Hard Work and the Good Life

Cool, quiet days in a small village in the middle of Bohemia come to life in a way I imagine they did centuries ago. The smell of wood stoves, sun rays making their way through the mist, and people preparing for a good day of hard work.

The work is exhausting but full of vitality. Energy created by the confidence of giving each day the best, a hallmark of a successful life. Faces of workers mapped with lines, each etched with a tale stretching back in time. One day falling into another, each story taking us to where we are now.

Days constructed with skill, hands crafting together a life of quality to stand the test of time. In the end, if everything goes right, life will be made a bit easier for those who carry on after we are gone.

Small miracles surround us daily, people who embrace the noble philosophy to strive for perfection. Whether a builder of factories, baker of bread, or a mother giving her life for her children ~ all understand while pure perfection is a myth, the pursuit of this mystery welds together a foundation of life.

It is the humble appreciation of hard work which makes it all possible: the key ingredient to ignite the body in the morning so to retire at night with gratitude.

Opposite are those where the thought of going to work tastes like poison.  Every morning a heavy sigh, bleak thoughts sinking the mind into depression. A day ruined before it begins, a week sentencing the soul to five days of drudgery.

There is only the false glow of the weekend to offer a brief respite; yet with habits entrenched the weekend turns bitter as well. The mind swims in melancholy, a ruthless cycle. Rinse. Repeat.

For those who wake with wonder, with no certainty on how the day will evolve, there are possibilities… Find an idea, a goal, and take it to completion.

Build. Create. It is in these people to find not only admiration but inspiration.

Even when the inevitable day arrives where everything turns sour, there is truth in the old cliché: in every failure there are lessons to be learned.

This morning a thousand miles away from home, the surrounding scene holds a myriad of options, a feeling I’ve become accustom to. While I am never quite sure how the day will shine, there is one constant: good people blending with good people no matter the culture.

Open the mind to this simple piece of humanity and a better day lies ahead. Another piece of the riddle solved.

The feel of the earth, of steel, of the flame, all pieces of the puzzle when fused together form the backbone of who we are. Seeking an honest day’s work and the building of callouses, whether on the hands or character. Valuable protection justly earned when the inevitable turbulence of life makes its appearance.

On days like today, it seems easy. Hard work and dedication creates a good life. An effortless understanding where wealth is not the primary driver but instead a by-product, holding less value than imagined. Success is not defined by “greatness and wealth” instead it is about integrity. Dedication.

The experience of blood, sweat and tears reveals its importance when the world is thrown out of sync and stress converges from all angles. The world feels colorless.

However, the years of inexhaustible toil strengthens character, builds patience and when such dark and grey days come there is no panic. The mind is focused on living, on a new day to create.

The fire to define a day is what hard work ensures. Take away the unimaginativeness of mediocrity and the dullness transforms into a mysterious shimmer. Dark shadows of frustration are replaced by the spark of a purpose.

Growing. Building. Never resting, never stagnating.

There is no better feeling than walking home after a day’s work, warm sunlight refreshing the spirit and the colors shining on a day well executed. The fading daylight brings the laughter and smiles of the world to the forefront, enlightening the soul as it winds down into the solitude of night.

Within the darkness of sleep, a strong heartbeat keeps the blood flowing providing fuel for the dreams of the night and hopes of tomorrow. A step ahead are those who ceaselessly give it their all, for them tomorrow has already arrived.

Side note:  At a young age, my parents instilled in me the idea of doing the best work possible, no matter the job.  Every day my mom’s words echo in my mind ~ step back, take a look at your work and see if there is anything to be improved… and there is always something. I love this thought as it keeps me pursuing this myth of perfection.

