Living your dream – you can!


Are you living your dream? What is your dream?

I am writing this as I sit inside a cozy room at Cradle Mountain (part of a world renown national park in Tasmania) while the rain gently falls outside. These past few days Duart and I have had the privilege of watching a young couple, Chris and Jess Bray, live their dream.

Chris and Jess operate a photography business that is founded in a love for and strength in, adventure. Because I am so fascinated by how people come to do what they do – especially when they excel at it, I have been keen to understand how they came to be doing what they are doing. This is a couple who respectively have degrees in engineering and anthropology… little to do with photography…

I learned that Chris sailed the world with his parents as a young child, only attending a ‘proper’ school when he started high school. He had trouble mixing with kids apparently – he did not consider himself very popular (it’s a different story today). While at university, the adventuring continued and he organised a 28-day untracked hike from Port Davey to Strahan for himself and a mate. He managed to gain Australian Geographic sponsorship for the trip and they gave him a camera indicating they would print an article if he wrote it and handed in some photos with it.

His article was good enough and he was learning fast with his camera, even though back then in 2004 it was still slide film. The adventuring continued during university and as he adventured, he become better and better at taking photos. He became well known for his photos (that is an understatement). I believe the strength and passion for adventure made his photos unusual enough to be good as he learned the technicality of taking really excellent photos – but maybe he was a master from the start.

Never the less, despite finishing university with an engineering degree and offers of good jobs, he decided to keep on doing what he had been doing. Following his heart, doing what interested and fascinated him – and gathering more people along the way who enjoyed doing it with him.

Chris now runs his very successful business ‘Chris Bray Photography’ with his partner in life and business, Jess, running small-group photography tours to many of the world’s most wonderful places including Africa, the Amazon, Alaska, Antarctica, Galapagos, Kenya and down here in Tasmania also. His bio includes “an award winning Australian Geographic photographer, publications in TIME magazine and Discovery. He is a successful author and his book has been turned into an award-winning documentary. Additionally, he is CEO of Conservation United, a new crowd funding platform for conservation projects.” This is an impressive resume for one so young!

I heard one participant on the tour with us say they are so lucky to be living the dream….Is this luck?


Chris and Jess are making a difference to people’s lives and living their dream, because they chose to. It didn’t fall in their lap. No one handed it to them. They worked with their passion and talent and polished it. They consciously set about learning what they needed to learn. And they seem to have bucket loads of courage to take a chance and see what works. For example the pair recently became the first people to sail a junk-rigged sailboat over the top of Canada and Alaska through the infamous Northwest Passage in the arctic. Exploits like the latter have also fuelled new services to emerge for their business (such as corporate speaking / keynote gigs, talking on topics like motivation, goal-setting, overcoming obstacles etc).

Oh, the opportunites that emerge when you start to tread the path of your purpose!

The other fascinating thing about stories like those of Chris and Jess, is the observation that when people follow their passion, they invariably follow a path that benefits other people and our planet.

When we connect with our hearts, what flows is about more than ourselves, but it isn’t always in the form of a Martin Luther King Jnr either. In fact it rarely is. We may live smaller lives but that doesn’t mean they are not significant lives.

At this time in Earth’s history, a time when humans are shaping the geological and climatic dynamics of a new geological era – the challenges facing us can appear overwhelming.

But the source of the ‘solution’ may be simple. It may be as simple as choosing a path for yourself that reflects who you were truly designed to be and connects you to a meaningful purpose in your work. A job that allows you to live your dream.

What would you be doing if you were living your dream? It will not be the same as Chris and Jess.

It will be unique to you and who you are that honours your upbringing, innate strengths and talents and passions. It will depend upon your context – but what you chose to do makes a difference. You alone can choose whether it is a difference that makes a contribution to a brighter future – or not.

If you would like to discover more about the choices that may lead you to living your dream, join us on our next Ignite – bringing your whole self to work program.

Click through for more information about how we can assist you … 

Other resources:

Chris Bray Photography

Ignite…bringing your whole self to work

Ken Robinson’s Human resources crisis