A nice surprise. Serendipity, cash, and Sir Edmund Hillary

April 4th, 2018 § 2 comments - add yours

Was sorting through some of my late father’s (David Suisted) belongings and came across a school project he did on Edmund Hillary, a kid’s school note book full of newspaper clippings, as he followed the climb of Mt Everest in 1953.  I found a hand written note, inside that old school project, to my father from Sir Edmund Hillary – written 29 years later on 29th July 1982, saying: “To David, Aim High! There is little virtue in easy victory. Ed Hillary“.

My dad's school project from 1953, signed 29 years later by Sir Ed Hilliary

My dad’s school project from 1953, signed 29 years later by Sir Ed Hilliary

Then I found another gem – a crisp new $5 note with the image of Sir Ed.  It was signed for me ‘To Robert, Ed Hillary’. Wow, Dad had asked Ed to do this in 1994.  Pretty neat to have this memento from such a figure in history, and someone who has been an influence and hero in my life.  It took a few moments for this to sink in. Then it dawned on me – the Reserve Bank approached me for about 20 photos to be used on the new bank notes back in 2016, and they used one of these (of Aoraki Mt Cook) to face up beside Sir Edmund Hillary.  That mountain, with my name written over the top, has now been replaced by a photo taken by my own hand and eye.  That seems pretty neat.

Clearly Dad had a huge man love for Sir Ed.  He crossed paths with him a few times, especially while Sir Ed was the NZ high commissioner to India, as Dad was involved with foreign aid development work throughout Asia and India.

Looking back now it seems my father really took Sir Ed’s words, written in his childhood project book, to heart as he went on to be a well known and much loved champion of the arts (especially acting) in NZ, where he helped many others aim high and conquer their own ‘Everests’, including some of our best known and loved actors and directors.

I suspect Dad is also pretty chuffed that Sir Ed now looks at my version of our highest peak Aoraki Mt Cook every day in my wallet.

 

Circles within circles; serendipity is a good sign in this business

April 21st, 2010 § 5 comments - add yours

This month I gave a speech at the Photographic Society national conference.  I chose to talk about how photography can add to an exceptional life.
Partly I talked about how I’ve learnt that serendipity is a very important index to monitor in life and business.  True to form a nice bit of coincidence appeared while researching my speech.  It’s this that I want to tell you about, and why I’ve found it so vital to have.

Rob Suisted at Photo Soc. National Conf 2010
What is serendipity?  I know it’s fortuitous coincidence, but what is it really? And why do some people have more of it than others? I’m very interested.

My speech was titled: ‘Shooting from the Heart – seeking an exceptional life via photography’.  Of course, photography is my income, but it pays me richly in many better ways;  I’ve been lucky to meet some amazing people, wildlife, visit some special places, and share great experiences so far in my life.  The ‘juice of life’ is what I call it now, and it’s something that should ideally be enjoyed and sought in a pure sense, not driven by necessity or ego.

I’ve found that the more I try to discover this in a pure sense, without selfish interest, the more serendipity or coincidence appears.  It might sound a bit flaky or woolly perhaps, but I can assure you that there is a sensible reason for it, and here in lies what I have learnt so far, and wish to share.

Creative professionals know that creativity comes from an open still mind.  A mind that contains stress or fears becomes closed and creativity suffers.  Same with opportunity, same with serendipity.  I think that we all have similar portions of coincidence in our lives, but an open mind simply sees more of it.  I have the confidence now to use serendipity as a powerful defacto indicator that my mind is more open, and therefore probably more receptive to opportunity and creativity.  Make sense?  Watch out for it and tell me what you think.  Does it happen to you also?  I’m very keen to know more. 

A nice piece of historical serendipity to share

By happy coincidence, while researching my speech, I discovered a little bit more about an ancestor Laura Jane Suisted (1840 – 1903), and an unexpectedly fascinating link between us that spans the globe, and a century, appeared…… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

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