150 Comments on “Hard Work and the Good Life

  1. Your wise mother’s words, Randall, sum up your theme so well. What always strikes me is how your writing weaves around your images so beautifully without having to describe the photograph. You let the viewer interpret, which I really appreciate. Your stunning monochromes capture moments of work and your dreamy colors, play and leisure. I thoroughly enjoy your work. 😉

    • Very much appreciate your comment, Jane, it is insightful. It seems I always go into a post with a clear idea of what I want to write about, but then reviewing my photos always bend my thinking. And, yes, my Mom’s words are something I still think about – I remember clearly when she said them to me. At first I was not too happy, I was about 13 years old and just finished a job mowing, trimming, and edging for someone in the neighborhood and I thought I did a great job. Then my Mom came to pick me up and said those words – “stand back and view your work, and what could make it better.” This annoyed me at first as I just wanted to leave, but then I saw a garden hose I did not wind-up and a sprinkler on the opposite side – minor things, but by doing it right it made a difference. So my annoyance with my Mom turned into reluctant agreement 🙂

  2. Hello Randall,
    It’s wonderful to see your work and read your thoughtful (and thought-provoking) writing again. Your mother seems to be a wise and wonderful person. As always, thank you for sharing, and I hope you and your family are well.

    • Hi Takami, great to hear from you again and it felt good to write again – hope to make it more of a habit 🙂 Wishing you well, and still hope to make it to Japan soon. I hope the typhoon did not cause you many problems. ~ Take care and enjoy your day.

      • Very glad to hear you are well 🙂
        While my neighborhood was spared any major damage, many other areas have been hit quite hard… I feel for the residents in these disaster zones.

  3. It is lovely to catch you on here when you are on here, Randall. What a fitting title for a post about putting your best foot forward each day no matter the kind of work. You wrote a great quote: ‘It is the humble appreciation of hard work which makes it all possible’. Just appreciating what has to be done and what you can do to make a difference is a powerful motivating factor for us to be productive and make a difference no matter how big or small.

    I like how you alluded to the weekend and the ‘false glow of the weekend’. For so many of us, the weekend is the time of the week where we are free of our mundane weekday lives which we might not enjoy. Some do need to live this way to sustain the lives they need to sustain, like looking after paying that mortgage or family commitments. But for others, sometimes we are just caught up in a cycle because we don’t allow ourselves to create and be excited about something in the everyday.

    Love these set of shots and the little detail in each one. The one of the worker walking away with dust in his track is a great one. The BW and colour contrasting photos is a good choice too. BW enshrouding routine and jobs that have to be done – every seed and every building starts off as nothing and with no colour. Colour in the children and play time – fun times, uplifting emotions. Great work as usual and hope you are doing well this fall in your part of the world.

    • Thank you for the great comment, Mabel. The B&W photos I enjoyed, I originally planned to do all in color but the separation between work & life made for a good distinction. Both you and Jane picked up on this well. This topic was interesting for me because there is such interplay between work life and personal life, that crafting one at the expense of another leads to frustration. With work, when a new challenge comes along, it is pretty easy to get involved and enjoy time spent on projects – but when things become boring then it gets difficult. I think we’ve all been in the state of getting caught up in the mundane and begin thinking of just making it through the day, which is a part of life. Trouble comes when we begin thinking about just making it through the week, then a month… it is a cycle easy to fall into. Getting out of it, for me at least, usually starts with creating something within my work – which even if it fails or is ignored, it serves the purpose of getting me fired up again 🙂

      I’m happy you liked the quote you mentioned, it comes from my time working wheat harvest in my home town of Pendleton. I admired the people I worked with, they put in a hard day’s work and were simply great individuals outside of work as well. Made me realize I could be happy in the world doing any type of job. This thinking is also similar to Paulo Coelho’s novel The Alchemist where the protagonist Santiago would not have reached his dream had he not given his best, and learned along the way, even when frustrated at his work. Cheers to you as well for a great spring Down Under 🙂

      • Always like how you mix things up with your words and photography, Randy. Your art is so versatile. For many of us work is work and play is play, though they can overlap. Most of the time if we’re frustrated with one, it impacts the other. I like that you find something to create within your work, doesn’t matter if it works or not. It’s all about trying 🙂

        Yes, we all learn along the way. I do think we learn the most when we’re at home, like where you learnt quite a bit working in harvest in your hometown Pendleton. There’s something about home that will stick with us wherever we go. Hope you are well and take care 🙂

    • Enjoyed the process of getting out to shoot these ~ thank you, and cheers to your new place.

    • Thank you, Derrick ~ it was good to be able to pick up the camera and shoot these scenes. Life behind the lens can be pretty cool 🙂

  4. “A day ruined before it begins . . . ” It is sad to think how often that is true. What a beautiful piece of writing, Randall. May we all find the work that brings joy and curiosity to our lives, instead of killing our spirit.

    • There have been times where I’ve felt this exact thought… 🙂 Fortunately those times were short lived ~ I’ve been fortunate to work with great people at a young age, hard working and sharing of ideas, and like you say having a joy and curiosity for work/life. Thank you, Jolandi, and wishing you well as we enter the last quarter of the year. Cheers!

    • Great to hear from you, Dana ~ thank you very much. At the beginning of November, I’ll be traveling to Romania but just for a couple of days for a meeting…but I will bring my camera to capture the magic there 🙂 Best wishes to you and your family!

      • I am very pleased to hear that you are about to visit Romania. Hoping you’ll enjoy your trip! Best wishes to you!

      • I am looking forward to the trip. Instead of flying into Bucharest, I’ll drive from Czech Republic through Hungary to the small city of Solanta, Romania 🙂 It should be very nice. Cheers to a good weekend.

      • That’s quite an adventure… It’s the kind of place where you have to hold your nerve: closed roads, many trucks, speed limits. Highway isn’t like in America, not even like in Hungary. But compared to the monotony of the way through Hungary, the landscape is wonderful.
        Also, it is almost winter and you have to consider winter specific weather phenomena to plan your trip. You need winter tires .
        And don’t forget to buy ro-vignette. You can order online: https://www.e-rovinieta.ro/en/
        Be careful with GPS – they aren’t maps for many roads. It is better to use Waze.
        I wish you a pleasant journey !

      • Thank you very, very, much for the helpful advice, Dana – will order the r0-vignette and also make sure we have winter tires on the car. I’ve done the drive to southern Hungary (Mezőkovácsháza) a couple times in spring and summer seasons, and it went very smoothly – and Salonta is only about 90 kms further south. I am very exciting to see the Romanian landscape. I’ve heard it is beautiful. Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

    • Thanks, Timothy, when it comes to any welding or just letting the sparks fly with cutting…I can’t grab my camera fast enough. Like a moth, I am drawn to the flame 🙂

  5. So wonderful to see the merits and simplicity of physical work elevated and honored. It is good for both body and spirit. Good to see your work again, Randall, as well 😊

    • You’ve a great way with words, I really like your description: “the merits and simplicity of physical work elevated and honored” as this is the exact feeling I had writing this post. It can be this simple, hard work is an honorable way to live a life. Wishing you a great autumn ~ take care.

    • Thank you, Charlotte, so good to hear from you and I am looking forward to catch up with all you’ve done. Wishing you and family well.

    • Thank you very much, Angeline. Your compliment brings a smile to my face 🙂 I hope your day is a great one.

    • Very nice words, David, thank you. It is great when something you create connects 🙂 Wishing you a great autumn and keeping in touch.

  6. As always Randall, so happy to see your post pop up this morning. Since we have guests and I was on my iPhone I waited until I had an extra moment to view it on my computer as I always enjoy both your photography and your thoughts. Nor, unsurprisingly, did you disappoint this time. Your thoughts weave in and out of your images and work beautifully together with them. I also appreciate the way you chose to show the children in color versus most of the workers in monochrome. Perhaps we see the world less colorfully as we take on more and more responsibility. Joyfulness at play or pride in one’s work – you’ve captured both perfectly. Hoping to see more of you soon.

