Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Noise !

The month of broken resolutions is almost over. You can breathe a sigh of relief.

As it nears, and I get ready to head out to the other side of the world again, I reflect on the past year. Reflect on the many conversations I have had, the ideas , good , bad and ridiculous. Threads of ideas that continually weave through the words, interjected with comedy, tangents taken.

I just read a blog posting by photographer, Zack Arias ( and a short video: Signal and Noise produced for

Watch it , understand what it means.

We are all subject to the noise.

The noise slows us down, gets in our head, stops the thinking, distracts us, gets in the way, impedes us from learning something new, blocks our creativity, halts us from moving forward.

The noise is all around us.

It’s the web page that attempts to interject itself into our life, so that we can know each intricate detail of someone’s daily existence.  We no longer ask for a phone number or email address, things that allow us to interact with each other, instead we prefer to leer and peak into peoples lives anonymously. We let that noise get in the way of establishing real relationships.

The noise is being “liked” and using that as the basis for what we do.

The noise is talking about some questionably talented performer , famous for being “liked “ a billion times.

The noise is worrying about what label we wear, or how much it cost.

The noise is not letting your feelings out and letting others affect how you feel.

The noise is you stopping yourself

Your challenge is filtering out that noise. Pushing it away from you, lifting it off your shoulders, getting it off your back.

Replace it with Signal

Replace it with something that will move you forward, something that will allow you to grow, use it to push you past where you are, who you are.

Signal is taking a picture everyday. Signal is looking at that picture and thinking about how you will do it next time.

All those conversations that I mentioned above, as meaningless as some of them can be (hey the humor is always welcome) they do have moments of clarity.
One of those conversations was with one of my camera subjects, talking about their challenges with what they were doing and attempting to do. 
A moment of clarity and I blurted out “the only thing stopping you , is you”.

Search the web you will find plenty of references, I didn’t make it up, every self-help guru has some twist or flavor of that handful of words.

It made me look at myself. Realized that what has stopped me is me, no one else. 
Stopped myself from taking that picture, stopped myself from pushing that button, stopped myself from taking that chance. That “Noise” has been around me my whole life, has interjected itself, cut me off.
The challenge of course is to change that, filter out the noise, turn up the signal.
Easy to say , harder to do ?  

Oh wait that’s noise again, interfering.

We start slow. Hey we all handle things our own way. For me I have to change 50 years of behaviour. And yes it is our behavior, its not who we are. All of us are the same, and barring cultural and questionable lifestyles, we are all good people. Our behaviour (our noise) gets in the way and shapes who we are and how we appear to others. 

Stop thinking about that latest Canon camera  -  start taking more pictures
Stop being “tired” -  go to the gym three times per week.
Stop letting the “likes” decide what you like - read more, learn more, know more

What is your noise ?

Some art on Richmond Street, London,ON taken with G12


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