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The Extra Mile

The problem with success is you never know when you are one step away.  Any time you quit, you do so realizing that one more try might have done the trick.  Sports history is filled with examples of this – from a last second touchdown to an extra inning home run.  (Especially for the 2011 Texas Rangers… but I digress)

This isn’t just limited to sports.  In fact, we have opportunities in all of our daily lives where we give up and don’t realize how close we actually were.  If I had studied a little more, would I have passed that test?  If I had driven a little further, would I have found the right exit?  The only time you DO know, is when it works out.   The rest of the time you don’t.

Silent Cypress

Silent Cypress

I have a picture hanging in my house that I took a few years ago.  It is an infrared photograph of a cypress tree growing out of a pond.  I took it during a family trip to Caddo Lake, Texas.  I planned to spend the weekend photographing the area, in hopes of getting an image I could enter in an upcoming photography competition.  Unfortunately, Sunday rolled around and I had nothing.  I had spent hours taking pictures and came away with only a handful of decent images.  It just wasn’t working out for me.

As we were leaving the area, we passed a rest stop of some sort – right on the fringe of the park.  Although I was tired of shooting and essentially given up on my goal – we pulled in so I could check out the scene and look for one last shot.  The image I got was of that cypress tree.  I titled the image “Silent Cypress” and entered it in the competition.    It ended up getting a near-perfect score of 98 and won a few awards.  To this day, it is one of the most successful images I have ever created – and it would have never happened if I had not made that one last stop.  Every time I see it, it reminds me of the importance of pushing on until you reach your goal.

Of course, there have been TONS of times that I did make that last stop and nothing came of it.  Maybe those were times that I misjudged when to make the last stop.  If you make a habit of letting the “last stop” be the one where you reach your goal, you will find that there really are no last stops – only finish lines.

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About Larry Lourcey

Plano portrait artist, Larry Lourcey, holds the designation of Master Photographer awarded by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in 2007.  Several of Larry’s images have been selected for the prestigious PPA Loan Collection, including an image displayed at Imaging Asia in 2005. While Lourcey is most recognized for his black and white photography, the breadth of his work includes vibrant photo paintings, Polaroid transfers, and photographic collages.  He derives his inspiration from master painters like John Singer Sargent and Edgar Degas, while embracing the bold styles of more modern greats; such as Pino Daeni. In his free time, Larry enjoys trying to find free time. Follow him on Twitter as @larryphoto

About Larry Lourcey

Plano portrait artist, Larry Lourcey, holds the designation of Master Photographer awarded by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in 2007.  Several of Larry’s images have been selected for the prestigious PPA Loan Collection, including an image displayed at Imaging Asia in 2005. While Lourcey is most recognized for his black and white photography, the breadth of his work includes vibrant photo paintings, Polaroid transfers, and photographic collages.  He derives his inspiration from master painters like John Singer Sargent and Edgar Degas, while embracing the bold styles of more modern greats; such as Pino Daeni.

In his free time, Larry enjoys trying to find free time. Follow him on Twitter as @larryphoto

Comments

  1. If, if, if. Life is full of if only… It’s the equivalent of the “had I but know” in mystery books. I believe in going the extra mile, but I no longer believe in worrying over what might have been. I make the best choice I can with the knowledge I have.

    K

  2. So true, I can’t count the number of times that going that extra mile is what made all the difference in the world.

  3. Christine Lee says:

    I like this concept! Glad you chose well this time 🙂 I have a lot to think about…

  4. Andy Dunkin says:

    Great thoughts and incredible picture to inspire!

  5. Thanks for the great comments everyone. As bad as it is to fail occasionally – the failures are really what makes the victories so much more enjoyable.
    I’m a big Cowboys fan and I remember back in 1992 and 1993 when they were just KILLING everyone. There was not another team in the league that could hang with those guys. It got to the point where I wasn’t even watching the games because they weren’t interesting. You need the valleys to appreciate the mountains.
    Larry Lourcey recently posted..Changing Your PerspectiveMy Profile

  6. beautiful, amazing stunning shot!! whenever i feel like giving up a cup of tea always helps me to try that one last time 🙂

  7. That is a great shot, Larry, and kudos for recognizing it.

  8. The problem with success is guilt…

    Cheers John

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    • Now why would that be? The problem with guilty success is that it usually means you’re not proud of how you got there. I don’t think truly successful people – the kind who achieve it ethically, and by making the world a bit better than it was before, who give back to their communities – need to feel guilty. Look at what Bill Gates has done – got us all addicted to PCs like they were crack. When I was a kid, we still filed paper in triplicate. There WAS no such thing as “personal computing,” and it was hard to imagine such a concept being affordable for mere mortals. The jury’s still out, in some cases, on whether this is a huge improvement in our quality of life, but now we can hardly imagine life without the PC. When he and his wife formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, I thought, “This is how you do it right. THIS is how you retire loved by all – and above reproach – even if you’re a normal human being with feet of clay and flaws a-plenty.”

  9. “Maybe those were times that I misjudged when to make the last stop.”
    Larry, I don’t think anyone should beat themselves about missing the right time, place or person. Mistakes happen, and we should consider past as it is – past. Now matter how much we digress, it can never come back.
    However, I do think you drive the point home. The idea of trying just a little bit harder, taking that extra breath of air for added gusto can really push us to the limits!
    Neeraj Sachdeva recently posted..Office Based Freelancing: The Hoops and LoopsMy Profile

  10. I think sometimes when you stop trying to MAKE something work, it frees you up to LET it work.
    Cheryl recently posted..Get Happy!My Profile