    • Such a wonderful way for me to begin my weekend this Friday evening, reading your thoughts about my latest post…which I hope become more frequent. There are a lot of variations of life, and I find myself popping between work-life and personal-life so much these days and often do not keep it as balanced as I should so this post was a bit of trying to find the synergies between both. You nail it with “joyfulness at play or pride in one’s work” – and as we get older it seems responsibility from work tries to monopolize any time available 🙂 It is funny, I initially hadn’t planned on the color vs. B&W imagery between these two main pieces of life, simply kind of the way I saw my world. Thank you very much, Tina, for your words and wishing you a great weekend ahead, and look forward to catching up with you. Cheers ~

      • Cheers back Randall. You are definitely missed – it would be great to see your name pop up a bit more often. Hope your work/personal life is headed in whatever direction gives you the most in return!

  7. Well, what a delightful surprise to encounter new work from you. I can feel how this subject – work – is very close to your heart and soul. I love the contrast of the images – the starkness of the black and white and the soft, gentle color. The kids are adorable.

    “Success is not defined by “greatness and wealth” instead it is about integrity. Dedication.” I’ve always believed this as well. I was raised to do my very best, for my own sense of pride, and to see every job, and all workers, as worthy of respect. It’s a quality that sometimes seems to have become antiquated. It’s easy to focus on accolades, degrees, and material wealth as determining success, but there are rewards to be found in mundane work, if you are able to recognize them: skills that you can incorporate into future work, connections that can lead to unexpected opportunities, the mental space/energy to pursue an art or activity that feeds your soul but doesn’t pay the bills. My own work history may not have made me a millionaire or an admired member of the community, but at least it’s been colorful. 🙂And honest. You nailed it when you mentioned that frustration vanishes when you understand the purpose of work. Depression is fueled by a lack of purpose, of feeling like you don’t have anything of value to contribute. I think this may be one of the greatest challenges of this time in history.

    Your life’s work also includes your photography and writing. It’s clear that you always take more than one step back to see what can be improved and polished until it shines. Illuminates. Thank you for sharing your hard work with us, Dalo. This piece, in particular, is very timely for me, so very much appreciated. 🙂Wishing you a beautiful Bohemian autumn, my friend.

    • It is always nice to be able to surprise you, not something I think it that easy to do. I too find it a bit strange in that as rewarding as “doing the right thing – working hard and honestly” it is often put aside for the possibility of making an easy or quick buck. In the end, though, it seems the story is the same in that there are no short cuts.

      Whole heartedly agree with your thoughts about finding and doing work that is colorful, because the lessons learned are invaluable down the road. Working hard along the way, keeps everything you’ve done connected and over time serves the purpose you need. And for the times when we lose sight of any purpose, those tough days in life, the good habits of hard work brings things back into focus pretty quickly.

      Thank you very much, Julie, for your nice comments – knowing words (and photos) can touch friends over a distance it pretty cool. Bohemia has those unimaginable autumn colors all around…it will be a good weekend 🙂 Cheers and take care.

      • You’re so right that shortcuts (cheating, slacking, dishonesty) bring a whole lot of problems in the long run. I’ve worked around the ultra wealthy and there’s one billionaire in particular that your comment brought to mind. He was never without an entourage of fat-necked bodyguards in suits. He’d made a lot of enemies in his lifetime. Is all that wealth worth living in constant paranoia? I wanted to whisper in his ear “Psssst. Life is a whole lot simpler if you’re not a douchebag.” But I would have ended up fired…or at the bottom of the lake. So, the ultimate shortcut is, in fact, doing the right thing.🙂

        Good to hear that the colors are spectacular in your world. I remember those forests of pure gold. You take care, too, young man, and enjoy your weekend.

  8. Very inspiring words and the accompanying pictures. They captivate the meaning deeper into your heard and inspire you to follow those. Many things here I can also relate to well.

