Now that 2019 is over halfway, it seems timely to finally discuss my chosen word for the year – “capture.”
For me, “capture” underscores a strong personal desire to not sleepwalk through life. I’m grateful for the many interesting people I have met and interacted with, the unique experiences of work and travel, and moments of insight to appease my curious heart. But to do justice to the day to day events of life, I have realized the need to better capture the meaning and/or memory of these things.
In the past, I have had professional feedback from bosses who have suggested that I need to be more confident. I struggle with confidence, especially in unfamiliar settings – running races, new countries, conferences, my in-law’s house…. In general, I am unsure about myself around people who I sense are much more self-assured and high speed. When I ask “how do I be more confident?” I commonly hear, “I don’t know. Just be more confident.” As many people have resolutions like “get healthier,” or “break bad habits,” or “save money,” my enduring resolution continues, “get more confident.”
In 2018, I aimed to be “fearless,” to pursue a stoic mindset in the face of scary prospects. This involved chasing opportunities and hairy goals, regardless of the risks. This involved doing things that are scary to anyone, like hosting a multi-day conference for 30 attendees, or soliciting donations from over 100 foreign businesses. Honestly, “fearless” is a persisting theme as I continue thinking about serious “dig deep” goals i.e. ultra-endurance running.
“Capture” is consistent with this larger vision: 1) it’s an action word, 2) I want to better appreciate people, moments, and ideas, 3) I’m growing ever aware of time.
Time feels like it is passing faster and faster, and I’m cognizant that memories can be difficult to preserve. Occasionally, I struggle to understand things that are important. Subsequently, this impacts my ability to engage.
Joyful Memories, Meaningful Moments
What does a better approach look like? Quite often, I see something that’s amazing, and I may or may not have a chance to preserve the memory with my handy phone camera. More frequently, I hear ideas or come across “aha” moments that I want to grasp for more reflection, but I don’t effectively write it down.
I want to be mindful about deliberately slowing down in some areas – how I listen, how I speak, how I spend time with people, how I experience the day-to-day. By slowing down, my hope is to capture a few more butterflies – the joy and meaning of those moments. I continue to refine my planning approach, to capture time for the things that matter. One aim is to take photos and journal, preserving memories and lessons learned in the midst of day to day life. In my time at Embassy Islamabad, I gained a clearer understanding of the importance of reporting, itself a form of capturing.
I don’t think “capture” is just about recording performance. The intent is broader – to preserve joy and meaning, opportunities for self-reflection, and inspiration. Personally, I intend to use this forum to share more content about the day to day. So I want to retool my writing and convey more reflections and memories about these things. I hope to develop an improved self-confidence to express who I am, how I perceive this world, and how I can influence other dreamers and doers.
Perhaps, “convey” is a natural companion to “capture.” Once we have captured knowledge by reading and listening, when we convey reflections, whether publicly, to a select audience, or to a journal, it can serve to solidify the moment. In this regard, expect more to follow…