the need to connect

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I’m somewhat obsessed with my personal wellness, always testing strategies that impact my mind and body. The usually pertains to work, diet, fitness, and sleep.

Today, I’m adding a new area of focus. Building relationships. Being social. Connecting. 

A few anecdotal observations and thoughts on this topic includes babies, mobile phones, and meeting in - person. As random as these topics may read, they share one underlying premise, our need to connect with another being. 

The Baby Social
This curiosity for human interaction began when I repeatedly watched two babies crawl towards each other on the floor. Outside of being near each other, they had no others forms of meaningful communication. This closeness appeared to be enough. Their parents never taught them to crawl to each other. They openly expressed through actions, that’s what they wanted to do. This confirms my belief that being social is deeply rooted in human nature.  

The Mobile Social
I’m lumping everyone with a cell phone into the same category. From Gen Z to Baby boomers, I see mobile usage very similar across generations. For example, my parents don’t send Snaps, but they do sit on the exact same couch, in the exact same room, each staring at their phones, connecting with others not in the room.  

Phones are forever changing how we connect and their popularity helps prove this necessity to do so. It’s easy to argue against the quality of the social interaction, but the reality is these mobile devices are allowing us to socialize with others in a way, we’ve never seen before. Texts, emojis, snaps, tweets, likes, Facetime, phone calls.. all forms of humans being humans. Connecting. Being social.

Another observation from The Mobile Social pertains to utilizing the phone as a “Connected Crutch.” I’ve even caught myself reaching in my pocket for my phone when not successfully finding another human to converse with at the party. The alternative – not being connected – was more than I could bear, especially in public. 

Good, bad, or otherwise, The Mobile Social diversifies our communications and increases the efficiencies and scale at which we can connect with others. It may also serve as a barrier to the richest and most valuable social of all time.

The In-Person Social
Not much different than where it all began as babies, the ultimate form of connecting with another human is the in-person social. From babies to grandpas, the verbal and nonverbal communication that exists when two humans are together cannot be matched by any other form of communication. Regardless of how the relationship started or evolved, it becomes richer once we’ve had a chance to physically meet in-person. I’d even argue a positive "in-person" conversation with a total stranger will brighten one’s day on both sides of the equation.  

As such, the In-Person Social is my preferred means of communication to accelerate a potential bond or strengthen a relationship.

I realized today I've taken our human nature need to connect for granted. That's going to change. I'm going to strategically plan to socialize and connect with others. I'll also strive to strengthen existing relationships through more meaningful communications. 

Being social is critical to our overall health and should be prioritized just as we prioritize other aspects of our wellbeing: work, diet, fitness, sleep, & connect.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a study to prove it.

Having weak social relationships poses a greater mortality risk than physical inactivity or obesity.
— Shankar Vedantam

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This constitutes my third post for the WESTERN WRITERS LEAGUE.  Please also read the works of my colleagues on the following sites:

http://mario.to/
https://www.nurturetheory.com/

38 lessons in 38 years

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Another year, another lesson. I started this annual reflection at the age of 31. I add one new lesson each year. 

1. It’s your life.  No two people are the same. Embrace the gifts, challenges, and opportunities given to you.

2. Nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.  The bottom is not that low and the top is not that high.

3. Family matters. At least to me. Good, bad, and ugly, I know my family loves me and this gives me strength. Find strength in your family.

4. Find your passion. Branding, fly fishing….  Passions make life worth living and people with passions make the world go round.

5. Do what you love. This is generally the easiest thing for you to do. What you think about when you go to bed and what you think about when you get up? Do that.

6. Fill wasted time.  Road trip or long commute? Fill your iPhone with audio material you don’t have time to read.

7. Carpe Diem. I’ve heard for years: “you’re young.” Don’t wait for the perfect time, because it will never come.

8. Use your words. The brain is a powerful engine and words drive this motor. What you think and say is what you will become.

9. Stay on your feet. Sitting is bad for you. Run, walk, and stand as much as possible. 

10. Make lists. Simple “to do” lists have become my greatest productivity tool. Email, call, errands, projects, media, etc., all have their own weekly “to do” lists.

11. Buy tickets not toys. I have no shortage of toys, but reflecting back, it’s the trips I remember most, not the “things” I purchased.

12. Nobody is watching you. I’ve always thought people were watching me. What will they think if…? Don’t make decisions based on what other people will think, make decisions for your best interest.  (The 18-40-60 Rule)

13. Do your best. Win or lose you did your best, what more can you ask for? You gave your best.

14. You grow in the valleys not in the mountains.  Times get tough, that is inevitable. As bad as they may be, these experiences craft our character and build our strength.

15. Continuously learn. Read, listen, watch, write.  Never stop learning.

16. Everything is relative. Everything. A 15-inch trout is a great catch, until you land one that is 20.

17. Riches have nothing to do with money.  Today (2011), I'm going on a fishing trip with my dad.  At moments, it will be impossible to be richer than us.

18. Set Goals. I set about 50 goals a year each divided into six priorities in my life:  family, faith, fitness, finances, focus, freelance.

19. Tell someone the goals you set. This will increase accountability and likelihood of achievement.

20. Buy a dog. Health and happiness will follow. 

21. Eat right and sleep well. I used to think both were a waste of time and resources; I now realize they are two of the greatest inputs to energy and performance.

22. Be spiritual. Not offensive, wacky, sign-holding spiritual, spirituality that gives you peace and purpose. Spirituality that allows you to embrace your blessings.

23. Live where you want. If fly fishing, running, riding, recreation, craft beer, and community are important to you, live there. If they’re not, live somewhere else.

24.  Love. Marriage is my most prized possession.

25. Don’t be a critic.  It’s easier to be a critic than correct; respect the man in the arena.

26. Find your happy place. Go there when you need to calm the inner beast. 

27. Cheer for something. I always assumed I’d quit caring about sports when I hung up my high school cleats. I now relish the opportunity to cheer for my wife and cheer for the HOGS–Woo Pig Sooie!

28.  Keep a few friends. You don’t need a thousand friends, just a few really good ones.

29. You lose 100% of the races you don’t start. If you try, you’ll know. The “what-ifs” will haunt you, so you might as well try.

30. Measure. If you don’t determine metrics and measure, its impossible to gauge progress.

31. Have integrity. Without it, what do you really have?

32. Experiment.  “All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

33 . Go down the rabbit hole.  Follow a passion, thought, idea, feeling, etc. as far as it can possibly take you. Once you've arrived at this point. Keep digging.  

34. Focus on Right Now. Vision is great, but I've found my best work gets done when I'm focused on the next task at hand. 

35. Meet in person. No other form of communication (message in a bottle, blogging, phone, skype, text, social, etc.) can compare to the experience of meeting in person.  This holds true for all relationships, professional and personal.

36. Nobody cares about your story. They only care about their story.  

37. Altruism wins. 

38. You only control your mind. A bad experience can turn good with a simple change of perception.  

Body and Mind and Effort

WELLNESS (noun)
the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.

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I can't think of a word that better describes my current focus in life. I've come to believe our greatest gift in life is health and without health, very little matters. 

Physical and mental health are one and the same, but for the sake of simplicity, I'm going to try to tackle these separately.  

Body

Since my earliest memories, I've lived an active life. The wooded lot behind my childhood home brought far more joy than the T.V. could ever provide. Chiggers and all. As I grew up, I developed a love for sports (Why I Play). I'd spend countless hours practicing the craft. Catching fly balls, throwing passes, weight training. This deliberate practice gave me a goal to chase and a physical state I thoroughly enjoyed.  

Even after my dreams of turning pro fell by the wayside, I remained committed to physical fitness. I feel better and am more productive in other areas of my life when I’m fit. This much I’ve proven.

Sports aside, I've always devoted time to physically exploring nature. Nine times out of ten this consists of chasing fish, but I’m beginning to learn any time exploring the outdoors is time well spent. My lungs breathe deeper, my heart beats stronger and my MIND clears.

And Mind

It took me longer to understand the importance of the mind than it did to understand the joys of being active. The more I focus on my mind the more I realize how closely connected the mind and body actually are.  Similar to the body, the mind can also fall out of shape, weary and untrained. The mind powers the body. It's been proven you can increase free throw shooting percentages, and produce a biological response to eating lemons purely through visualization. Nothing revolutionary, but easily forgotten. The MIND helps determine the health of your body and your physical well being. In the words of Napolean Hill, “what you conceive and believe, you can achieve.”

And Effort

I believe health is a gift. Our body is a gift and our mind is a gift. They’re life’s greatest gifts and they require constant care. They deserve constant care. I’m not going to claim to have all the answers here. I don’t think I ever will. I hope I never do. Even so, I’m going to share my current efforts in each.

