5 Important Life Lessons from 1 Photo

James Preston Reply 9:30 AM
I was going through my photos after another incredible day in the African Bush at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and came across this one that my wife snapped of Joel and I while we were at the restaurant/bar of Hilltop camp. I love the photo for so many reasons. It encapsulates so many of my values not only due to the photo's content, but because of how it was taken and the moment with in which it was snapped.

When I looked at this photo I immediately recognised 5 Values of mine that are symbolised within. So for this week's blog, I figured it was only fitting to post something associated with our time away.

Here are 5 Values I hold dear and live my life by. They are not the only values, and neither are they the most important values, they are simply outlined here because of what is symbolised in the photo.

1. Make time for your family
What separates this photo from the others snapped away on the iPad by my wife (you know how you always seem to take way too many pics!?) is that it captured a moment of genuine joy and happiness between Joel and myself, not just a posed smile. This symbolises how much I hold dear to making memories with my family, and making sure I get good quality time with them wherever possible.

Family are the most important thing you have. No one ever says on their deathbed, "oh, I wish I had made more money or spent more time at the office." Instead, the first thing that goes through someone's mind when they are confronted with a life-threatening situation is the closest people to them. These are the people that count. They are God's gift to you. Don't wait till it's too late. You may be ambitious and believe you're in a building phase in order to make more time for family, but don't sacrifice the good you have available to you now for something not guaranteed then. Make time for the important people NOW.

2. Do what you love
The photo was taken at Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserves. One of myself and Corinne's favourite places in our beautiful Province. We planned 2 nights up here before going to a week in the Drakensberg. That's in the opposite direction. We love The African Bush that much. Often we will take a day off to drive the 3 hours up to Hluhluwe just for a day trip!

Doing things you love releases endorphins into your system that refresh you and rejuvenate you, making you ready for your next bout of hard work. Doing a hobby or fun activity takes your mind off the troubles of life and fills your tank giving you fuel to be your best again! For us, we took the words of Jesus to heart: "Don't worry about your life... Look at the birds of the air and the flowers of the field."

One of the best ways for us not to worry is to look at the birds of the air and the flowers of the fields!

3. Celebrate and be proud of your heritage
The feature of the photograph is clearly the Lion Skin hanging off the top of the bar. I am no proponent of hunting, and don't revel in the fact that there is a dead lion for me to see and touch, but what I do appreciate is that it was once a living beast at the top of its Eco-system. It is obviously an old skin from the early 1900's back when Big Five hunting was commonplace. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is the oldest Game Reserve in South Africa, and the term "Big Five" was originally a hunting term based on how dangerous the animal was to hunt.

What this Lion symbolizes is everything African. I am an African, and I am deeply proud! My land has its challenges, but we can and will overcome them. There is something about Africa, it's hazey orange sunsets, morning bird calls, grand wildlife, and passionate people that makes you come alive. I will always celebrate Africa, and the Republic of South Africa specifically. Celebrate your land, it's part of who you are.

4. Have fun, let your hair down, let go
Why I love this photo over some of the others snapped of the same scene, is that this one captures a moment between Joel and I that a normal pose can't. It captures fun, happiness, joy and love.

While I realise I can't be high-energy with Joel all the time, I am one seriously passionate guy. And having fun is what I am all about. I can't remember who it was who said "if you're not having fun, it's not worth doing", but I like that! Obviously there are exceptions, but for the most part, make life as fun as possible. It is good for your soul in more ways than you can imagine. God is a fun God. "He sits in the Heavens and Laughs!" Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into Wine! We can learn a lot....

5. Keep moving
Again, the moment of this photo captures to boystrous way Joel and I play. And represents one of life's most natural energisers and rejuvenators: mobile activity. Getting out and physically doing something, being active, is not only good for your body, it is good for your emotional health, too.

When your body is happy, you are happy. Make time to get active. Even if it's once a week. Get that body moving! It was created to be agile!

Well, I better leave my computer alone for another few days and soak up the beauty of the African air. I hope you make time to rejuvenate at least once a year. Maybe not in the same way I like to do it, but whatever works for you. The world needs you to be operating at your best!

What are some of the ways you like to rejuvenate? If you're not from Africa, where are you from and what are some good places to unwind?

Post a Comment

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

Welcome to JamesPreston.org

Weekly Email Inspiration:

Enter Your Email for powerful inspiration:


James Interviews Mike Stopforth about Entrepreneurship:

James' Top Ten Movies:

James' Popular Blog Posts:


James on Google Plus: