Posts Tagged ‘concentration’

7 Things to Do When You Retire

February 28, 2012

1. Travel: Job and family responsibilities keep people rooted in one community. Familiar sights and habit often lead to stagnation and boredom. To really feel alive we must experience new sights and new traditions. There is a whole world out there of folks doing things differently and still being successful. We are often surprised and gain a whole new perspective on what’s possible. New avenues and possibilities suddenly appear before our eyes. Magical moments that send us off on an entirely new course of discovery. Travel is a great way to recharge your batteries after doing the same-old, same-old for so long. Pledge to travel. Pick out someplace you’d like to visit. You don’t have to go all exotic. A trip to a state park you’ve never seen is a very inexpensive way to get started. Or maybe to your state capitol if you’re not a big nature fan. Or, just hop in the car once a week and drive off to destinations unknown. Many of my best discoveries came from just such unplanned adventures. Drive until you come to something interesting, then, hop out and take a better look. Travel is a great way to begin your retirement years. Later, I’ll tell you about one simple new technology that makes travel exponentially more fun, even if you have to travel by yourself.

2. Get a Job: Of course I don’t mean go to work for someone else. This is your chance to finally do what you love to do. This is your chance to turn your hobby into a source of additional income. Making money doing what you love is the dream. Sharing your crafts or hobbies or interests with the world has never been easier thanks to the internet. In the not too distant past, retirement came awfully close to the end of our life expectancy. But not anymore. At age 65 most of us can look forward to another 10, 15, 20, 25 or more years of living. What will we do with all that time. Earl Nightingale, famous radio personality and co-founder of the Nightingale-Conant corporation that built their success on audio education programs once said, “The people who live the longest are the people with something to do.” We need something to do. We need some plan or structure in our life. Like it or not, a plan for the future, some expectation or excitement for what’s to come is a driving force in our life that pulls us forward.
When you tie your hobby or interests to a source of income generation, you insure that you’ll always have the financial freedom to enjoy what you love and you’ll get even more enjoyment from it knowing that others are interested in your work too. What joy is the most beautiful flower in the garden, or the best recipe, or the fine wooden craft if there’s no one else to share it with. Sharing has never been easier with the internet and a simple new digital tool.

3. Meet New People: One of the greatest joys in life are friends. People to share our interests and activities with. Meeting new friends was easy when we were in school. Classes would change, kids would come and go. We’d meet new people through sports or clubs or parties. Once we get into the workforce though, we find ourselves a bit more limited. Maybe we’d get to know a coworker. Or someone at church. Or someone from our kid’s school. By the time we retire we can often feel a bit lonely. Kid’s are grown. Sadly, some of our friends have gone off to their great reward or moved into retirement homes or places like Florida or Arizona. Meeting new people can sometimes be a real challenge. Luckily, there are hobbies that make it easy to meet new people.

4. Stay Active: The human body was not designed to be stationary. We we’re meant to move. Activity keeps our muscles in tone. It keeps our fluids moving. It lubricates our joints and aids our digestion. The trick is to find an activity that is low-stress but still addresses all of our physical necessities. Fortunately, walking is an activity that most of us can do. In fact, walking is the activity most often prescribed by doctors for people of all ages. It’s great for our posture, it stimulates our cardiovascular system and its low stress. The only problem is people often get bored with it. Fortunately, when you combine walking with another popular activity you can overcome that boredom and get even greater benefits. Benefits like triple calorie burn, instant gratification, and an excitement to get up and out the very next day. In fact, adding one simple activity can increase your interest in walking from 15 minute to one hour easily, thus quadrupling your benefit.

5. Leave a Legacy: Let’s face it, one day, we’ll be gone. Our time here on this planet will come to an end and we’ll take all of our memories and experience with us. How great if we could leave just a portion of that knowledge, talent and experience behind. What can you do to share? Rich folks leave large sums of money to benefit their favorite charities and institutions. Many other folks volunteer their time and talents. What organizations could use your help? What do you like to do? Could you volunteer your time? Could you write a book? Technology like computers and online retailers like Amazon.com make it very easy now to write and publish your knowledge. Perhaps you like to make things? Furniture and wood crafts. Decorative items for the home. How about art? Do you like to draw or paint? Perhaps you’re one of those frustrated artists who can never get their hand to do as the brain says? Fortunately there are digital arts now that leave your traitor hand out of the equation and let your wild imagination do all the work with a keyboard and mouse.

6. Teach: What better way to leave a part of you behind than to teach? When you share your knowledge you give the next generation all the benefit of your experience. You give them a head start, a leg up, a shortcut to success. There are many community education opportunities where you can even earn money sharing your knowledge. How about SCORE, the service corps of retired executives? Perhaps you could share your knowledge to help other businesses grow?
Starting your own class is easier than you think. It can provide great satisfaction, purpose, and is a great way to meet people with the same interests as you.

7. Buy a Camera: One of the best ways to get maximum enjoyment from your retirement years is to get a camera and learn a bit about photography. Photography is a great way to unify and magnify the benefits from all your activities.

A recent survey, conducted offers some interesting health benefits not normally associated with photography.
• 3 out of 4 people in the survey indicated that photography made them more active each week.
• All of the survey’s participants said that photography stimulates their mind. Half stated that it made them feel more focused, alive and creative.
• 82% found the ability to sustain high levels of concentrate while taking photos. (not an easy task in today’s hurry up era of infinite distractions)
• Fun – Most study participants were involved just for fun, deriving no income from their photos.
• 93 people out of 100 reported that photography made them feel good about themselves.
• 8 out of 10 said it lifts their mental state daily… it makes them feel good.
• More than half the people surveyed felt more connected to the local community and the world.
• 8 out of 10 reported that their involvement in photography had increased their contact with other people.

Surprise – The quality of the photos taken did not influence results. Even though half the people found others showed little or no interest in their photos, they still reported feeling all of photography’s positive benefits!

When asked to reveal, in their own words, the benefits they enjoyed from photography here’s a snapshot of the replies:

Connecting with nice people, relaxation, reduced stress, creativity, extra income, greater appreciation of the world, help people preserve memories, make people happy, get out of the house, meet new people, nostalgia, makes me feel better, relieves pain.

Photography can make your current hobbies more fun by allowing you greater opportunities to share. It can be a great motivational force to keep you active each day. Digital Photography has become much more a communication medium than an art. Technology has made it easier for anyone to take a great photo with just a bit of training.

A recent report indicates that now 10,000 people will retire each day in the country. That’s a lot of people who need something to do. They’d better get busy. Life moves pretty fast and they just might miss it.

Learning a bit of photography can open a great many doors to making retirement one of the best times of your life.

by Robert Schwarztrauber

“Change Your Life in a Flash” is a great introduction to all the benefits of photography. Improve your picture taking skills and find out exactly how to apply these skills to improve your health, wealth and happiness. This 90 minute audio CD program will open your eyes to a whole new world of opportunities. Opportunities available only to the digital camera user. You can get more details on this program at http://FitnessPhotoCourse.com

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Feel 10 Years Younger Too!

April 26, 2011

Feel 10 years Younger at http://totalfitnessphotography.com

Yes…that really is me!

Here, for the second day in a row, because we got more great news from the scientific community.

More evidence that what we’re doing is the absolute best thing we could be doing.

We know it’s good for our physical health and fitness, and now Dr. Nose from Japan says (in a New York Times article)  it could make us feel up to 10 years younger!

“Dr. Hiroshi Nose, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of sports medical sciences at Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, who has enrolled thousands of older Japanese citizens in an innovative, five-month-long program of brisk, interval-style walking (three minutes of fast walking, followed by three minutes of slower walking, repeated 10 times). The results have been striking. “Physical fitness — maximal aerobic power and thigh muscle strength — increased by about 20 percent,” Dr. Nose wrote in an e-mail, “which is sure to make you feel about 10 years younger than before training.” The walkers’ “symptoms of lifestyle-related diseases (hypertension, hyperglycemia and obesity) decreased by about 20 percent,” he added, while their depression scores dropped by half.”

I know I feel 10 years younger!

While we’re not as wrapped in the formality and regimen, essentially we’re doing the same thing. We walk quickly in between photo locations, we walk slowly as we plot our best angles, we do a few leg squats to get the best view.  We shoot our photo… then away we go again.

We get big points for the interest that photography brings to the game too.

While those older Japanese subject had the program for motivation, we’re on our own. We have to motivate ourselves. Luckily, there’s a whole big, beautiful world out there begging to pose for our photograph!

The article also said,

“…the one indisputable aspect of the single best exercise is that it be sustainable. From there, though, the debate grows heated.”

That’s the great thing about photography as our motivator. It takes our mind off the “exercise” part and instead keeps our focus on the fun. On the hunt for great new photos! That motivation sustains us.

Additionally,in the NYT article  Michael Joyner, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a leading researcher in the field of endurance exercise said, “I personally think that brisk walking is far and away the single best exercise.”

The article also said we get the most benefits… in just the first 30 minutes!

Grab your camera folks!

The medical community is on board.

What a great way to start the week.

Robert Schwarztrauber

You ca read the entire NYT article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17exercise-t.html?

Time for a New and Exciting View

December 18, 2010

Niagara Falls Best ViewMaybe this has happened to you too…

The other night I was watching “Build It Bigger” on The Discovery Channel. They were showing how the Hoover Dam was built. I’ve always been fascinated by how some of these giant structures come to be.

In fact, I was so wrapped up in the program that I didn’t hear my daughter ask me a question. “Dad, didn’t you hear me?” she asked.

“No, I was hypnotized by the TV,” I said.

Truth be told, I was not really hypnotized by the  tube, but the results were the same as if I had been. In reality, I was simply experiencing the effects of tremendous focus. Concentration. In that state we block out unrelated sights and sounds until they suddenly startle us from our trance.

It is a known fact that most of the world’s greatest success stories are born of this great concentration. Someone with great vision and persistence (often called FOCUS) was able to accomplish in one lifetime what the millions who came before him or her never could.

Some people say it’s hard to concentrate, hard to stay focused. And yet everyday millions of people will sit hypnotized for hours in front of the TV. Concentrating on the plethora of nonsense borne of viewer polls and advertising statistics. If it’s loud and changes views every 7 seconds, we’ll watch it – good, bad, or ugly. Especially bad or ugly.

But there is a better view available. One that lets you choose the best scenes in the world. Surprisingly, some of them can be found right in your own backyard. (Like Niagara Falls is to me. See photo above).One that lets you get your body moving, one that lets you meet new people, one that lets you feel better about yourself instead of worse.

There is a view that will train your mind to concentrate, to focus as you’ve never done before.

Let’s recap.

Better concentration. More fun, more physical activity. More people meeting. More praise. A heightened sense of self-respect and a general overall good feeling about one’s self.

“Sounds pretty good,” you say. “How can I get that view?”

Well, it is as near as the back of your camera. It’s called, oddly enough, a viewfinder.

Ironic, the simplicity. We all walk around hoping for something new and exciting to appear in our life, but though we want another view, how many of us actually go to the VIEW FINDER?

Millions of photographers do worldwide. But all those extra benefits I mentioned in the recap are often kept quiet, and discussed infrequently, and just amongst ourselves. You can join us if you like! We’ve got a great view on life because everyday we get up and look for what’s beautiful in this world. Studies have shown that what we look for, what we think about most in our life, comes to be. We create our own reality – which is merely a reflection of our thoughts.

This year is about to close. I can promise that if you do nothing to change the view, the view will still be the same next year. And the year after that. You’ll sleepwalk  through life, hypnotized by the folks who do have a better view.

Why not get a little serious about photography now?

The physical, mental and even economic rewards can be great. But as they say…you’ve got to participate.

Robert Schwarztrauber

P.S. If you’re interested in using your viewfinder (your camera) to really improve your health, wealth and wisdom in the coming year, send me an email and I’ll be sure to put you on my pre-publication list for my soon-to-be-released home-study photography program. Unlike other programs, this one’s not designed to push you toward achieving worldly artistic greatness, but is focused instead on a simple,  fun way to achieve your own personal satisfaction, and better physical and mental health through digital photography.