Body 2018: Disclaimer: this section is pretty "meathead," but hey it’s about the body, so that’s kind of hard to avoid. My 2018 body focus is on strength and mobility. I stopped running on January 1, 2018 (knee/back pain), and am focused primarily on bodyweight training. I love the simplicity and functional strength developed. I've also become almost entirely dedicated to App training. My two primary Apps are Freeletics (strength) and Asana Rebel (mobility). (Side note – the Asana Rebel tagline is “Feel Sexy & Healthy” and one of the workouts is called Bikini Flow – don’t judge me).

I’ve also come to realize exercise is a very small piece of the body equation. I now focus on lifestyle. I’m 21 days into an Eat, Move, Sleep workflow. It’s inspired by Tom Rath, but I made up the program myself. Some of the elements include:

Eat - No grains or legumes, or added sugar of any kind (beer, bread, rice, peanuts.. ouch)
Move - 6 days a week (Freeletics, Asana Rebel, other)
Sleep - 7-9 hours a night (easier said than done)

Mind 2018: Thanks to the digital age, learning has never been easier. The resources available for learning and people you can reach amazes me. I can’t personally call up Seth Godin and chat for 90 minutes, but I can listen to more than 30 podcasts where he answers in detail the questions I’d want to ask him if I could call him. Once more, I can even listen to his podcast (Akimbo), and I do. Aside from podcasting mentors, I can read the top 100 business books in a week on Blinkist. I can learn to edit video or optimize advertising on Skillshare, and I can learn story structure for free on Vimeo.

Although learning comes easy for me, my biggest challenge lies on the softer side of the mind.  My attitude. My ability to focus on what I can control. My ability to focus period. Easing tension, relaxing, and being present can all be trained. Here lies the part of my mind that needs the most practice, and the area I’m increasing my efforts. As of last week –yes, last week– I’ve been exploring answers through Stoicism, pioneered many moons again, but in my opinion incredibly applicable to the world we live in today. One stoic thought I’ve already embraced is “to keep your mind in good shape just as you do your body.”

WELLNESS. 

What a word. I'll likely continue my quest for WELLNESS until it's time to check out of this beautiful thing called life.

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This constitutes my second post for the WESTERN WRITERS LEAGUE.  You can (and should) read other works from colleagues as follows: 

Workday by Mario Schulzke

why i play

I’m just not obsessed with winning championships. It’s not the only reason I play. I play for my individual growth.
— Kevin Durant
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I love sports.  I played sports in my youth and have been a fan ever since. Sports provides us with a constant glimpse of what it means to dream and work diligently to achieve these dreams, a steady stream of lessons that apply to everyday life.

And at the heart of sports lies an ATHLETE driven by COMPETITION. Competition runs in our blood, it’s human nature. Competition also comes with a slippery slope. Although vital to progress, it’s equally detrimental when pointed in the wrong direction. When the competition is someone else, something else, or anything out of your control.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the greatest athletes in sports aren’t competing with others; they’re not competing for trophies; they’re not competing with legacies. They’re competing with themselves. We have built a society designed on comparing ourselves to others, but the competition with oneself is where the greatest performances are rooted, and a meaningful life lives.

Although my days of playing sports competitively are long gone, I remain dedicated to setting goals & optimizing my life. Competing with myself. I start each year with a list of goals, each week with a list of projects, and each day with a list of tasks. I’ve even optimized this goal setting process over time in an effort to improve the outcome. I set professional goals, health & fitness goals, relationship goals, financial goals, creative goals….. Heck, I even set a couple of 2018 goals for our dog Chimehuin. For the record, she’s fallen behind on her biggest goal of the year but is still working hard, and that’s what matters most.

I digress.

When I maintain a focus on my goals or the task at hand I find happiness & personal progress. When I fail to set objectives, or focus on others, I find the opposite. That’s not to say I don’t struggle. I do. We all do. Hardship in life is a given. I’ve missed goals to the extent that is downright embarrassing when I look back at the lofty ambitions. Even so, I still believe in a life focused on personal goals. The catalyst being personal goals. We’re all different, and we should all have different personal goals.

As I was pondering my thoughts on sports, competition, and a driven life, I stumbled upon a 95-Year Stanford Study that said it best:

Actively pursuing a goal, even if you never quite achieve it, will make your life more fulfilling, both now... and when you eventually look back on a life well lived.
— Jeff Hayden

An even deeper dive into this study shows that determining what success means to you and actively striving to achieve this success leads to a longer-lived more meaningful life.  In contrast, “happy-go-lucky” people don’t thrive and often live shorter lives.

At the end of the day, there’s only one you and there’s only one life to live. Strive for individual growth. This means pick a target and vigorously chase it. The mark is yours and the competition is you.  

That’s how I’m playing the game of life. And that’s why I play.

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This constitutes my first post for the WESTERN WRITERS LEAGUE.  Very special stuff. You can, and should, read other entries on the same topic from my colleagues at the hyperlinks below:  

DRIVE

PURPOSE & TIME

CorbinsBrands.com vs. ChrisCorbin.me

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Welcome to the new ChrisCorbin.me. There is no telling how you arrived. ChrisCorbin.me has been turned on and off a couple of times over the years. My guess is you somehow arrived via CorbinBrands.com, which is why I feel the need to explain the current status of the two domains: CorbinBrands.com vs. ChrisCorbin.me

CorbinBrands.com
CorbinBrands, LLC started in the Gran Hotel lobby in Pucon, Chile in 2010. I had a handful of ideas and no clue how they'd play out so I decided to form an umbrella LLC for these ideas: Corbin Brands. At the time, my primary source of income came from one of these ideas, Lotic Water Marketing, which successfully started the first-ever water bank in Montana and burned me out of the water market in the process. Lesson learned. Over time, I shifted my self-made day job into freelance content creation, social media management, video production, and the like. This has slowly grown into "a small batch digital agency that builds brands through iterative creative." What's Iterative Creative you ask? It's our trademarked* process of creating ideas, testing ideas, analyzing ideas, and repeating the process. We believe this allows us to optimize creative for the best results and evolve with the ever-changing digital world. 

ChrisCorbin.me
The truth is chriscorbin.me predates CorbinBrands. I picked up this URL back in the day when all the cool kids had blogs, and I had a goal to improve my writing skills the same way I improve all aspects of my life, practice. Furthermore, practice in a medium the world can see. Somewhere along the way, I actually shelved this URL and moved the content to CorbinBrands, in hopes to win some freelance work. Skip to the present and I built Corbin Brands its own website with stronger agency vibe and dusted this old beauty off for my personal use. 

Although less time exists for this platform (4 posts last year), I've made a lifelong commitment to be better than before and still believe organizing your thoughts for the world (my mom and a couple other readers) to see accomplishes this objective. For the record, I don't think my thoughts so remarkable that they deserve their own website, but I do believe writing here will improve my personal self. And this makes it worthwhile. 

Long story short, if you want a landing page for a small batch digital agency that lives and dies by iterative creative, visit corbinbrands.com. If you want to hear my random thoughts on this thing called life, maybe an occasional video, photo, or other creative inspiration that strikes my fancy, stay right here.

Since you've made this far in a life update on two domains – really riveting stuff – I'd like to offer a personal thank you to Mario Schulzke. Besides teaching me how to spell teriyaki, and being a true friend, he's pushed corbinbrands.com and chriscorbin.me to their current positions. He's helped me clarify my thinking on both. 

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* well... we've filed a trademark anyhow, only time will tell. 

Some simple goals

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It's not New Year's Resolution time yet, but I'm getting started early. I can't remember exactly when –but many moons ago – I set a simple lifetime goal dedicated to continuous learning. For whatever reason a couple of simple ideas have come across my screen and really stuck. So much so, I thought sharing them here would help me execute. 

 1. Never say anything bad about anyone. Why? Because nothing good comes from saying something bad about someone else. Ever.

2. Make eye contact.  In the world of the cell phone, eye contact is becoming a lost art. I'm also guilty and focusing more and more on eye contact. 

3. Ask better questions & listen. Small talk is easy and adds little value to either party.  I believe the biggest drivers of meaningful personal conversations are the questions you ask and how well you listen. Honestly, I'm not great at either, so I'm making conscious effort to improve.

4. Challenge the story. All pieces of digital should tell a story or part of a story. If you're sharing content without a story, don't. 

5.  Set 3 important to-dos for the following day. I'm an avid list maker.  I literally have 45 active lists with 3-35 tasks each. I just counted. This clears my mind, but also creates to many task to accomplish. So, I've started making a list of the three most important for each. I'm already pleased with the results. 

6. Focus. I work in the digital world which thrives on a lack of focus. I frequently find myself bouncing from 1 social screen the next. I've experimented with this before, but am going back to 90 minute blocks of focused work.

8. Make it a habit. The only way for me to accomplish these simple improvements is to make them a habit. 

I'm just getting started with these simple goals and am already amazed by how difficult they are to execute.  Maybe they're not that simple after all. 

 

37 lessons in 37 years

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I started this annual reflection at the age of 31.  Each year I add a new lesson. In no particular order of importance…

1. It’s your life.  No two people are the same. Embrace the gifts, challenges, and opportunities given to you.

2. Nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.  The bottom is not that low and the top is not that high.

3. Family matters. At least to me. Good, bad, and ugly, I know my family loves me and this gives me strength. Find strength in your family.

4. Find your passion. Branding, fly fishing….  Passions make life worth living and people with passions make the world go round.

5. Do what you love. This is generally the easiest thing for you to do. What you think about when you go to bed and what you think about when you get up? Do that.

6. Fill wasted time.  Road trip or long commute? Fill your iPhone with audio material you don’t have time to read.

7. Carpe Diem. I’ve heard for years: “you’re young.” Don’t wait for the perfect time, because it will never come.

8. Use your words. The brain is a powerful engine and words drive this motor. What you think and say is what you will become.

9. Stay on your feet. Sitting is bad for you. Run, walk, and stand as much as possible. 

10. Make lists. Simple “to do” lists have become my greatest productivity tool. Email, call, errands, projects, media, etc., all have their own weekly “to do” lists.

11. Buy tickets not toys. I have no shortage of toys, but reflecting back, it’s the trips I remember most, not the “things” I purchased.

12. Nobody is watching you. I’ve always thought people were watching me. What will they think if…? Don’t make decisions based on what other people will think, make decisions for your best interest.  (The 18-40-60 Rule)

13. Do your best. Win or lose you did your best, what more can you ask for? You gave your best.

14. You grow in the valleys not in the mountains.  Times get tough, that is inevitable. As bad as they may be, these experiences craft our character and build our strength.

15. Continuously learn. Read, listen, watch, write.  Never stop learning.

16. Everything is relative. Everything. A 15-inch trout is a great catch, until you land one that is 20.

17. Riches have nothing to do with money.  Today (2011), I'm going on a fishing trip with my dad.  At moments, it will be impossible to be richer than us.

18. Set Goals. I set about 50 goals a year each divided into six priorities in my life:  family, faith, fitness, finances, focus, freelance.

19. Tell someone the goals you set. This will increase accountability and likelihood of achievement.

20. Buy a dog. Health and happiness will follow. 

21. Eat right and sleep well. I used to think both were a waste of time and resources; I now realize they are two of the greatest inputs to energy and performance.

22. Be spiritual. Not offensive, wacky, sign-holding spiritual, spirituality that gives you peace and purpose. Spirituality that allows you to embrace your blessings.

23. Live where you want. If fly fishing, running, riding, recreation, craft beer, and community are important to you, live there. If they’re not, live somewhere else.

24.  Love. Marriage is my most prized possession.

25. Don’t be a critic.  It’s easier to be a critic than correct; respect the man in the arena.

26. Find your happy place. Go there when you need to calm the inner beast. 

27. Cheer for something. I always assumed I’d quit caring about sports when I hung up my high school cleats. I now relish the opportunity to cheer for my wife and cheer for the HOGS–Woo Pig Sooie!

28.  Keep a few friends. You don’t need a thousand friends, just a few really good ones.

29. You lose 100% of the races you don’t start. If you try, you’ll know. The “what-ifs” will haunt you, so you might as well try.

30. Measure. If you don’t determine metrics and measure, its impossible to gauge progress.

31. Have integrity. Without it, what do your really have?

32. Experiment.  “All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

33 . Go down the rabbit hole.  Follow a passion, thought, idea, feeling, etc. as far as it can possibly take you. Once you've arrived at this point. Keep digging.  

34. Focus on Right Now. Cue the Van Halen. Vision is great, but I've found my best work gets done when I'm focused on the the next task at hand. 

35. Meet in person. No other form of communication (message in a bottle, blogging, phone, skype, text, social, etc.) can compare to the experience of meeting in person.  This holds true for all relationships, professional and personal.

36. Nobody cares about your story. They only care about their story.  

37. Altruism wins. 

Revive Fly Fishing Journal

I'm lucky. I found a career I love. This took some time and many missteps along the way, including stints in water rights, and a trout & salmon genetics lab. 

Even with my love for the daily grind, I need my time out of the office. Time to think, reset the batteries, and play. 

