Childhood is a mixed bag of emotional and social development–and being a father, I readily admit that the development is equal for the adults, too. In a recent Pixar movie, Inside Out, (spoiler alert) where five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear, drive an 11-year-old girl like Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise. Joy tries her best to keep the girl happy amidst the real life turmoil of being uprooted from her hometown, and assimilating to a new house, new school, and new friends. But really, it was Sadness that saved the day.

I am in awe of how Inside Out has given me some key concepts that I can discuss with my kindergarteners about their feelings, but more importantly, it gave me the permission to honor all of my own emotional states.

It’s not easy running a photo business. It’s like being a founder of a startup, or the CEO of a small company, with all of its ups and downs. I can’t always be in a good mood, or be calm and patient. But faking it and pretending only takes one so far. It’s really in allowing and honoring my emotions that I am able to strike an authentic balance between family, employees, contractors, clients, and my own happiness. Kudos to Pixar for yet another amazing addition to our modern mythology.

Cheers, Thomas

Thomas Kuoh