Send your emails to: robert@totalfitnessphotography.com

Zig Ziglar’s Take on Your Autumn Path

October 27, 2010

"Fall Path"

Our senior years are often referred to as “The Autumn of Our Life”.

We’ve weathered the seasons. Grown strong. Brought forth new fruit. We’ve matured.

But Autumn doesn’t mean “the end”. It’s likely we’ll slow down a bit, but we’re far from through!

Many new studies show that our chronological age does not have to be reflected in our physical or mental states. There is a great deal we can do to control the condition of our bodies and our minds.

Studies also show that one thing is key. Exercise.

Just last night I read two reports from totally unrelated sources that came to the exact same conclusion…exercise (something as simple as walking) can slow or reverse the effects of aging on our bodies and our minds.

Adding an element of interest, challenge, or interconnection with other people  (like photography!)  intensifies the effect.

In a recent article, Zig Ziglar, America’s famed sales and motivational speaker sited research indicating that exercise is the factor that seems most likely to benefit the brainpower of the healthy, sick, young and old alike. He recommended 9 ways to stay fresh. Remarkably,  8 out of the 9 can be accomplished with your camera in hand.

1) Be flexible.  2) Find peace.  3) Eat right.  4) Get lots of stimulation.  5) Stay in school.  6) Seek new horizons.  7) Engage the world.  8)  Take a daily walk.  9) Finally, keep control.

In the second unrelated article University of Pittsburgh psychologist Kirk Erickson told Yahoo:

“In fact, there’’s only one practice that’’s been proven, without question, to preserve your memory: exercise. Aerobic activities tend to show larger effects than non-aerobic activities.”

Working up a sweat helps your mind stay fit better than any crossword puzzle–unless you’re doing that crossword on a treadmill.

The good news is that you don’’t need to run a marathon. Just walking six miles a week can ward off memory disorders caused by aging, according to Erickson’s research published this month in the medical journal Neurology. “It appears that if people start exercising their memory may improve and if you continue to exercise, that might delay, or offset, the age-related decline in memory,” he explains.

And you don’t need to lift any heavy barbells either. Erickson and his team monitored 300 senior adults over a period of 13 years, and found that those who walked between 6 and 9 miles a week——whether to work or with the dog –had half the brain deterioration of those who didn’’t. “Exercise seems to enhance some of the more fundamental properties of our brain,” Erickson explains. “It increases the growth of new cells and improves cellular processes associated with learning and memory.”

To put it simply, walking keeps your gray matter from shrinking. And the more matter, the more mind.  >>>end article<<<

Substitute “CAMERA” for “dog” and you have a much more potent stimulant for fighting the effects of aging. Photography requires far more use of your brain cells and concentration than any dog will. Don’t get me wrong…I love dogs! They have a powerful effect on keeping us happy too. Maybe you can alternate days of walking the dog for exercise, with walking your camera for mind power!

More and more studies seem to be supporting my position that one of the best ways to keep your mind and body young is to pursue your photography with passion!

Get up. Get out and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.

And bring your camera to record and share that beauty. It might just save your life!

Or at least make your Autumn years that much more colorful.

If you haven’t already, please help me in my research on this topic by taking just 3 minutes to complete my survey on the effect photography has on those who take pictures, either casually or professionally. It’s completely anonymous, and just 10 multiple choice question.

Here’s the link to the study that’s posted on SurveyMonkey

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BMG3WNP

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Speaking of scary… one study also sited that people’s single biggest fear after 55 is Alzheimer’s disease. Take care of yourself…grab your camera and start walking!

by Robert Schwarztrauber

“The Secret” of Photography

April 7, 2010
The Secret

The Secret Revealed

One of the most popular videos of late has been, “The Secret”. In this film, much is made of the Law of Attraction. Particular attention is placed on the premise that as you think, so shall you become. While I found the film to be motivational and informative in many ways, I found it came up short on something equally important to success.

Action.

You can think of great inspiring plans, and dream of the opulent treasures that await you, but until you actually DO SOMETHING, things may be attracted to you, but it is by doing that we prepare ourselves to receive what we have coming. Until you do, until you give, you can never begin to get. It is the results of your actions, that began with your thoughts, that ultimately brings you the things you desire.

