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Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash


Heighten the Value of Your Production

Videography is a difficult trade to master because it combines aspects of business with creativity and technical knowledge. By itself, any one of these aspects can form a full time career, but videography combines them into one trade. It’s difficult, and there are many different aspects in the production phase that can either make or break the impact of a project.

Actors, camera equipment, aerial clips, focus pulling, exposure, editing software, story-boarding, etc.

Among a plethora of things to consider, I have noticed three important elements that ought to form the foundation of any video project. These three things, if left out, will ruin a project regardless of the quality of footage or skill of acting. …

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No, I Didn’t Train With Monks

Solitude seems like a complex subject.

On one hand, some people recommend avoiding it like the plague, saying that it causes anxiety, depression, and a boring life. There is much truth behind that too, because it’s hard to imagine having a meaningful life without being connected with other humans. There is little meaning in a life spent alone.

On the other hand, solitude is said to be an incredible tool for real leadership and peace of mind. Many famous leaders have stated the importance of solitude, that, without it, humans are unable to think for themselves. Again, there is much truth behind such a statement. …

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


It’s Not Actually That Weird…

Success in any walk of life is dependent on a number of interdependent factors. One of the most important, but often overlooked factors, is that of environment.

Successful people have a tendency to place themselves in environments that are conductive to their success.

Film makers go to LA, stock brokers to New York, and writers to the woods.

But I’m writing this to tell you that for successful writing, you don’t actually need to isolate yourself in the woods.

As a writer, it’s less about what physical environment you place yourself in, and more about the mental environment, and there are a number of ways to shift your mental environment without wilderness isolation. …

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Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash


On Overcoming My Worst Fear

My worst fear has always been emptiness. Well, not emptiness, but rather the lack of purpose in my life.

A meaningless life.

Vain action.

Fake relationships.

Too much time and nothing to do with it.

I’ve been searching for a meaningful, fulfilling life, and have been dreading the possibility that if I make a mistake along the way, screw up, then there goes my satisfaction and happiness in life.

Marrying the wrong person

Being in an unfulfilling career

Living selfishly

Those are certain mistakes to avoid, but I feel like I have been “playing to not lose”. I feel like I’ve been trying to avoid mistakes at the cost of living courageously, all because I am afraid of the possibility of an empty existence. …

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Photo by Drobot Dean on Adobe Stock


Why am I Anxious?

I hate feeling anxious.

The subtle and hard-to-identify feelings of stress, helplessness, and self-doubt. It makes breathing hard, and comes at times when I would least expect it.

For the past year, I have been thinking about where it comes from, what it is, and how to lift myself above it. Instead of running from it, I have started to listen to it.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

It Happens Because of Comparisons

Recently, I have started to understand that I feel anxious when I compare myself with others.

I consistently feel anxious after interacting in some way with someone or something that makes me feel like I am missing something. When I see how great someone’s life is, how successful they have become, it makes me feel like a failure in comparison. …

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Photo by Georgerudy on Adobe Stock

And I’m Proud of it

You don’t have to look far to find articles on the internet that shame Millennials for the way they live their lives.

Entitled, vegans, achievement-driven, resistant to authority, environmentally sensitive, tech-savvy nerds.

Millennials are punching-bags for prior generations. The sheer number of articles on the internet that put Millennials down for their workplace characteristics and lifestyle choices is outrageous.

It would seem that the wisest and most community driven generation to come, is also the most attacked and criticized. Recently however, I came across an article that introduced a whole new area with which to judge the inadequacy of Millennials.

It introduced the fact that Millennials are having way less sex than prior generations. …

For athletes, rest and recovery are very different things — a distinction that can help you avoid burnout in your own life

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Photo: vgajic/Getty Images

It’s been a long day. Billy just got home from a hectic day at work, and the first thing he wants to do is flop down on the couch, turn on some mindless sitcom on Netflix, and stare straight ahead without moving for a few hours.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Rest is important, and plenty of people relax by watching TV, taking a nap, or playing video games. But those choices are a temporary reprieve. While they may be enjoyable, they don’t contribute to effective recovery.

I was a competitive long-distance runner for 15 years, and if there is one lesson I learned, it’s that there is a huge difference between rest and recovery. The average weekly training load for any competitive collegiate distance runner is around 60 to 70 miles, and it can get exhausting. But ask any runner how they recover, and their answer may surprise you: “I recover by going for an early morning run.” …


I’ve Become Comfortable With Not Knowing

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Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash

Every once in a while I find myself struggling to leave home for a trip. I have plenty of time, a car, and spotify premium, but for some reason, I am always daunted by the simple step of leaving home.

I’m a foreigner living in Japan, and pretty much everything here is new and exciting. I’m also a photographer/videographer, so I can find engagement in just about everything around me anyways. And yet, regardless of how many times I’ve done it, leaving home for a trip is always a scary endeavor.

For the first couple months, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I thought it was from culture shock, disinterest, or trying to save money, but after a year of living here, I’ve started to understand why. …

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My Picture of Torii Gates at Fushimini Inari in Kyoto, Japan


“The Soul of Japan”

A couple months ago, I took the opportunity to drive down to Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. It’s not a particularly well known prefecture, so all of the Japanese citizens that I discussed my trip with were surprised that I was driving all the way down there instead of going to more popular tourist destinations like Kyoto or Tokyo. After making the trip, I can confidently say that Wakayama is my favorite prefecture in Japan.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Wakayama is the soul of Japan, that’s even it’s prefectural motto, and for good reason.

As a child, I remember fantasizing about ancient Japan. I’d look at ancient Japanese landscape art, listen to stories of samurai/monks, and scroll through pictures of magical temples on Google. However, when I came to live in Japan a year ago, I was gradually disappointed when faced with the reality of Japan’s modernity. …

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Photo by torwaiphoto on Adobe Stock


Exploring the Secrets of Personal Influence in a Bathtub

I live in the mountains of Japan. In Japan, there is a custom of public bathing at a place called the onsen. You can go to a local onsen and share a luxurious hot tub with a group of naked strangers. It may sound weird, but I love it.

Steam filled every corner of the room. I squatted on a small stool and scorched the dirt off my body with a hose. My skin perked up as the water gently trickled down my back. Absorbed in cleansing myself, it took me some time to recognize a pair of eyes sitting across the steamy room. …


Nate Richards

Translator for the human heart. I write about life, leadership, and travel.

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