    “There is no better feeling than walking home after a day’s work, warm sunlight refreshing the spirit and the colors shining on a day well executed.” — this is the way I would like to end the work day every day!

    • There truly isn’t a better feeling that the sun shining, warming your spirit as you head home from a good day of work. Makes me wish summer and autumn could stick around a bit longer 🙂 The photos of the workers and the work they do shows a lot of what life is about and it is inspirational ~ thank you, YC, and wishing you a great weekend. Take care.

  9. There is much wisdom in your and your mother’s words. Thanks for reminding me there is always a way to make my work better, and more purposeful. It’s nice to see you back Randall. May we value our work and those we serve.

    • Very insightful comment, Brad, sometimes it takes the smallest thought or effort that can make an impact – plus I think it always makes me feel a bit better knowing that even though the extra effort I gave will go unnoticed it made me feel good doing it. To make the attempt to at least set the bar a bit higher, even if only a micron 🙂 I hope you’re doing well and off to a great autumn. Hard to believe it’s the middle of October already.

      • Yes it’s hard to believe another is almost past. From what I’ve seen you live your ideals well. Kudos Randall.

      • Sometimes it’s not so easy, just try to minimize the dark & grey days…and being the eternal optimist I am seems to help quite a bit too 🙂 Cheers, Brad – enjoy your weekend.

  10. Is so appreciate I ate your different perspectives and insights Randall. Form what is captured in the camera, to how you present it to us to be understood.
    Black and white tougher observances in juxtaposition young vibrant children…. always resonate. May we all expand awareness and find b,an easy in this evolution

    • Apologies for Apple word suggestions and less focus on my part. May we all expand awareness and find our way in worthwhile work and dedication to what is important. There’s no guarantee of a good life …. but it up to us to find our way in doing what we do best. Wonderful photos and words to reflect on. 💕🙏💕

      • Thank you very much, Val. You are absolutely right, there is no guarantee of a good life and all we can do it give it our best so then we can go to bed at night without regret, and if we do this just perhaps wake up the next day a bit better than before 🙂

  11. I feel as if you’ve woven a spell with your words and beautiful pictures, and taken me on a journey of smiles and delight. There is so much quiet and gentleness here despite the honouring of hard work and striving for perfection.

    • A journey of smiles and delight ~ a great description, Alison – thank you very much. It seems the places I travel and enjoy the most are places were I get to know the people and am always impressed by the honesty of their work. I think it’s reflection of their good character. Cheers to a great weekend ahead.

  12. Reading about the life of these people gives me peace. It is seamless and good. It might also be a prescription for living well the life of an aging person.

    • Thank you very much, there is a certain peace within these photos. You have mentioned in your writing before about discovery, how life is like a river always flowing – and I think as we get older, we appreciate how hard work holds a lot of freedom and control, at least for the spirit.

  13. A great post my friend. (welcome back, it seems I hadn’t seen your posts in a while).
    And all very true. I never understood people who hate their job (in your face). I always think: you don’t like it? Move.
    As a matter of fact, whenever I started to “dislike” a job, I moved.
    Take care and thanks for the post.

    • This was a relaxing post to write, Brian, because like you finding happiness/strength in my work is vital to finding the same in life ~ if it wasn’t there things had to change. It also made me think I could be happy in many different places, because there will always be people who share this same thought – and this is comforting. However crazy it can be, it is a good world out there 🙂 Cheers!

      • Agree with most of what you say. Now, “good world”? Yes, there are places, but not where I live. The situation here is getting bad. Between useless politicos and the Narcs… I don’t know what we’ll do.
        Have a great week-end nonetheless. North of the border. 😉

      • You’ve a good point ~ crime & politicos rob people of freedom, and hard work can lead to frustration and despair. Stay true, enjoy your Sunday and the week ahead…and look forward to those brighter days. Take care, Brian.