And the things you fix your mind to getting.

One of the most prominent figures in the movie “The Secret,” Bob Proctor,  made an analogy to the Polariod camera in his famous book, “You Were Born Rich”.
He said that our conscious mind is like the shutter on the camera. It is responsible for snapping the picture. The conscious mind chooses what we see and what we focus on we permit through to the subconscious mind. He goes on to say the subconscious mind is like the rest of the camera. It is responsible for bringing forth the image captured by the conscious mind and producing it exactly the way it was seen. The final Polariod  photograph is our result.

Our conscious mind, our thoughts, envision the thing we want, our subconscious mind then gets to work to create that vision in a physical form which is then available for all the world to see – we call it our results. If our image of what we want is not clear, our results will not be clear either. if we can’t hold a steady thought in our head, if we’re flipping all around from one thing to another, our results will reflect that lack of focus.

To extract the maximum benefit from “The Secret” and the Law of Attraction we must first have a clear vision of what we want to attract. We must then hold steady and focus on that vision even while we go about our regular duties in life. We must let that vision work through our powerful subconscious mind to process it into the physical result (the doing) and only then can we expect our vision to be drawn to us in the form we intended.

The process for getting good results in photography holds true for life as well. Have a good vision to share. Hold steady while you compose your vision. Have a proper tool to process your image. Then share the vision that is produced to benefit those who see it too.

Click To Change Your Life

January 25, 2010
Deer Tracks

Changing Perspectives

Nothing ever changes.

Did you ever have a day where you felt that way? Maybe you’ve had several days in a row, or weeks, maybe even years where it seemed like nothing ever changes for you.

Have you ever felt like you were like a train on the tracks, unable to break free to go your own way?

.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. You simply need a change of perspective.

Luckily, photography offers many opportunities that change your perspective instantly!

When you begin to explore this world through the camera lens you begin to see things you’ve never seen before. Changes in light, changes in angles, colors, and mood.

Even better, you begin to discover that you can control those events. Through your camera settings and body position relative to your subject you begin to see things differently. You begin to discover that things aren’t as “black and white” as you once imagined.

You begin to experience a sense of control returning to your life, as if your train had just jumped the tracks. You’re the driver now and you can control what the world will see. You will take the photograph “your way”.

Just this past weekend I had temporarily forgotten this. I was driving a bit hesitantly to one of my favorite photo spots. Hesitant because I had been shooting at that same spot for over a year now.  “Surely I must have seen everything by now,” I thought. But once I got out of my car and began to walk around, I was reminded that the world is constantly changing. I saw trees, statues, stained glass windows, and squirrels perching and playing as never before. And of course when you’re shooting outdoors the sky’s light is always changing.

Once again I had set out with my camera and gained a new perspective. And some great photos to share too.

Feeling down?

Feeling out of control?

Pick up your camera and just start clicking that shutter. Yes, even if you don’t want to.

When you’re finished you will have discovered, as I did, that changing your mood is as simple as changing your perspective. Happiness is just a click away.

Robert Schwarztrauber

Camera Cures aka Pictures of Health

June 1, 2009
Snow Geese Family

Snow Geese Family

It is widely accepted in psychological circles that colors can effect the mood of the people who view them. Blue is often described as a calming color while red is said to excite. Yellow is cheerful and black depressing.

A persons mood can also be effected by the subject portrayed in the scene. Certain landscape scenes have a calming effect while certain city-scapes tend to increase tension.

Hundreds of studies can be found that document a viewers reaction to pictures (paintings and photographs).  What surprised me however, was how little  documentation (almost none) could be found that gave evidence of the therapeutic effects of TAKING photographs.

I came across one clinical observation in my searching that really gave credible evidence to the benefits of taking photographs.

It was described in the book, “The Strengths Model” by Charles A. Rapp. In the section titled, “Talents and Skills” the author told of a hospitalized man with mental and physical abnormalities (pg.95). He descibed how when this man was directed to pursue his passion for photography (even though his photos never sold anywhere) he was released within 2 months from the hospital with a clean bill of health. Even more compelling was the fact that he never again returned to the hospital in the subsequent 20 years until his death from pneumonia.

