State Of The Union - Death Valley

By Leo Gura - April 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

How my camera dies in Death Valley and what you can draw from failure.

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo, coming at you from, and for this video am doing a bit of a State Of The Union address so I just wanted to catch you guys on what I have been up to. What I did is I decided to shoot more outdoor scenes. So I decided I would go and drive around some of the beautiful National Parks and the cool areas that I’ve got around me from Las Vegas which is where I’m stationed.

Blown Over By Some Wind

I did that the other weekend except the only problem was that when I got out there on the first day of shooting, I planned to shoot all across Death Valley, that’s where I went, to Death Valley National Park, I wanted to shoot a full camera full, so about six hours of footage. On the first day that I got there started shooting my camera got knocked down of the tripod, by a really strong gust of wind up on a mountain top and so I wasn’t able to really shoot that scene the way I wanted to. Not only that, my camera got busted, the LCD screen broke and so I literally didn’t know if it was recording for that whole trip and I decided that I was going to make the best of that trip.

I was really bummed out but I said since I’m already out there am going to be there for a few days, I decided to shoot anyways, and I thought what I would do is just record 6 hours of footage and hopefully, just hoping that it would record and it would come out fine in the end. Actually I recorded all that footage and I didn’t even realize that there was no way to get the footage out of the camera when the screen was broken because the camera is all touch screen. So there is no way for me to even to plug it in to a USB port and offload all that data because it’s broken.

So right now, I sent that camera off for repairs. It’s going to cost me about 500 bucks to repair it. Maybe I’ll get that footage back, maybe I won’t. It’s not even clear if it’s usable footage. What I’m shooting on right now is a temporary camera that I have so it’s a little lower quality than my usual videos. I hope to replace this within a few weeks with a something better, at least with the same level that I had before, maybe better.

The point being that I’m going to be shooting more videos for you guys, a lot more here in the studio but also more outdoor stuff. I want to really show you some of the beautiful stuff that we have here around Las Vegas, some of the beautiful parks we have in California, Utah and elsewhere that are nearby that I’m going to be driving to and shooting cool footage in and coming at you with the same material but basically in nicer environments so you can not be so tired of this black back drop all the time. So that’s the point.

The other point that I’m going to make is that this was kind of a lesson for me because it was really trying to get out there and shoot this footage and to see it crumble before me. I literally dedicated myself to drive out for the whole weekend to shoot this footage and I ended up driving around inside of Death Valley for three hundred miles. Once I was inside the park I was driving for three hundred miles inside the park scoping out all the nice spots where I can be shooting video, and I got some really awesome ones.

I got a video out of a waterfall, I got a video in front of the salt lake bed, I got videos with sunrises and sunsets, I had videos on the sand dunes with wind blowing, so a lot of really cool areas and really powerful topics too. I had to prepare for the topics and for now those are lost, but I will get more to you and if need be I will drive out there a second time in a couple of weekends and redo the whole shoot because some of the stuff I got there was so amazing. I don’t want to let that not get published.

Put To The Test

So the point there though was that I was really faced with the choice of do I drive back home after my camera breaks? The camera literally broke on the first shoot that I was doing at 5 o’clock in the morning on a sunrise. I stayed up and I got up just at the butt crack of dawn to shoot this scene. I was shooting as the sun was coming up and just as I was about to click the record button, the wind blew the whole camera down and it broke.

That really put me to the test because I tell you guys to remain positive, and I tell you guys to cut out the negative thinking and to be peaceful minded and Buddha like but it’s hard to do that if you actually have something come in there and really disrupt your expectations. That’s kind of what happened on that trip was that my expectations were really disrupted. Right there immediately I knew that I had a choice inside.

I had an internal choice to make. Was I going to make the best of it and suck it up and go along with the flow of life or was I going to resist it? Was I going to deny that it really happened? Was I going to kid myself? Was I going to start complaining and bitching and moaning?

To be honest I made the decision right about then to keep going. I did make that decision I will give myself points for that, but even after I did that, I was still bitching and moaning, you kind of expect it, because I knew that this camera was pretty much dead. It was a thousand dollar camera so there was that! A thousand dollars down the gutter.

