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perspective in 2023

""once upon a time, a farmer had a valuable horse run away.

“bad news!” said the people.

“Good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.

later, the horse returned to the farm with many wild horses accompanying it.

“good news!” said the people.

“good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.

some time after that, the farmer’s son fell and broke his leg while trying to train one of the wild horses.

“bad news!” said the people.

“good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.

soon after, the army came through town conscripting all able-bodied young men, and the farmer’s son was passed over.

“good news!” said the people.

“good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.""

-one of many paraphrases of a parable

this parable is essentially saying life offers up both the good and the bad. but those who can rise above letting circumstances dictate their feelings and, instead, always hope for the best will have the best perspective as they move forward in 2023.

i don't know about you but i have the bad habit of "looking at glass half empty". i shouldn't be that way. i've had my share of bumps in life through the years but don't we all? if i were to be honest, my life has been a blessing compared to others. but for some reason, i tend to go right to the "worst case scenario" as my wife would say.

it doesn't matter whether we are going through a period of bliss in our lives or a period of difficulty. the key is perspective - our way of looking at things. my wife and i will look at the same thing and have completely opposing perspectives.

if we are looking at a potentially difficult situation or if we are in the middle of one, my wife will usually try to be optimistic; i tend to veer right into pessimism and disguise it by saying it is "reality". why? i don't know...what i do know is it's all about choice; it's all about, again, perspective. she chooses to focus on having a positive attitude and trusting the end result will be for the good. i couldn't point out what particular thing or things happened in my life to ingrain in myself an attitude of pessimism when life gets hard. but that is my normal reaction. now...sometimes she is the one that gets discouraged and i am optimistic but that's not the norm.

it's like these two images i'm sharing here. they are both, in a way, looking at the same thing; it's just that the perspective is flip-flopped. one is looking at the minnesota state capitol with the cathedral of st. paul in the background. the other is looking at the cathedral with the state capitol in the background. both are incredibly beautiful and amazing architectural gems. my bet, though, is that one perspective will be preferred over the other. one person's choice will not be another person's choice. it's the same thing in looking at the glass half full or half empty. it's a choice based on the perception of how we choose to look at something.

the first image here showcases the state capitol in the foreground with the cathedral of st. paul in the background to the left of the capitol. i made this image as part of a small photography workshop group where I was allowed to watch the leader (i have thoughts about maybe leading photography workshops myself someday) and help him as needed. i really like the ice field leading outward toward the capital. it symbolizes, to me, the current "landscape" of the usa. it is pitted and slippery; it requires careful navigation through our politically and culturally divisive nation based on our personal beliefs. however, the capitol rises like a beacon in the night. regardless of the current political and cultural atmosphere at the local and federal level and our personal feelings about them, the capitol should be a reminder to us all that we live in a democracy that allows us freedoms we should never take for granted.

this second image is the flip side of the coin so to speak. here the cathedral of st. paul is in the foreground with the state capitol in the background. this is an amazing and imposing structure! see the car almost dead center of the cathedral to get a sense of the scale of this majestic building. the atmospheric conditions added a great ambience to this image. the clouds have blanketed the sky and take on the glow of the city lights. there is just a touch of fog in the air as well lending a softness to the image. our personal beliefs regarding faith and religion will play a big role in how our perspectives are shaped. for me personally, with my habit of seeing the glass half empty, it's an ongoing drive to replace that with the glass half full perspective because of my personal faith journey.

i just told my wife recently that i want to work on not being as negative in 2023. she said, "oh no honey! don't do that! i love you for your "realistic" look at life!" okay...who am i kidding? she didn't say that. she loves me no matter what but you can bet that statement made her have hope i will change! now, it's one thing to say i will do something. i need to follow through on it as well. i've been the way i am overall long enough that she needs to see proof of it. she needs to see that i am trying to see the glass half full and not half empty.

as we start to dip our toes into the new year, going deeper and deeper as the year moves along, perhaps there are some perspectives that have been a detriment in your life. they keep you feeling weighed down. just one example to share here…even in hard circumstances, when there is no way out but only through, it is possible to have a glass half full mentality. it doesn’t mean it is easy. it means we make choices about how we are going to let it affect us. joy, contentment, fulfillment and more are possible even in the hard things.

this isn’t about new year’s resolutions. this is about “slow and steady wins the race”. there might be setbacks. it’s only the 9th of january and one area i want to improve on has already had a setback. but don’t stop and give in; don’t say “oh i’m always going to be this way”. nope. that is not a truth. “it’s a lie” is what my wife will tell me. you don’t always have to be that way. make the choice with me. let’s work on our perspectives together. 2023…here we come!

i hope this blog will help inspire you to make some changes in your perspective, whatever that may be. maybe you don’t have any to work on. then offer to be a person who helps others in changing their perspective if they want it. we all need people to help us through life. i’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog. it’s always a bit tough to share something that doesn’t make us shine in our best light. but i know i’m not alone; maybe i helped break the ice for you and others to start thinking about your perspective and the impact it has in your daily living.

these images are for sale. perhaps they might be an inspiration and reminder about working on perspective in the coming year. i continue to work behind the scenes to update my online store. i haven’t added images for a while there as i’m actually working on a whole new store that will be much better in the long run. it’ll be worth the wait…i promise. in the meantime, remember you can always send me a message using the contact form at the bottom of every page of my website to inquire about purchasing an image(s). here are a couple of mockups to give you an idea, scale-wise, of how they would look hanging in your house and/or business. remember that these are available in more sizes, not just the ones pictured here.

24"x36" cathedral of st paul wall print

24"x36" minnesota state capitol wall print

you are more than welcome to share this blog with others and, in fact, i hope you will. if you enjoyed it, you can be sure others will as well! the easiest way is to scroll to the bottom of the blog. click on the fb icon or the twitter icon to share this blog. the third option is a link button which will copy the link and then you can paste it into any social media or email. i’d really love to expand my readership and i thank you if you already do that or will start to do that with this blog!

have a great day/evening and i will see you soon with more “images from my quiet world”!

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James Mullier
James Mullier
Jan 09, 2023 of your best, Steve. I am inspired and happy also that my glass is not actually, "fully empty". You have reminded me well, to smile more and stop whinging. My glass will never top up, while ever I am focused on negative things. Great photography as usual and I do prefer St Paul prominent in the foreground. 😊👍

stephen hadeen
stephen hadeen
Jan 09, 2023
Replying to

Thanks James. I’m pleased to hear you think this to be one of my best. It means I’m still improving! I also appreciate you sharing which preference you have. I really like the state capitol one as I think this is a rather unique image. I’ve seen a number of images from this relative spot but not with this type of a foreground. Having said that, the Cathedral really offers offers up a strong drama foreground image. I had to use my 12mm lens (normally used for Milky Way images and the like) to get it all in. I was backed up as far as I could to a snow pile that was about another 3-4 feet higher than me.…

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