Lately I came across a book about Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is one of my favorite artists out there, I’m actually listening to the guy right now as I am writing this article.

The book contains mostly pictures, not so much text. There is a lot to say about his life I recommend ‘Bob Dylan – No Direction Home (only $7.74 on Amazon)‘ for this, but as a picture says more than a thousand words, this book contains mostly out of pictures.

Lovely pictures. Great pictures of him hanging out with kids. Dylan sitting behind a type-writer. Enjoying life. After closing that book I was wondering ‘does those kind of pictures exists from me as well? What if I died right now, people would remember me, but would there be pictures remembering me as well?’

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This is the actually book I am talking about. Check it out, I love it. (You can check out the ‘look inside’ only as well, so you will get a short overview of what I am meaning!)

Because when you actually look at pictures where you are tagged on Facebook or something these pictures are most of the times posed. There is a camera, everybody looks at the camera and smiles. Not real pictures of that moment. You see smiling people, so they are probably enjoying themselves, but are the pictures real? Probably not.

I started to think further. If these pictures don’t exist, am I actually living such a life? What if somebody took random shots of me, would I be on there smiling, would I be on there like I enjoyed life?

Seeing your life in pictures

This is a great exercise/test to see if your life is as it should be. The upcoming days ask yourself these questions at random moments:

  • Are you smiling right now? A smile stands for something more than enjoyment. Do you know the feeling when you are down, you start smiling and you feel better again? When smiling you release endorphins, which result in a more happy feeling. Smiling shows that your are enjoying life. Which brings us to the next point.
  • Are you enjoying life? Are you happy with your current position in life? Think about it right now, are you happy? If somebody took random shots of you in one week and you look back at them later, would you call yourself happy on these pictures?
  • Are you enjoying whatever you are doing at that moment? When somebody took photo’s of you one day long, are you happy on all of these pictures? Are you happy doing what you are doing?

These questions are all about feeling satisfied with your life, about living a happy life. But as we are here on a productivity kind of website, I would like to ask you one more question, which helped me out big time the last couple of days (will share you shortly with what):

  • Are you proud on what you are seeing? Do you see yourself not only as a happy person, but as a person who is making something out of his life? What are you doing? Are you spending time with friends/family? Are you working? Are you watching television?

This question helped me a lot the last couple of days. My semester is over and I have around two months off now. I am going to work for a couple of weeks in the hospital, will go on a vacation as well, but now, this week, I don’t have anything to do. So it is really, really tempting to go and play videogames (which I did a couple of days). But then I thought: ‘Will I be happy/proud with what I am doing right now?’ I know I have a lot of other things which I can do or want to do (spending time with the ones I love/setting up some websites/work on StudySuccessful more/create emails for my email list on successful blogging as a student). The answer was actually no, I wouldn’t be proud of myself. And that was a good realization. That realization put me back behind the computer and I am writing this article now.

Concluding thoughts

[easyazon-image-link asin=”0306815168″ alt=”Forever Young: Photographs of Bob Dylan” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-xGtTPy-L._SL160_.jpg” align=”right” width=”158″ height=”160″]Looking back to the beginning of the posts. If I had pictures of myself shot at random times, would that form a nice photo album? Yes it would. I think it was around a month ago or something that I read this book and this thought has been in my head more than once. When I was outside in the sun, enjoying a beer with friends, running with my girlfriend or just cycling around the city I thought ‘Yes, the pictures are at least as good as the ones from Bob Dylan.’

Now, think of pictures of yourself. How do they look? Are you happy? Are you enjoying life? Would you be proud of these pictures? Share your thoughts in the comments! And again: check out the book ‘Forever Young: Photographs of Bob Dylan’ to see what I am talking about, it will give you a good idea of what I am meaning here.

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