Also, more importantly, was the fact that I wanted to make the most of this trip and I was already excited by the all the stuff that I saw and the all opportunities that were going to be there for me to shoot, so I was really distracted by that. Honestly all the footage that I shot afterwards I was still distracted by it. First of all because I was shooting while speaking to a camera and I didn’t even know if it was working so it’s hard to muster that kind of will power.

To come up here and speak on a topic, I don’t just speak on a topic but I try to create deep topics, insightful topics so am literally taking and trying to cram the best of the best that I know into a ten or twenty minute segment and that puts a lot of pressure on me so that can be challenging. It’s one thing to do it in the studio, nice and comfortable, but it’s totally another thing to be doing it outdoors where you have the hot desert sun baking your skin and you’ve got the sun in your eyes and you’ve got five hundred miles that you’ve just been driving and you’ve have been sitting in your car and you’re feeling kind of lazy and not really in the mood to shoot a video and you just had to walk thousands of feet to come out here on this specific location.

Stay Positive

I literally spent the whole weekend there scouting out these locations, driving back and forth to make sure the shots were aligned right. To do that and then to make this part of your vacation – I kind of dovetailed it with my vacation my weekend – and to then come out here and have speak on the spot when the wind is blowing on your face and you don’t even know if the camera is recording that, to tell yourself that you’re going to have be doing this for six hours of footage. Six hours of footage, that’s probably at least ten separate videos, ten separate topics that I have to gear myself for and these topics, I don’t rehearse them ahead of time.

They are done impromptu. They are done usually done on the fly. I tend to find that that’s necessary in order to get the insides to come out because if I just come out here and read a bunch of notes to you, then you’re not going to be engaged with it. Frankly the insides are not going to be as sharp because the best insides come on the spur of the moment and need to be caught right there.

I have a lot of insights throughout the day that don’t rely get to capture on film simply because there are fleeting. There are some things that need to be caught in the moment. I do the best that I can to come out here and get the best insights right now right here and I’m working on my own psychology to allow me to do that. That’s actually kind of a like a mental game that I have to play and train myself to be able to generate insights on the fly and make sure that they are the best insights of the day right here in front of the camera.

Well imagine trying to do that when you don’t even know if the camera is working. It’s very demoralizing. For me it was a really big challenge because I kept saying to myself, “Stay positive. Stay positive. Stay positive. Even though the camera is broken, what’s bitching and moaning about it going to do?”

On some level it worked and on some level it didn’t work because that’s hard to do. Naturally your mind doesn’t want to do that. It doesn’t want to buy into that, because it’s going to start coming up with all kinds of excuses such as, “Well, okay. Yes, maybe it’s not even so bad that the camera broke, let’s say I lost some money there, but then do I really have to go out and shoot all this footage with this broken camera? Wouldn’t it be nicer to enjoy the next few days and take it in and not shoot any videos? Maybe I’ll comeback some other time and shoot some videos.”

My mind was making up that kind of argument and I knew that that wasn’t the higher value thing to do, that was the comfortable thing to do. That was the easy thing to do. It was easy to call off the trip and bitch and moan about it and go home crying. It was easy to even keep the trip on but then use it as an excuse and say, “Well the camera’s broken so now I don’t have to do any work. I’ll just kind of go and enjoy the sites”.

Be Persistent

I mean that would have been nice, but I really pushed myself and I said, “No, I’ve got to take advantage of this opportunity. I don’t know when am going to be back in Death Valley again. Maybe I will never be able to get out there and some of the scenes that I’m seeing here and some of the ideas that are percolating in my mind, I need to get those out. Those are going to be good potential videos”.

Of course then my mind tells me, “Well what if the camera is not working? What if it’s not working? You’re going to waste all that time. You’re going to waste six hours shooting a video just to find out from the repair centre whether the camera is going to work or not?”I still don’t know even though I sent it for repairs, even they don’t know.