This time is almost always spent fly fishing. 

Occasionally, my digital and fly fishing worlds collide. Like here, and here, and most recently in Revive Fly Fishing.* This photo essay is dedicated to my curiosity of why steelhead will take my fly. A question I'm not sure I'll ever know the answer to, that keeps me swinging flies time and time again.  

I don't see this obsession with fly fishing changing anytime soon. I enjoy the journey nearly as much as the catch. 

*This publication is always updating so you may have to search for Winter 2017 to find this edition. 

random thoughts

Oh yeah, that one time I opened my "Thoughts" page and typed my random thoughts.  Note, I reference zero data on many of my social media, user experience, and brand assumptions. This is just my random thoughts, today.  

  • Without conflict, there is no story. 
  • Social Media is half content creation and half community management. You need both. 
  • The Ned Kelly meat pie is delicious and will cause you to gain weight. 
  • The miracle of flight sure makes life fun. Travel.
  • Photos capture memories and inspire creativity. At least for me. 
  • Organically growing an Instagram audience comes through engagement.
  • Planning and process are foundations of success. 
  • Facebook is winning the "Brand" video war. Sorry YouTube.  
  • Iterative creative works. Idea. Create. Test. Repeat. Thanks Mario
  • Story is part of our DNA. 
  • Only famous faces perform well on Instagram. People digest content through their worldview and someone's face disrupts this worldview. Show their backs, hands, or feet instead. 
  • The goal of all brand content should be to entertain or create an emotional response. 
  • Define the brand and check brand continuity for all content. 
  • Selfies have replaced the autograph. 
  • I love dogs. We lost Madison in September and I cried for days. We picked up Chimehuin in November and I've laughed every day since. 
  • A team always beats an individual.
  • All decisions are trades in self-preservation.

That's it. 

36 Lessons in 36 Years.

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I started this annual reflection at the age of 31.  Each year I add a new lesson. In no particular order of importance…

1. It’s your life.  No two people are the same. Embrace the gifts, challenges, and opportunities given to you.

2. Nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.  The bottom is not that low and the top is not that high.

3. Family matters. At least to me. Good, bad, and ugly, I know my family loves me and this gives me strength. Find strength in your family.

4. Find your passion. Branding, fly fishing….  Passions make life worth living and people with passions make the world go round.

5. Do what you love. This is generally the easiest thing for you to do. What you think about when you go to bed and what you think about when you get up? Do that.

6. Fill wasted time.  Road trip or long commute? Fill your iPhone with audio material you don’t have time to read.

7. Carpe Diem. I’ve heard for years: “you’re young.” Don’t wait for the perfect time, because it will never come.

8. Use your words. The brain is a powerful engine and words drive this motor. What you think and say is what you will become.

9. Stay on your feet. Sitting is bad for you. Run, walk, and stand as much as possible. 

10. Make lists. Simple “to do” lists have become my greatest productivity tool. Email, call, errands, projects, media, etc., all have their own weekly “to do” lists.

11. Buy tickets not toys. I have no shortage of toys, but reflecting back, it’s the trips I remember most, not the “things” I purchased.

12. Nobody is watching you. I’ve always thought people were watching me. What will they think if…? Don’t make decisions based on what other people will think, make decisions for your best interest.  (The 18-40-60 Rule)

13. Do your best. Win or lose you did your best, what more can you ask for? You gave your best.

14. You grow in the valleys not in the mountains.  Times get tough, that is inevitable. As bad as they may be, these experiences craft our character and build our strength.

15. Continuously learn. Read, listen, watch, write.  Never stop learning.

16. Everything is relative. Everything. A 15-inch trout is a great catch, until you land one that is 20.

17. Riches have nothing to do with money.  Today (2011), I'm going on a fishing trip with my dad.  At moments, it will be impossible to be richer than us.

18. Set Goals. I set about 50 goals a year each divided into six priorities in my life:  family, faith, fitness, finances, focus, freelance.

19. Tell someone the goals you set. This will increase accountability and likelihood of achievement.

20. Buy a dog. Health and happiness will follow. 

21. Eat right and sleep well. I used to think both were a waste of time and resources; I now realize they are two of the greatest inputs to energy and performance.

22. Be spiritual. Not offensive, wacky, sign-holding spiritual, spirituality that gives you peace and purpose. Spirituality that allows you to embrace your blessings.

23. Live where you want. If fly fishing, running, riding, recreation, craft beer, and community are important to you, live there. If they’re not, live somewhere else.