Merely pursuing a hobby that interested him, photography in particular, was enough to set this man on a course to a long and healthy life.

Anyone interested in photography can tell you that there is a calming effect of searching for and always finding the beauty in this world. Any photographer will tell you of the zen-like focus of attention one comes to when consumed with creating an image. You block out all others problems and concerns in your life, you cannot consciously hear the sounds around you, you cannot see disrtactions beyond the viewfinder. You are at once consumed by the scene you hope to capture to the exclusion of all else.

So I am surprised not to find more accounts online which tell of the wonderful effects of photography on the human mind and body. I know it has effected me by increasing my fitness through walking to find great shots to share, it has increased my mental sharpness and focus, and it has increased my economic condition through the sale of photos.

Please share your stories with our readers in the comments below.

How has photography improved your mental or physical health?

How has it improved your economic standing during these difficult times?

I know informally from conversations with other photographers, but lets see if we can help more folks by sharing our results here in writing.

Your comments are welcomed below!

Concentrated Focus

September 15, 2008
You Toucan Relax

You Toucan Relax

Is it any wonder so many folks walk around totally stressed-out these days?

Between all the advertisements that beg for our attention, bosses who question our actions daily and family responsibilities, we’re forced to make thousands of mini decisions each and every day. Exhausting work.

We’re constantly pulled this way and that to answer a zillion unrelated questions. Rare are the times when we can give our undivided attention to just one task.

And that’s the problem.

Ever notice how when you’re working quietly (uninterrupted) on JUST ONE thing, be it a favorite hobby, or intricate task at work, or even just reading a book – my how the time flies? And you leave that period of concentrated thought feeling more relaxed rather than more stressed?

Ah-hah! Yes. Concentrated thought, concentration leads to less stress. Feeling good.

And that is exactly my point when I say that photography (your camera) can be the ultimate tool for achieving better health – better mental health in this case.

You see, our eyes are constantly scanning the world to receive input. 140 degrees of peripheral vision being scanned 50 times/second puts a massive load on our brains.

Now imaging that instead of looking at 140 degrees of wide vision we narrow that down and only let you see 20 degrees looking through a camera’s telephoto lens. Now you’ve got 120 degrees less to look at.

Instantly the input to the brain is decreased. Less input, less stress.

Try this experiment for yourself:

Use the longest lens you have for your camera, maybe 200mm for your DSLR folks. If your camera of choice right now is a zoom point-and-shoot camera, zoom to the maximum setting and see how much less you see cluttering up your view.

Practice photographing animals or something else from far away. Remember to hold your camera very still (better yet brace it against a building wall or other solid structure to prevent the blur that magnifies itself at these longer lens settings…or best is to use a tripod if you have one.)

Notice that as you concentrate on just getting a good picture of your subject, you are conscious of fewer sounds around you, of people movements nearby and literally all of your senses have been hijacked to work on capturing the image you are focused on.

Yes…you have entered “The Zone”.

Now your only trick will be chiseling enough time out of each day to grab your camera and get in “The Zone”.

But rest assured the more you get there, the better you’ll feel.

The bonus to your more relaxed body (as if we need anything more than that!) is while all this mental body repair was going on, you actually did take some cool pictures to share with your friends or family.

Ah…sweet recognition.

When you think about it…everything in this world that’s really great is here because someone concentrated on one single thing. Tom Monaghan -Dominoes Pizza, Donald Trump -real estate, “The Colonel” -Fried Chicken and every great professional sports player. Does Tiger squander his focus? Bet not.

While we don’t all aspire to be focused at that level, we could all use just a bit more. And photography is one great, easy way to get your RDA of all the benefits it brings. Grab your camera and start today!

Keep watching this post. Later on I’ll post my 10 best tips on how to get, “In the Zone” using ordinary stuff in and around your house that you might sell for cash. Because getting cash automatically makes me feel better! How about you?

Now go relax!

Robert Schwarztrauber

NEXT: Where to share your pics for maximum recognition and prizes…Picture Posts Online