So how do you deal with that? Well I have other videos that tell you, that talk about how to be persistent, how not to quit, how to keep a positive attitude. Really I had to start eating my own advice. I had to start eating my own dog food here. I try to that anyways but especially on this trip I had to do it because if I didn’t, then how could I come up here with a straight face and give you guys advice if I don’t follow it myself?

That’s one of the ways that I reframed it. One of the ways I reframed it is I had to say to myself, “I have to walk my talk”, and for me that’s really, really big. Whenever I see myself not walking my talk that’s an instant like damn, there’s something wrong here. I have to rethink what I’m doing. Sometimes I fall off track.

I don’t always follow all my own advice. It’s very difficult to do that, so I always have to first and foremost look at what I’m doing to make sure that it’s aligned and keep aligning myself and realigning myself and realigning myself. It’s difficult, but that’s a challenge I took on so for me that’s a motivator. Another motivator for me was that I had to see the longer picture. I had to look deeper into what these videos really mean for me and why I’m shooting them and what I’m doing with my work here.

Find The Silver Lining

What that meant was I had to look beyond just the fact that I’m going to maybe shoot six hours of footage and then not actually ever be able to see it or be able to post it. I had to reframe in my mind and say to myself,” What am I really doing with these videos?” Part of the thing that I’m doing is that am trying to develop myself as I’m shooting each video. That means developing myself as a speaker.

That means being able to deliver insights on the spot even if I don’t feel like it, even if I feel lazy, even if I feel tired, even if I feel sun burned, even if I feel like what am going to say is not going to be recorded and the camera’s going to break, my microphone is not working or anything like that. So part of the opportunity that I saw in this challenge is that I’m going to shoot six hours of footage and I’m not going to know what I shot, at least right now. Hopefully it will work out but even if it doesn’t work out I still would have gained something from it.

This is the way to salvage a bad situation. It’s to see, and you could probably find moments in your own life where this has happened to you. You have a really a bad situation, something just didn’t go out and come out the way you wanted to. You got some bad luck.

You can look at that and say well I will just keep pushing through anyways and have faith. First of all a little bit of faith that the camera will work, but even beyond that, just faith that what I’m doing here is going to advance me anyways. Right now, even if am still very much anxious about getting the footage back and I want it back, but even if I don’t get it back at this point what I have said to myself is this, “I shot six hours of footage under very harsh conditions.” Those conditions to be fair were some of the harshest I have ever shot in like wind, sand in my face, literally all sorts of nasty staff, sun burn. I said to myself, “I survived all that and I just learned some valuable lessons about perseverance from that trip”. I feel like next time I go out somewhere and I have to shoot on location in some kind of harsh conditions like that then I will be already be toughened up.

My skin will be tougher. Literally my skin will be tougher, but my mind will be tougher too because am going to go out there and I’ll already have experience with about problems with wind, problems with sand, problems with locations, all that kind of stuff. I would have learned from that.

Learn To Take The Pressure

The other thing that I would have learned is how to be on the spot and how to push myself through. Honestly sometimes after a long two mile hike to some sort of mountain top, once you get there you admire the view and then you tell yourself, “Now I have to shoot a video on this? I have to come up with some sort of a topic right on the fly and it’s got to be insightful and is got to match the beauty of this sunset or this sunrise?” That’s a little bit of putting pressure on yourself.

So here I said, “You know what? I’m going to just learn to take the pressure and am going to advance my skills with talking and am just going to talk and talk and talk at the camera and just hope that these six hours, even though they never get posted on YouTube or somewhere on my website, then I still would have gotten the experience of shooting that. That means that next time I come out here to Death Valley, which I will do if that footage doesn’t come out I’m going to come out there again in a few weeks and am going to rerecord all that footage except now its going to be even better. Now I have a little bit more experience about some of the challenges and the hazards out there and I’ve also even already talked about those topics.

So the second time that I talk about those topics even though I’ve never really liked talking about a topic twice because it just gets boring for me. I also find that when I do have to rerecord a video, what happens is that the second video many times will come out better because I have already talked about the topic and I feel very more comfortable about it my mind and now even though am not going down specific bullet points I still have kind of an unconscious record of what I talked about in the past. The second time my mind goes down that same track it tends to come out pretty damn good.