24.  Love. Marriage is my most prized possession.

25. Don’t be a critic.  It’s easier to be a critic than correct; respect the man in the arena.

26. Find your happy place. Go there when you need to calm the inner beast. 

27. Cheer for something. I always assumed I’d quit caring about sports when I hung up my high school cleats. I now relish the opportunity to cheer for my wife and cheer for the HOGS–Woo Pig Sooie!

28.  Keep a few friends. You don’t need a thousand friends, just a few really good ones.

29. You lose 100% of the races you don’t start. If you try, you’ll know. The “what-ifs” will haunt you, so you might as well try.

30. Measure. If you don’t determine metrics and measure, its impossible to gauge progress.

31. Have integrity. Without it, what do your really have?

32. Experiment.  “All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

33 . Go down the rabbit hole.  Follow a passion, thought, idea, feeling, etc. as far as it can possibly take you. Once you've arrived at this point. Keep digging.  

34. Focus on Right Now. Cue the Van Halen. Vision is great, but I've found my best work gets done when I'm focused on the the next task at hand. 

35. Meet in person. No other form of communication (message in a bottle, blogging, phone, skype, text, social, etc.) can compare to the experience of meeting in person.  This holds true for all relationships, professional and personal.

36. Nobody cares about your story. They only care about their story.  

B&W

No thoughts here, only photos from the summer. Not sure why I'm on a black and white kick, but I am. Oh, and I still like to fish and fly my drone Dixie. 

Showcase the Product.

I'm a fan of story. I believe it's in our DNA and the root of every decision we make. So much so, that sometimes all you have to do is show the product and let the audience create their own story. Apple has been doing this for years (Insert any recent Apple Ad). When a product is right, the market will fill in the details, they will create their own story. Their garage, their man space, their happy place.

That's where we landed with Baldhead Cabinets: Showcase the Product and let the audience draft their story. 

Belize in Black & White

A special place.  

This is frequently the first description of the Turneffe Atoll. I agree. An abundance of wildlife that supports, both tourism and commercial fishing. A maze of mangroves that sequesters carbon and protects the mainland from hurricanes. And a diverse barrier reef ecosystem that we're only beginning to understand.

I just returned from 10 days in this special place, collecting digital assets for the Turneffe Atoll Trust and Turneffe Flats.   I'll be sharing video assets as they come to life. In the meantime, here's a look at some black and white photos from the trip. 


What #Donald taught me

Who is #Donald you ask? 

A drone. Yes, I purchased a drone last December and immediately named it Donald.  You can view photos and video captured by Donald here. Unfortunately, Donald's life was cut short this past Thursday as he swerved into an oncoming tree on the North Umpqua River and fell to the water below. The last moments of Donald's life are captured in this instagram tribute. 

 

A video posted by Chris Corbin (@corbinbrands) on

 

So sad. Donald and I had a good run of video projects, photography and flights.  I realize #Donald is a piece of plastic I gifted human qualities and personality, but that was half the fun. this Donald also taught me some things. 

1. Find a Unique Perspective. It probably won't be long before people get used to the view from above. In the meantime, it's this unique perspective that makes these images interesting. It doesn't take much elevation gain to provide a view that someone hasn't seen before. 

2. Look at the world differently. Donald literally changed the way I look at the world, instead of looking at the world from the bottom up, I started looking at the world from the top down. I'd drive past grain silo in the Oregon high plains and think. I wonder what that looks like from above. 

3. Take chances. Donald's dead, so some may disagree with this lesson. I launched Donald off of bridges and floating boats. I flew Donald threw factories and close quarters. I don't regret any of these decisions. These are photos that you don't always see, because they're a little risky to capture. 

On Wednesday a package will arrive with #Donald's replacement. I'll let Linsey do the honors of picking out a name. I'm already eager for the next chapter and future lessons learned.  

 

I'm not a photographer

A photographer is defined as "as a person who takes photographs especially as a job." I'm not a photographer. To prove this point, I've declined two photographer "job" offers in the last two weeks. Don't get me wrong, I take photographs, but I'm not photographer. 

The distinction is I never take photographs as a sole job. I take photos as part of a larger brand piece or story telling endeavor.  I appreciate photography, enjoy photography and I use photography professionally, but I'm not a photographer. 