  14. … this myth of perfection. Love those last four words of yours. Inspire me. Truth.

    Yet, that feeling we get when pursuing our best – our idea of perfect. Catching a glimpse of what might be our greatest work and pushing it aside knowing there is so much more opportunity ahead – the moment couldn’t possibly be it we somehow convince ourselves it is. This is the thrill.

    The window offered to settle and rest should be taken, for who can go without it?

    My Photographer Philosopher Extraordinaire, I pray you find joy in your days of rest. Your travels benefit so many. I imagine the spirits you raise with your smile and chuckle alone, but also this desire you have to learn and submerge yourself where you’ve been planted affirms many and their life’s work. If even for a day.

    Thank you for this piece. Those who work tirelessly in an effort to carry on a family tradition and way of life, as we do here in the Midwest, thank you as well.

    I really needed this today, Dalo ♡ You inspire me and my desire to dive into learning and knowing others, their paths and life’s work. Something about the photo of the couple just being present for what is before them. A mystery.
    Thank you, Randall.

    • Funny you should pick up on my last paragraph – I added it just prior to posting 🙂 There is this myth of perfection that can be both a blessing (if we recognize it as a myth) or a curse (perfection expected). Chase it with an open heart and enjoy the journey… and even when the times come when the myth comes crashing down, sulk for a bit (perhaps with a shot of whiskey) but then dust yourself off and get back on the horse. Ha, this last sentence makes me want to read a Louis L’Amore book tonight!

      Great words with your comment, they make my weekend. Everywhere I’ve been, I tend to gravitate to the locals – submerge into their culture and enjoy the time. A sense of humor can help too 🙂 I think too that I’ve learned much more from others than they’ve learned from me…nothing quite like keeping things simple and to “dive into learning and knowing others…” ~ very inspirational words of yours. Nothing quite like mystery. Enjoy, Audacious and thank you very much. Take care ~

  15. Randall – philosopher, photographer, writer – your posts always amaze me, transporting me into another world. I like this form of education.

    • Thank you very much, Jane, for your nice words. Every now and then there is not a better feeling than to sit down and write, and to have it connect with someone who reads it, I think you understand the feeling 🙂 Great thing about writing and reading is it does transport the mind to someplace special.

  16. I liked how you combined the relaxed coloured bohemian photos with the gruelling work with smiles to perfection. One has to be precise in construction work that stems from drafting with precise measurements and strength of materials. Mother always knows best. Hello, Randall.

    • As a kid, I was always intrigued by watching a construction team putting something together – and as you say, it does take perfection. Thank you very much, Perpetua, and one thing I have learned over and over again in my life is Mother always knows best 🙂

  17. Spellbinding meditation on work ethic and looking at the everyday with boundless wonder… Beautifully written- and those images…ugh, fantastic! Read twice, and drooled over the images more than twice. 😉

    Superb post.

    Jubilant cheers- Autumn Jade

    • I like the way you put it ~ it is almost like meditation, going into work or into a job I have a very relaxing feeling because I know I will put everything into it and it automatically makes me wonder what else will happen during the day 🙂 Thank you very much, Autumn Jade, and toast to the fall, best time of the year.

      • I have always seen it as a meditation myself, a very happy one. I so love getting to work, especially anything physical, and doing it well. There’s a harmony to it. It clears the mind. It’s peaceful. (raises a mug of Typhoo) And a marvelous, happy fall to you, my friend. Relishing every moment so far. 😉

  18. Well said, Randall. My mom told me whatever I do, I have to make sure that the result won’t be ‘water average’ (a term she uses to describe things that don’t stand out among the crowd). One of my ex-bosses told me that I have to always add value to everything I do. Words of wisdom like these have helped me navigate my work life for 11 years now, and I’ve certainly experienced good things from implementing them in a daily basis. Thanks for this post — it comes just at the right time for me.

