Tag Archives: passion

From Nominee To Finalist

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I got nominated for a Small Business award for the annual Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala 2013.

A part of me was surprised, because as a business owner, I didn’t really feel like my business was anywhere near outstanding.  I was barely making it when it came to profits and growth.

Yes, I provided my business services (event photography) to different non-profit organizations whenever I can, but no way is my photography business successful compared to all the other Small Businesses out there.

Another part of me was grateful.  For whatever reason, the people around me have been recognizing the work I have been doing.  In particular, one of the officers of the non-profit organization NAAAP-DFW Janet had nominated me for the award.  There’s no better feeling than to have a peer recognize the work you’ve been doing through an award nomination.

I filled out the questionnaire and sent in my resume to the committee.  I didn’t feel really solid after answering the questionnaire.  When your overall answer to most of the questions start with “that doesn’t really apply to me”, there is little confidence gained in your chance of making it.

I just told myself, “Hey, you should be happy you even got nominated in the first place.  So many other people who work harder than you didn’t even get a chance for nomination.  You’ve already got plenty.  Appreciate what you already have.”

A couple of weeks fly by and I receive an email saying that I’m one of the Finalists for the award.

My first reaction was disbelief, because I wasn’t sure how I got to this point.  Then a sudden burst of adrenaline came next, with the acceptance that I really am one of the Finalist.  Even though I still haven’t won the award, for some odd reason I already felt like a winner.

And now I’m sitting here just reflecting on everything that happened so far that got me to this point:

  1. Last year around this time of the year, I actually attended the previous GDAACC Award Gala 2012.  I wasn’t invited as a guest though.  I was actually covering the event as a second shooter with my friend.  It was my job to get pics of all the award winners.  Funny how one year can change your circumstances so much.  I went from covering the event as a photographer to becoming part of the event as an award finalist.
  2. When you look around at all the successful photographers, you will notice everyone specializes in something.  You will find photographers who are great with weddings, fashion, sports, nature, architecture … etc.  I’ve always wondered what my niche would be.  I think I’ve finally found it.  I will be known as the photographer who does non-profit events.
  3. Then I take a step back and think to myself, who in their right mind aspires to be a non-profit photographer?  It didn’t make sense to me at first until I reflected on my past.  For as long I can remember, I have always volunteered with the youth group at my Vietnamese Catholic Church.  My focus back then was giving to the Vietnamese Catholic community.  Now my focus has broadened to giving to the Asian Business Community.
  4. I made one other connection with my past.  Specifically my passion.  In the past I was passionate in volunteering my time to my youth group.  For the past 2 years, I have been really passionate about photographer.  Without even realizing it, for the past year I have been merging both my past and present passion into what I have right now:  non-profit photography.
  5. Everything has come full circle.  What I mean is I started out as going to the award gala 2012, come 2013, I’m going to the award gala again.  Or with community involvement, I did it for a good 10-15 years with local church, took a 3-4 year break, and now I’m helping out again with the Asian Business community.  My life is filled with things coming full circle.  I’m just grateful that each time I’ve come full circle, I’m somehow in a better place even though the place still looks the same.

Resume I Sent To Award Committee:  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PUVKTY6jFGZFc2Q0wyZWtTMm8/edit?usp=sharing

Questionnaire I Sent To Award Committee:  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PUVKTY6jFGVUtnSVZMbUgwN2c/edit?usp=sharing

Award Finalist Email From Award Committee:  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2PUVKTY6jFGQ3NqYjktUi1TcEU/edit?usp=sharing

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most Valuable Substance on Earth

The most valuable substance can’t be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard.

Its what everyone has, but no one ever has enough of it.

It’s everywhere you go, yet no where to be found.

It grows in value, only if you learn how to appreciate it.

What could it possibly be?



The most valuable substance on earth is space.

When you buy a house, you are really buying space.

Would you want a house that is already occupied? No, why would I want a house where strangers are in my space.

Would you want a house that doesn’t have a kitchen? No, I need space to cook for my children.

A house is appealing only as long as it serves its function, which is to provide empty space for you to live comfortably.



When you buy a glass cup, you are solely interested in the space inside.

The space inside the cup is what makes it functional.

Would anyone ever buy a cup that is solid glass? I’m buying the cup to drink from, but if it’s solid how can the piece of glass hold the water now?

Glass cups are useful only if it is hollow. The material the cup is made out of is inconsequential.

As long as the cup has space to contain fluids, it can be made out of steel, plastic, or paper.



Every year, millions of dollars are invested into Superbowl ads. But what really is being bought is space.

All of America is tuned into this channel, therefore I will sell you this slot of 30 secs for 56 million dollars.

You can fill that space with anything you think will gain the attention of your viewers. You need to come up with even more money to create something catchy.

Would anyone every buy a slot in the program, if it’s already filled? No, why would I buy a space that already has someone else’s commercial in it.

I put millions on the table, solely so I have that space in the programming to myself. I want that space to be empty, so I can fill it with what I want.



When it comes down to personal space, this is where many of us get stuck.

We don’t know how to manage our own personal space.

We don’t know how to create our own space.

The problem with most of is we don’t have any space at all.

Yet space is the most important thing in our possession.



When our space is filled with events and tasks, we quickly run out of time.

The only way to create space in our schedule is to say no.

We can’t be everywhere doing everything, so we have to say no.

Saying no, frees up our schedule and slowly restores space.

Say no enough times and suddenly you have your life back.



Most of us aspire to do great things, but where we fall short is we don’t make space for those things to happen.

If you want to pursue your passion of singing, you won’t get very far if you don’t make space for it.

Many people try to squeeze their new goal or new dreams into their already existing busy life.

They expect to keep all that they have now in addition to what may come through the realization of their dream.

The materialization of a goal requires space in your schedule for it to happen.



Stress is caused by our brains constantly being bombarded by thoughts.

“I hate work. Why did she lie to me? How am I going to pay my bills? Why is this lady buying so much stuff?’

Relaxation methods involves creating space in the mind.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Meditate. Yoga. Tai Chi. Praying. Chanting.

All these exercises are meant to empty the mind of distracting thoughts which results in more space within your mind.



At the end of most people’s lives, they regret not having more time to spend with family and friends.

What they are running out is space.

The space in their timeline is quickly coming to end.

If only they could have some more space to spend it with their loved ones.

If they could, they would go back and try to dedicate more space for friends and family.



The most valuable substance can’t be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard.

Its what everyone has, but no one ever has enough of it.

It’s everywhere you go, yet no where to be found.

It grows in value, only if you learn how to appreciate it.

The most valuable substance on earth is space.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,