With over “10,000 snaps of the shutter,” Brandon Stanton has seen and interviewed thousands of people on the streets of New York City over the last five or more years. “Stanton has been not only collecting their stories and images, but also sharing them on his blog, Humans of New York.” Many of the photographs Stanton has shared have gone viral, with millions of likes and shares getting raked up. After photographing and interviewing over 10,000 people he has some advice to share.
“He often asks: What is your biggest struggle? And what do you regret most in life?” When Stanton walks the streets of New York City, snapping photos and interviewing thousands of people, he is taking in their life stories and the lessons that these people have learned. There has been an extraordinary range of responses, but there has also been a common theme and an answer that has stuck out more than most.
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According to CNN, it is a regret for not finding more balance. “Balancing my life is an answer I hear a lot. Balancing work and family,” claims Stanton. CNN details the response, saying, “People go on to tell him how they wished they had skipped that marketing conference and attended their daughter’s 8th grade dance instead.”
The thing about people is that we have so many thoughts and desires and passions and wants and needs constantly running through our minds, that we sometimes forget what it is like to just live. We can get so caught up in the day-to-day stresses of work and life and balancing the two that we forget to take a step back and truly live our lives. What Stanton has learned from his endless hours of interviews is that it is incredibly vital that we take the time to take these steps back. That it is vital to our happiness and our ultimate success that we take time in our days to put down the calendar and relax with our loved ones.
If we do not want to regret our life, and the things that have happened throughout it, we need to ensure that we are taking the time to just live. Not to live with some sort of worry hanging over our head, but to take time out of our days to just live and be happy and feel free of requirements and just enjoy the events that occur throughout our life – like dance recitals and birthday dinners.