtered down to one second and added to a compilation video he hopes to continue forever.

“I never want to forget another day that I lived and this is my way of doing that.” – Cesar

Cesar’s project intrigued me.

It made me think about my own life and how I was spending my own precious moments.

It made me realize that we have so much technology at hand and yet we don’t fully take advantage of it to keep a recollection of all our small, yet important memories.

For many of us, the details of today get neatly tucked into the deep layers of our minds, most likely never to resurface.

“As days and weeks and months go by, time starts blurring and blending into itself and the best way to trigger memories is through visual ques.” – Cesar

So, this year, in an effort to try and put Cesar’s ideas into action and finally conquer my terrible memory, I decided to pursue my own little life compilation. Only instead of video, I decided to use photos.

Every single day I take a picture and load it up into a little application on my iPhone. Every single day is filtered down to one photograph that bears the responsibility of triggering a memory of that particular day…forever.

And each photo is of something obscure. Something worth remembering.

But there is a fine line here that must be noted.

The idea isn’t to experience important moments through a lens.

Do we really need 17 different photos of that building we’ve never seen before?

Do we really need 10 minutes of video from that concert?

Probably not.

And yet we’ve all fallen prey to this. We’ve all succumbed to the fear of ‘missing something important’. We go on vacation and live our moments through a lens instead of enjoying the moments for what they are.

The idea is to take one simple picture to trigger a memory of that day forever.

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There is something else that I noticed over the course of this project…

If I don’t do something exciting or interesting, my photos start to get a little boring.

“This project has really invigorated me day to day when I wake up to try and do something interesting with my day.” – Cesar

We’re all told that life is short.

And although we know it’s true, we rarely pursue the things that we love most.

This is unfortunate and even though I often talk about the importance of building a better body, it’s essential that we always remember the purpose behind this journey:

A better body is one that gives us the ability to purse a better life.

We need a body that is built to last so we can pursue all of our dreams and ambitions. So we can lead a life that is fulfilling and tatted up with all sorts of incredible memories.

But we still need to make the time and effort to do the little things that make life so incredible.

To make room for things that are important.

To spend quality time with family and friends.

To go on an adventure.

To plan a small trip.

To do something you haven’t done since you were a kid. To do something fun and exciting with your significant other. Read a book you’d never thought you’d read. Learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby.

Don’t allow work and ‘life’ to constantly get in the way of doing the things that matter.

And I’ll be honest…

I struggle mightily in this department. I put so much focus into my work, my body, and my blog that I don’t always make the time to do the things that are important.

But I’m learning and I’m trying really hard to make positive changes.

I’m always trying to get better.

And this little project - the simple act of taking a photo with my phone every day – has not only made me more aware of how I’m spending my days, it has also motivated me to strive for more eventful memories.

So how can you do the same thing?

If you have an iPhone or another smartphone, there are a number of apps you can download to make this process incredibly simple.

The one I use is called My365 [see here] and it’s completely free. If you have a couple of bucks to spare, you can get an app called Project 365 [see here], which apparently works a lot smoother, but I’ve never used it myself.

If you don’t have a smartphone, what you can do is start carrying your digital camera wherever you go (they’re getting smaller and smaller every day). Snap a picture every day and upload it to your computer in a folder and name each picture with the date it represents.

Cesar is also creating his own application for those who want to capture their own one second video compilation. If I’m not mistaken, it should be ready sometime this year [see here].

I encourage you to check out Cesar’s TED talk below. There’s a really cool showcase of his project.

Note: if the video isn’t appearing, simply refresh the page and it will show up!

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I hope this post has given you a bit of inspiration to take a look at how you’re spending your own precious moments.

Time goes by too quickly.

And I think it’s essential that you spend it doing the things that you love.

If need be, take advantage of the technology we have today. Track how you spend your days. Become more aware of the events happening in your life.

And always strive to become better.

What do you think of this idea? Of this project?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Comments

  1. This is a great idea! It forces you to really think about your day and ask yourself if you are really taking the time to do something that feeds your soul today.

    Yes, we all have to work and do laundry and pay bills but we have to make sure we are taking at least some time to do something wonderful, like visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or dust off that instrument and start practicing or read that novel just because it looks interesting…

    Great post, great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  2. George Maniatakos says:

    Well I think ideas like these remind us why life is worth living. Stom chasing money, start looking for what’s important to you, what makes you happy. At the end of the day, you will be richer than you’ve ever imagined! Totally gonna try something similar! I just can;t figure out yet what fits me most!

  3. Srdjan,

    This is an excellent idea. My girlfriend’s sister is actually doing the Project 365 as one of her New Years resolutions and she is really enjoying it.

    Alykhan

  4. David Cano Riesgo says:

    Will try to capture these important pieces of life, great idea! just can’t agree with you about this…”I struggle mightily in this department. I put so much focus into my work, my body, and my blog that I don’t always make the time to do the things that are important.”, as I believe one’s work, body and your blog are all amazing (and important) things to take care of!

    Cheers, David

  5. I’m moved to start something similar. I’m in the best shape of my life and yet I rarely, if ever, take pics of myself. I don’t think that’s right. Memories face so quickly so I think it’s important to preserve them with photos and videos.

    Personally I think one second is a bit short but I understand the reasoning from a storage POV. Storing a minute long video would be far too much. Then again it’s only 6 hours of video a year. Not too bad actually. Still, a very interesting talk and it hammers home a few points.

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