Friday, April 12, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

決定什麼是重要的—DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT, ELIMINATE THE REST

By Jim Mathis

成年後,我大部份的時間都在追求專業攝影的精進,但我也對許多其他的事感到興趣。我經常思考如何活用某些原則讓每天的生活更有效率。例如,清楚確定什麼才具有重要的價值。

我還年輕時,僅僅藉著觀看雜誌上的照片就學到許多關於攝影的技巧。特別受到時尚(Vogue)雜誌,和一些彰顯強烈視覺效果的流行雜誌影響。當我研究他們的照片時,我發現要創造高度視覺和情緒張力的影像,最重要的就是刪除照片中其他不重要的部份。

最近一個週末,我在某地區的藝術節慶設置攤位。因為當時沒有什麼活動,我就開始檢視自己拍的照片,看看我最喜歡的是哪些部分。結論是,我所展示的照片上沒有任何一樣東西是多餘的,這是我從時尚雜誌學習到很棒的訣竅。好的攝影作品其中一個重點就是凸顯主題,去除所有不必要的東西。

我的朋友單恩在一封電子郵件中也提醒我,在追求成功的生命中,其中一個秘訣就是決定什麼是重要的,並且刪除其他所有的事。這正如同攝影一般。至少,我們應該把比較不重要的事推到後面當成背景。這對生命是一個很好的比喻。

攝影有一個優勢,就是能夠把背景處理成模糊或變暗,使它不會與主體競爭。然而,在每天的生活中,這却要費很大的心思去判斷,有時真正重要的事與比較不重要的事並不容易分辨。因此,要定期設定並檢視我們的優先順序與價值觀。

例如,有些公司很重視客戶服務,這需要為客戶花費更多時間與精力,但即便那可能會因此失去另一筆生意或減少利潤,却仍堅持這個原則。因為他們認為完成生意並能留住客戶的不二法門就是對客戶好,而且要比競爭者對客戶更好。

若你的婚姻和家庭生活對你非常重要,那也會影響你該如何從事你的工作,例如:你工作的型態,你花在工作的時間,以及你願意冒多少風險去確保事業的成功。

身為一個工商專業人士,要言行如一地活出你的信仰是非常重要的,並且在許多方面對你的決定和行為會有影響。我們以前引述過這經文,但歌羅西書3章23節清楚地說出,對耶穌的跟隨者而言,什麼是最重要的,即使在職場也是如此:「無論作什麼,都要從心裡作,像是給主作的,不是給人作的…你們所事奉的乃是主基督」(歌羅西書3章23-24節)。我們為了生計去工作,除了按照高法律和高道德標準去經營我們的企業,去賺取利潤,更要符合聖經所說,最重要的是,我們是在職場服事上帝並向別人見證祂。

不必擔心我們每天的需要,因為耶穌說:「你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了」(馬太福音6章33節)。

吉姆.馬提斯在堪薩斯州陸路公園市經營一家照相館。他的專長是商業和影劇界人像。他也經營一所攝影學校。他曾是一家咖啡店的經理,也曾是CBMC在堪薩斯州堪薩斯市和密蘇里州堪薩斯市的執行主任。

省思/討論題目

  1. 從生活中刪去一些占據了我們不少時間與精力,却不太重要或根本不重要的事,這有多困難?你如何決定什麼是真正重要的和不重要的? 本文作者建議要除去所有不重要的事。
  2. 在自己的生活中你看到什麼是需要重新評估,或可以除去的事物?若你同意這個觀點,你會很快地採取什麼步驟?
  3. 本文作者主張,我們的信仰和致力於服事上帝的決心,應該是我們生活中最重要的事。你是否同意?對於處在這個充滿挑戰與競爭的工商業界謀生的人而言,這個主張是否切合實際?
  4. 在我們每天的工作中,你認為「先求他的國和他的義」是什麼意思?

若你想要看或討論聖經中與此主題有關的其他經文,請參考以下經節:馬太福音6章21節;以弗所書2章10節;腓立比書3章12-14節;提摩太後書3章16-17節,4章6-8節


DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT, ELIMINATE THE REST

By Jim Mathis

Having pursued professional photography for most of my adult life, there are many things I have enjoyed about it. Among them are the principles I have encountered that can be easily applied to other areas of everyday life. For instance, the value of clearly recognizing what is important.

As a young person I learned a lot about photography simply by looking at pictures in magazines. I was particularly influenced by Vogue and other fashion magazines that all offered strong visual content. As I studied their photos, I discovered that in creating an image with high visual and emotional impact, the most important thing is to eliminate everything from the photo that is not important.

On a recent weekend while sitting in my display booth at a regional art festival, since there was not much activity at that moment I started examining my own photos, seeking to discern what I liked the most about them. I concluded I had learned the lessons well from the fashion magazines – there was not a single thing in any of the pictures I was displaying that was not essential to the photograph. One of the secrets to good photography is getting close enough to eliminate all non-essentials.

My friend Dan reminded me in an email that this is a good metaphor for life. In the quest for achieving a successful life, one of the keys is determining what are the important parts and eliminating everything else. At least, we should strive to push elements of lesser importance into the background.

Photographers have an advantage in being able to blur or darken the background so it does not compete with the subject matter. In everyday life, however, this often takes a lot of effort. And the distinction between what is truly important and things that are less important may not always be easy to discern. For this reason, it helps to make a regular practice of establishing and reviewing our priorities and values.

For instance, some companies place a premium on customer service, reasoning that one way to gain business – and retain it – is to treat customers well, better than competitors would treat them. At times this will require doing the right thing for the customer, even if it costs you a sale or cuts into your profit.

If your marriage and family life are of great importance, that will probably influence how you pursue your work – the kind of work you perform, the amount of time you devote to it, and what kind of risks you are willing to take to ensure the business”s success.

And if, as a business or professional person, living out your faith consistently is of high importance, this is bound to have an effect on your decisions and actions in many ways. We have cited the passage before, but Colossians 3:23 clearly defines what should be most important for followers of Jesus, even in the workplace: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24). We go to work to earn a living, to operate our businesses according to high legal and ethical standards, and make a profit, but most of all, the Bible states, we are in the workplace to serve God and represent Him to others.

And speaking about concerns about having our daily needs met, Jesus stated, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and operates a school of photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How difficult is it to eliminate some of the lesser important or even unimportant things from life that seem to take up a considerable amount of our time and energy?
  2. How do you determine what is and what is not really important? What things can you identify in your life now that you think need to be reevaluated in light of the suggestion to eliminate everything that is not important? If you agree with that concept, what steps could you take very soon to begin that process?
  3. It is suggested that our faith and commitment to serving God should be given the greatest importance in our lives. Do you agree? How practical do you think that is for those of us who are pursuing our livelihoods in the challenging and competitive business and professional world today?
  4. In terms of our everyday work, what do you think it means to “seek first God”s kingdom and His righteousness”?

If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Matthew 6:21; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 4:6-8


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