Framing Life like a Picture

Framing Life like a Picture

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”
~Charles Kettering


Sitting on the branch, the little bird was busy pecking at the sunflower he had pulled from the feeder. Using the surrounding branches to frame him, I was able to draw the eye of the person viewing the photograph directly to the chickadee’s eye. That’s the expectation when I take a picture — that I will frame my subject with something nearby to give structure to the shot. While I might not always achieve my vision, it’s important that I at least begin with great expectations. Kettering looked at most everything in the framework of high expectation, it seems. Holding 186 patents, his great expectations yielded great achievements. Though we might not always achieve what we want, we can be sure that without beginning with the necessary framework, we will most certainly not succeed.


It’s a hard choice. Do I want large frames or small? Rimless, plastic, or metal? The frames for my glasses hold the lenses that allow me to see clearly. Looking through the lenses in my frames, I view the world. Frames matter. Framing matters, too. The way I frame my goals in life gives me vision I would otherwise not have. It’s great to learn lessons from things in everyday life to use in the larger picture of life. Both my glasses and my camera do just that.


This is the end of a year. 2017 will be written for the last time on our checks, for those who still write checks occasionally, and 2018 will be looking me in the eye. I came into the year with great expectations (or at least without any real dread), and overall, I think things went pretty well. Did I use framing, though? I don’t think so. It seems like 2017 arrived, and I was hurrying to get the laundry done, figure out what we would do for dinner, and decide what the best day would be to have coffee with a friend.


Looking back, it’s fair to say I didn’t exactly take the time to frame the view of my year ahead. If I had, I might have had fewer days of feeling scattered and more days of feeling that my life had some structure and vision for staying focused. When advertisers frame their message, it’s with the intent of convincing me to purchase their product, focusing on their choice for me.  I want to convince myself to have my best year yet, to focus on the product of my choosing, and I want you to do the same. But how?


To approach our framing as if we were taking a photo, we’ll decide what our focal point is. Is it spending more time with friends and family, learning something new that will help in our career, or is it cultivating a healthy relationship with ourselves? Sometimes, we need to use a tripod to support and steady the camera, and there are times that achieving our goals will need the support of other people, too.


Framing our goal(s) means viewing it in the context of other items. It isn’t as simple as “I’m going to run to the store to get a dozen eggs.” We have to consider whether there is gas in the car, how busy the grocery store is, and who we might see while we’re there. Achieving our goals for 2018 will be just like that trip to the grocery — we have to consider so many more things than just the dozen eggs we need to purchase.


You and I don’t have to feel pressured with a list of resolutions. We simply need to have great expectations as we frame our photo of the year ahead. May we stay focused, use our tripod (supporting cast) when necessary, and prepare to look back at our great achievements when 2018 comes to a close.

Happy New Year!

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Thoughts to Encourage

Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.~ William Butler Yeats

Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right. - Henry Ford

The best way out is always through. ~ Robert Frost

Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~ Theodore N. Vail

Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith

You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi

Nothing helps like a good nap…

Birds are Beautiful

A Dog is Faithful…