I'm fascinated by photography's ability to capture a moment, elicit an emotional response, and tell an entire story. I study photography style, photography composition, photography market trends, and photography's role in building brands. I use photography daily with the brands I work with, but, I'm not a photographer.  

Trek Travel recently asked me to guest post on travel photography / videography and I was happy to share my thoughts and experiences. You can see the entire post here.  The take home message is the same for all my pursuits.  Follow your passions, have fun, work hard, ignore the critics, and know who you are. And I'm not a photographer. 

Here is some of my favorite photography from the last year of travel.  



35 lessons in 35 years.

I started this annual reflection at the age of 31.  Each year I add a new lesson and a new fly. You can see from the image, 31 is also the age I found my love for Steelhead. In no particular order of importance…

1. It’s your life.  No two people are the same. Embrace the gifts, challenges, and opportunities given to you.

2. Nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.  The bottom is not that low and the top is not that high.

3. Family matters. At least to me. Good, bad, and ugly, I know my family loves me and this gives me strength. Find strength in your family.

4. Find your passion. Branding, fly fishing….  Passions make life worth living and people with passions make the world go round.

5. Do what you love. This is generally the easiest thing for you to do. What you think about when you go to bed and what you think about when you get up? Do that.

6. Fill wasted time.  Road trip or long commute? Fill your iPhone with audio material you don’t have time to read.

7. Carpe Diem. I’ve heard for years: “you’re young.” Don’t wait for the perfect time, because it will never come.

8. Use your words. The brain is a powerful engine and words drive this motor. What you think and say is what you will become.

9. Stay on your feet. Sitting is bad for you. Run, walk, and stand as much as possible. 

10. Make lists. Simple “to do” lists have become my greatest productivity tool. Email, call, errands, projects, media, etc., all have their own weekly “to do” lists.

11. Buy tickets not toys. I have no shortage of toys, but reflecting back, it’s the trips I remember most, not the “things” I purchased.

12. Nobody is watching you. I’ve always thought people were watching me. What will they think if…? Don’t make decisions based on what other people will think, make decisions for your best interest.  (The 18-40-60 Rule)

13. Do your best. Win or lose you did your best, what more can you ask for? You gave your best.

14. You grow in the valleys not in the mountains.  Times get tough, that is inevitable. As bad as they may be, these experiences craft our character and build our strength.

15. Continuously learn. Read, listen, watch, write.  Never stop learning.

16. Everything is relative. Everything. A 15-inch trout is a great catch, until you land one that is 20.

17. Riches have nothing to do with money.  Today (2011), I'm going on a fishing trip with my dad.  At moments, it will be impossible to be richer than us.

18. Set Goals. I set about 50 goals a year each divided into six priorities in my life:  family, faith, fitness, finances, focus, freelance.

19. Tell someone the goals you set. This will increase accountability and likelihood of achievement.

20. Buy a dog. Health and happiness will follow. 

21. Eat right and sleep well. I used to think both were a waste of time and resources; I now realize they are two of the greatest inputs to energy and performance.

22. Be spiritual. Not offensive, wacky, sign-holding spiritual, spirituality that gives you peace and purpose. Spirituality that allows you to embrace your blessings.

23. Live where you want.   If fly fishing, running, riding, recreation, craft beer, and community are important to you, live there. If they’re not, live somewhere else.

24.  Love. Marriage is my most prized possession.

25. Don’t be a critic.  It’s easier to be a critic than correct; respect the man in the arena.

26. Find your happy place. Go there when you need to calm the inner beast. 

27. Cheer for something. I always assumed I’d quit caring about sport when I hung up my high school cleats. I now relish the opportunity to cheer for my wife and cheer for the HOGS–Woo Pig Sooie!

28.  Keep a few friends. You don’t need a thousand friends, just a few really good ones.

29. You lose 100% of the races you don’t start. If you try, you’ll know. The “what-ifs” will haunt you, so you might as well try.

30. Measure. If you don’t determine metrics and measure, its impossible to gauge progress.

31. Have integrity. Without it, what do your really have?

32. Experiment.  “All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

33 . Go down the rabbit hole.  Follow a passion, thought, idea, feeling, etc. as far as it can possibly take you. Once you've arrived at this point. Keep digging.  

34. Focus on Right Now. Cue the Van Halen. Vision is great, but I've found my best work gets done when I'm focused on the the next task at hand. 

35. Meet in person. No other form of communication (message in a bottle, blogging, phone, skype, text, social, etc.) can compare to the experience of meeting in person.  This holds true for all relationships, professional and personal.