August 2017

I’ve learned over the years that hard work alone is not enough to guarantee financial success or life fulfillment. However, by combining hard work with a purpose you can increase your odds exponentially of succeeding at both. So even though my primary focus this summer has been to work full-time and get my finances on track, I’ve also managed to make great progress on the artistic front. This is due to finally achieving alignment in my life.

What does this mean?

For me it means that the most prominent elements of my life (i.e. work, home, and passions) support and inform one another. For example, my seasonal jobs are directly tied to outdoor recreation, as well as historical aspects of Lake Tahoe. By learning more information about this place I call home, it not only brings me joy but I’m also able to provide better customer service at work. Additionally, the information I learn about Lake Tahoe (and playing outside!) combined with my technical and artistic skills enables me to share all that cool stuff in various mediums to a broader audience. So before and after work, when I find the time an energy, I’ve been completing some projects that revolve around the themes I’ve been describing:

  • Tahoe history and Sierra Nevada flora/fauna identification,
  • information and education related to outdoor activities,
  • and most importantly, providing inspiration for finding adventure in your daily life.

That last bit about finding adventure on a daily basis has been the most relevant litmus test for my personal happiness and what I’d like most for people to take away from my art and writing. When I become trapped in an uninspired routine I begin to question the direction of my life, sometimes to the point of falling into depression. So over the years I’ve redefined adventure. Rather than allowing it to only include physical activities such as backpacking or traveling, which can be challenging to schedule into a full-time work routine, I’ve begun to view adventure as a state of mind. Playing outdoors is definitely adventurous, but so is discovering the history about where you live or come from or learning a new skill or sport.
So although the artwork and information I’ve been creating is inspired by the Lake Tahoe region, it’s not restricted to it. The lessons I’ve learned on the trail also apply to daily life (albeit with some minor adjustments), and the imagery I create informs and hopefully inspires you to have your own adventures.

Here is an info-graphic I created about Mount Tallac. Click on the image to order prints or posters of it. I recently ordered the medium-sized poster for myself and it looks fantastic!

Copyright © 2017 Jared Manninen

Here are the latest blogs I’ve written for Tahoe Trail Guide. I had wildflowers on the brain! Click an image to read its article.

Speaking of hard work coupled with a purpose, I want to again mention my mother and her efforts to help six wrongfully convicted men. She wrote a book about her 9-year journey titled Reclaiming Lives: Pursuing Justice for Six Innocent Men. The story is an inspiring tale of her experience trying to make a positive change in this world.

Sorry to end on a sad note, but I wanted to briefly mention that one of my roommate’s cats died this past week. Etcetera was 17 years old, and she was what you would imagine a cat to be—independent, dignified, and she loved to eat! I’ve lived with her for the past six years and became attached to her. So, it’s been a rough few weeks. Although, all things must come to an end and I’m grateful that her suffering is over. Here she is basking in the sun one last time.

Copyright © 2017 Jared Manninen

Thanks for being a part of my life. Until next time…

-Jared Manninen

Tahoe Trail Guide is an online magazine for sharing my knowledge about hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, as well as information about traveling to (and through) the Lake Tahoe region. I refine that information for a younger audience and produce it in a printed format under the title Wilderness Activity Books. Lastly, Tahoe Swag is a collection of art and design products I create based on my love of the outdoors and appreciation for Lake Tahoe.

Categories: Newsletters
Tags: #2017

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