    • I like the term “water average” and I think having a parent being able to get their child to understand this sets them up for future happiness. Sometimes I am surprised at how a relatively small improvement can make a huge difference – and it seems you have made this into a habit and it shows, in your work I see and I bet in other facets of your life as well. Wishing you continued successes and great travels, Bama. Thank you.

  19. Hi Randall, nice to e-meet you! I am really happy I came across your blog – your writing conveys so much depth and melody. In a way, it´s like listening to an amazing song to read your gorgeous writing and take in those absolutely splendid images of yours. Honestly, love it. A very high-quality page with thought-provoking content! I especially love your depiction of the contrast between people who work with an attitude of gratitude versus people who just dread the daily grind. It´s all in the mind, isn´t it? Thanks for this brilliant post, Maria Elena

    • Thank you very much for the nice words, Maria Elena ~ it is great how you relate my writing to a song, as I love music and even more a great set of lyrics 🙂 For me, there is nothing better than finding the good in any situation because it sweeps into something positive in the end. As you say, it is all in the mind and it gives us a gift to make the world a pretty great and interesting place. Cheers to meeting you, and wish you great travels as we move forward. ~

      • You´re very welcome, Randall 🙂 Same here, music means a lot to me, love singing and am looking into giving songwriting ago. You are right, a great set of lyrics are someting else! It´s great to come across someone with such a similar take on life – at least regarding the aspect you were describing. Love your perspective on how the conscious focus on the positive of any situation usually creates a positive outcome. In my mind, there are no failures in life, only lessons….Cheers to meeting you as well, and may your future travels be full of inspiration and wonderful ocurrences:)

      • You’re very welcome – your writing and photos truly are always so wonderful. Thanks, Randall, wishing you the same! 🙂

  20. Hi Randall, lovely to see you again. Your essays are always a journey for both eyes and mind. And I’d agree about the notion of performing a job with integrity. Some folks think highly of themselves, they think their job is more important than others when really, any job performed with integrity and intent for the greater good is important.

    • It felts so good to be able to sit down with some photos, have an idea of what a wanted to write about and let things flow. It does seem easier these days to get caught up in the more “social media” aspect of the world, that we lose focus on getting the best out of the moment. And nothing feels better at the end of the day then truly feeling a sense of accomplishment. Cheers to a great day!

  21. “For those who wake with wonder, with no certainty on how the day will evolve, there are possibilities”…. oh yes, that captures it as perfectly as your lens captures the world.

    • Thank you very much, Sue. I too think you internalize the those words ~ always finding the best a day can bring. Cheers ~

    • So very true, adds a special touch to the evening and night which follows. Cheers to a great weekend.

  22. A fine collection of photos illustrating the life of a country
    very much alive and making it better place for all who live there.

  23. So great to see you back again. Enjoyed your lesson from your mother, but most of all the lineup of adorable little girls all bright and cheery.

    • Great to hear from you, Gunta. Life in the Czech countryside reminds me a lot of Eastern Oregon ~ very agricultural, community oriented, and there is a strong work ethic here… A great place for kids to grow up, and very photogenic. Thank you, and wish you a nice finish to October. Cheers.

  24. As always, another great piece, Randall. In my travels, I have come to correlate a society’s economic development with the people’s attention-to-detail in their work. By stepping back and seeing where things can be improved, we not only enhance our satisfaction with our work, but make our community a better place to live. I will be double-checking my spelling today! 😀

    • Hello Shawn, I think you are absolutely correct in terms of the correlation between economic development and the ‘quality’ in which people put into their work. The sense of pride people have within their life goes a long way in ensuring they put forth quality because it shines not just on them but it builds their community too. It is great to see how they balance both work with life, not sacrificing one for the other and they are able to do so because of the quality of work they do when they work. Thank you ~ happy Halloween 🙂

  25. Randall, what a wonderful post, I kept smiling from the beginning to the end, and still smile. God, if all the people could do this simple exercise – taught themselves to do their job thoughtfully, respecting the time and energy they invested, adding a bit of creativity and science in all they do, a bit of miracle. Just to make their day happy and remarkable, not depressing and useless.
    As my dad’s birthday approaches, this post is so right on the topic. My dad would tell me: what a point in spending your precious time and doing a bad job. never waste your time like that. do the kind of perfect you are capable to at the time, and exceed it tomorrow. And he wasn’t a workaholic. He just loved a quality in everything. Thank you again for the inspiring photographs and words.

