Coffee with David | The PGI Reader who Cracks Me Up
One chilly fall day, I had the opportunity to go on a journey into the life of one of my favorite readers on PGI- David Bragdon. You may have seen his comments here on PGI (he's remarkably witty) or seen those superb photos shot from his lenses on my IG wall. We had coffee, (I had tea) and we talked. I've always wanted to speak with him about life, he has the coolest stories and I figured there were somethings I could learn from him. I was right! Here are a few things we talked about; random things and some things I learned and would love to share:
On beard gang...
DB: I once grew a beard. While I was in college (MIT), a few of my friends and I traveled to a cattle ranch in Wyoming. We had taken summer jobs at the ranch processing hay. My friend was inspired after reading the book Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy was a wealthy writer and he had chosen to work with the peasants producing hay. So we decided to go and have a "Tolstoy-experience". It turned out to be a pretty rough experience and I grew a beard during the time. The beard was for protection against the millions of blood-thirsty Wyoming mosquitos. When I got back home, my mother wouldn't let back me into the house.
PGI: "Lol! Clearly both our mums don't get beards."
DB: It's important to learn to receive feedback. Don’t be defensive. You need both positive and negative feedback to be able to improve your performance. Show that you value feedback and use it. If you own your business, be aware of the market trends.
PGI: "Hmmm...how do I handle feedback? I'm a little defensive. Then I calm myself and see what's being said. Being defensive does waste time though. I have come to actually love feedback over time."
On healthy choices...
Read the book of Daniel! I'm kidding! Eat right. Exercise. Live well. My wife and I are currently on a wheat-free diet.
PGI: "Ed and I might try this wheat-free diet for a week. That's how far I can go because... banana bread. We are exercising more though! It's so amazing. I'm so energized and I go around punching walls and doing push ups!"
Guys, on getting the girl...
DB: It’s not a hunt! Be attractive and accept what you attract. Exercise; but don’t build muscles to get attention from girls *laughs*
If you have her laughing. She's probably interested.
PGI: "Truth! Be attractive! Accept what you attract. You can't ask out a good-looking person without some effort on your part as well."
Girls, on dating guys...
Make sure to observe early on, that your dating candidate(s) really listens to you and ask interesting questions. Make sure he makes you laugh.
PGI: Ask questions! Print questionnaire here!
On having a hobby...
Photography for me is not a hobby. It’s more than that. It has taught me life lessons, helped me discover new experiences, brought me friendships. It's important to have some dimension to your life. Never stop developing yourself.
PGI: "Spoken like a true artist. My eyes droop when people refer to blogging as a hobby. It's no hobby. In fact, the leisure part of it ended on day two of blogging for me! Lol! It's like a full-time position, I tell you. I love David's statement, "Have some dimension to your life." Have some balance. Have some dimension, an equilateral dimension."
PGI: "She played M in the James Bond movies! Love her!"
On Beyonce and Rihanna...
Beyonce? Was she the one who sang at Obama’s inauguration? And Rhianna, who is she?
About his Regina (his wife)...
DB: She completes me because she's a straight-shooter, a practical problem solver and is very perceptive. She sees things and understands the significance of what she sees.
PGI: She really is awesome. She sent us dinner once. It reminded me of being at home in Ibadan!
On being a dad...
DB: Be on the same page with your spouse; learn to change the baby's diapers; hold your kids; get down on the floor and talk to them; let them stare at your face. Take your glasses off, put your phone down; get interested in what they are doing, school work, preoccupations, hobbies; answer their questions.
PGI: *taking notes*
DB: Most fascinating places ever visited; Wyoming. The scenery is beautiful. The ranch was close to Yellowstone National Park and there was a really impressive mountain range we could see from the cattle ranch. We also worked from sunup to sundown, so I got to see a lot of the scenery.
Singapore, as well. Singapore was fascinating. The food was really good.
DB: I got into photography in high school. The School had it in its budget to get a camera and they needed a man for the job to take photos. We used flashbulbs back then. You needed about 12 flashbulbs for a full session. They were quite dangerous too, because flashbulbs could explode.
PGI: "Bloggers would have had a tough time back then. I sure would. I'm unserious for the first 10 mins of a shoot."
On building generational friendships and long-term friendships
DB: I had some experience teaching different age groups (4th and 5th grade) and I have kept in touch with them over time. I also taught high school mathematics. I've attended a few weddings, and other events of theirs. I'd say develop a genuine interest in people and keep in touch over the course of their lives. Touch base often. Develop generational friendships.
PGI: "This is goals for me; Keeping in touch. . . One day at a time. Develop generational friendships."
4 Things I Learned
1. Have some dimension to your life.
2. Be genuinely interested in people; reach out to them; put in the effort to sustain the connection.
3. A hobby is more than just a hobby. It should have other functions other than expression and skill. It should build lasting friendships and make others smile!
4. If you don't like what you attract, do something about it on your end.
Thank you, David for this great interview! And thank you for always making us laugh. Photos above, from when David gifted me a 3-hour photoshoot because I wanted to put my wedding dress up for sale and couldn't decide what to do with my wedding dress. I did struggle, David, but my dress is finally up for sale on the brides power website!