So that is basically what I learned from that trip. This is kind of what I have been up to in the last few weeks and what I’m going to be up to in the next few months ahead is I plan to be shooting a lot of more of this kind of footage and I thought that I would use this as kind of an example of how to build perseverance and how to tough it out sometimes. I think that if you’re starting a new business or you’re in the middle of a business or your starting your career or you’re in the middle of the career and your trying to do something powerful with that, the way that I like to do with my businesses and career, then you’re going to run into these kinds of problems.

Complete Commitment To What You’re Doing

Even when you’re totally committed and you know what your life purpose is and are very motivated, something will come and literally knock you down, knock your camera down, will knock your bank account down, will knock your health down, will knock some part of the projects your working on down. What you’ve got to do is that this is where that part life purpose comes in. When you are very conscious about your life purpose and you know what is then it’s almost like you have no other options.

It’s that idea of complete commitment to what you’re doing, believing that it’s going to work out, believing that things will align for you, even if something at the moment is not aligned, believing that in the long run things will align. In the long run everything you’re doing is building up more and more momentum and every time you get knocked down you just stand right back up and if you get knocked down you stand back up, and if you get knocked down you just stand back up because you know that’s what it’s going to take to really get you to your goals, to your dream.
That dream is important to you. You’re going to fight for it. You’re going to bleed for it.

I feel like I did a little bit of bleeding the other weekend for my dream and I know that I have a lot more bleeding to do in the future, but I also feel like every time I bleed a little bit, I get stronger, I get more motivated, I get more driven, I feel like I have set myself apart from the competition even more. Now even though my camera is busted and I went through some anxiety and trauma with that, now I’m back on my feet I got myself a temporary new camera shooting more free video for you right now and I just see things as doing even better for me, going even better as I push through.

I already feel more confident even right now standing in the studio. This is the first time I have shot since coming back from Death Valley. I really feel more comfortable or more at ease because shooting in the studio is so much nicer so much easier now than shooting out doors. I mean here it’s easy. I thought this was hard about a month back, I thought it was hard to shoot in the studio and now that am standing here this is like a cake walk compared to the trials and tribulations I went through last weekend.

Alright hopefully maybe this video encourages you keep chugging along with whatever it is that you’re doing. Keep plugging your way at it and if you’re encountering some obstacles right now, don’t despair, push through them. You got to keep pushing through. If it is something that is your dream you can never let it go. You have to be like a pit bull. Your clamp down on whatever it is that you want and you just never let go. Once your jaws are clumped down on it, stay with it till the very, very bitter end.

Wrap Up

Alright this is Leo, I’m signing off. Go ahead, post your comments down below, please like this and share this. Click the like button right now please, and of course check out my newsletter. Sign up at for a free newsletter where I release free videos, free articles, I plan to have other downloads and other cool things for you guys coming out shortly. Sign up to that as well for free.

Really the reason you want to sign up is because I am trying to deliver information to you about how to master your own mind, your own psychology, how to master all those obstacles that are holding you back in your life. What most people will say is that the obstacles are external. It’s the lack of money or the lack of a relationship or not having the right job or something like that.

While am all about getting externals into place but really we all understand that the externals stem from the internals. So we’re going a little bit deeper here. We are going kind of at the roots, and we’re sharing information with you, wisdom, about how to master the internals, how to master yourself, how to master your own motivation, how to master your own feelings and emotions and your own thoughts, and how for example to be very persistent. How you kind develop that character and kind of skill set?

Once you do then you can literally accomplish anything you want in your life. Until you don’t no matter what you accomplish out there in your life externally you never going to be really fulfilled on the inside because you’re going to be filled with fear, and anxieties and anger and all sorts of bitterness and pettiness that just comes from not having a mastery of your own mind. So go ahead and sign up and be on track with all the stuff that am throwing at you guys because this stuff takes some exposure to. It doesn’t take just one video. It takes video after video after video to really think about these things, go out there to implement them, test them out and stay on track with developing yourself, and growing yourself on personal inner level. That’s what is all about. Sign up right now.

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