    • It is wonderful to receive this comment from you, Inese, it falls perfectly in line with the way I see the world ~ making the decision to work hard, respect what it is you’re doing and overtime a good habit is created, one that helps bring a smile to the day. An old motto I like is “Take is slow, keep it simple” and the simplest thing to do I think is to work hard 🙂 I like the thought of your father, do not waste your time by doing a bad job. Anyone who puts quality into all they do are good people to have around because they are great to learn from and to inspire. Wishing you a continued wonderful autumn, and thank you again for your thoughts. Take care.

      • Thank you! I love your idea about ‘the simplest thing’. So very true. Hope you enjoy the autumn and are ready for the winter 🙂

  26. I’ve missed you … a wonderful post beautifully written with an array of super images. Your Mum’s words are special … Welcome back Randall …

    • Hi Julie, it felt so good to get back to both photography and writing – and also to be able to tie into lesson from my Mom into the post. Thank you very much, and wish you a great springtime Down Under 🙂 ~ take care.

  27. Pingback: Hard Work and the Good Life ~ Randall Collis | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  28. A glorious meditation on the value of work well done Randall. We spend so much time at work and yet too often we wish it away without giving it our best and getting that sense of achievement from it.

    • Thank you, Andrea. Spending so much of our time at work, it seems if we do not give our best it is a sad waste of time. You are right is mentioning the sense of achievement, it is important to have this in life. Cheers to a great day ahead.

  29. The thread says it all Randall such beauty wisdom and tenderness in your narratives and photography…I enjoyed my computer view of your photography…colour palettes and b/w stunning 🤓☺️ sending you all good things ~ smiles Hedy 😀

  30. This is exquisite- both the photos and your words- one exalting the other in an intricate dance that draws us into a world where,

    “…the Faces of workers mapped with lines, each etched with a tale stretching back in time. One day falling into another, each story taking us to where we are now.”

    Brilliant storytelling in all its glory…

    Sidenote: I loved your comment on “Resurrection”

    • I’m always intrigued by the lines/wrinkles on faces ~ the stories they could tell 🙂 Wishing you a great weekend, Brooke, thank you very much.

  31. Dear Randall wonderful thoughts on the merits of working hard and the appreciation of skills and dedication to the job in hand..
    Wonderful photography as always my friend, I particularly liked this sentence…
    “For those who wake with wonder, with no certainty on how the day will evolve, there are possibilities… Find an idea, a goal, and take it to completion……Build. Create. It is in these people to find not only admiration but inspiration.”…
    And I loved your Mother’s quote… 🙂 loved it..

    My Dad’s was constantly telling us ‘ There is no such word as Can’t’…..

    May we all of us find our goals in being creative dear Randall… your posts always ask us to look deeper into our hearts as we view life through your lens my friend..
    Many thanks for another inspirational post…
    💚🙏 take care.. and stay Blessed..

    • Dear Sue, thank you very much for the nice words. Something about working hard that makes it easier to become dedicated to the job, or any part of life, which overall creates a positive environment and things just tend to get better 🙂 Wish you a great day and take care ~

      • 😊 Enjoy those moments my friend. I worked hard all of my working life and don’t regret one day of them. Now in my autumn years I’m enjoying taking each day as it arrives with spaces in-between 💚

    • Thank you very much, the cool days have definitely arrived…now bordering on ❄️cold ❄️ 🙂
      Wish you a good week ahead ~ and safe travels.

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