Do you ever get bogged down reading other people’s blogs or Facebook status updates? How about looking at everyone’s perfect homes on Pinterest? I realized the other day as I was staging one of my photos that we truly see only what people want us to see online. Here’s the photo:Looks great, right? I can just add some text onto that picture, lighten it up a bit, and it’s perfect. Let’s just take a step back:Here’s what the whole picture looked like. See that little spot in the middle where the contact lens picture was taken? That was the spot I wanted the world to focus on.
(Now, just for my own conscience, I have to say that my counter isn’t usually this bad. My baby empties the contents under the sink daily and I finally got sick of it and piled things on the counter for a few days waiting for him to lose interest.)
Over the past couple of weeks, I have realized that every single person I meet is struggling with something. Most of the time though, they won’t tell you what they are battling. Generally speaking, people don’t like to appear weak or vulnerable, but it is much harder to help people when you don’t understand what they are going through.
If we assume that everyone is struggling,
how can we interact with others in a way that we both come away edified?
As I have been researching how to best take and edit photos so that my photos over time will become better quality, I have learned a couple of things about what we as humans are attracted to. When we look at photos, we are attracted to those filled with light and happiness. If I want to be the type of person that others are attracted to, especially my own family, I need to have those characteristics. Photoshop has become my tutorial in editing my life so that it can actually be the way my Facebook or Pinterest life appears. (Granted, I have weak moments and bad days like everyone else, but this is an area I am really trying to work on.)
Here are 5 lessons I have learned from Photoshop:
- Zoom and Focus: What is most important to you?
Just like in the picture above, we have to see past all the stuff and distractions and focus on what is most important. There are so many ways that we can spend our time throughout the day.
Find your focus, and zoom in on it! Crop out unnecessary distractions.
Actively remembering that my family is the thing that matters more than anything else in the world to me, I find ways to spend time with them. I include them in the activities and chores that are a necessary part of life and find fun ways to teach skills rather than blitz through tasks alone. I purposely set aside individual quality time with each person so they know they are important to me.
- Exposure, Brightness, Highlights:How do you bring light into your life? When you work with these features in a Photoshop-type program, their main function is to bring light into the picture.Choose the best way to start your day and stick with it!
Starting my day with God, brings so much more light into my life. Scripture and prayer have become a regular part of my day. I expose my children to good and positive things so they will take those good feelings with them when they leave our home and go out to serve and influence others for good. When I interact with others I engage in uplifting conversation rather than gossip or banter that leave me feeling worse off about life. My most favorite people to hang out with are those that I leave their company feeling lighter, full of energy and having learned something from our interactions
- Sharpness and Clarity:When do you need more clarity? In the heat of the moment of a tantrum or emotional outburst, taking a small time-out can give an amazing amount of clarity to a situation.Identify those situations, step back, and learn.
Removing myself from the moment and thinking things through helps me handle the situation better and see things as they really are more clearly. When I am intentional about not only my speech, but also how I listen, I find I listen more to learn and understand about the people I am conversing with rather than just waiting my turn to talk.
- Rotate: What can you change today to become a better version of yourself? Be willing to change and allow others to change. When we hold onto our past weaknesses, or those of others, we hinder progress. Seek to teach, not blame.Set measurable goals to achieve the change you seek.
I find myself not wanting to accept fault for so many things throughout the day from why things aren’t going the way I planned, to why I am in a bad mood. I need to remember that only I can change my attitude and only I can choose to make myself happy.
- Red Eye Remover: Are you sleep deprived?GET SLEEP! Master the 15 minute power nap if needs be. Don’t let lack of sleep determine your mood!Do what it takes to get your personal required hours of sleep.
I can’t remember the last time that I slept through the night. Probably somewhere around 8 years ago. Even when my kids sleep through the night, I wake up out of habit. I stay up too late causing normal child-waking hours (try dawn) to come too soon, rather than setting intentional, reasonable sleep hours. When I get a good night’s rest for a few consecutive nights, it makes all the difference. When I don’t, the power nap works wonders.
The most important thing in this whole life-editing process is that we MUST include God. He will help us know what our focus should be and how to go about gaining it. I love the scripture that says “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him”. (3 Nephi 13:8) God is willing to give us blessings that we need, if we simply ask for them! We need to remember that no matter how hard life is, our whole purpose here is to have joy! (2 Nephi 2:25)
What will you do today to start your life editing process?