The Decisive Moment

Henri Cartier-Bresson,  French photographer, is famous for his concept of the Decisive Moment:

 “the decisive moment, it is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.”

The photograph on the left inspired Cartier-Bresson to give up painting and pursue the art of photography, becoming the Father of modern photojournalism, and inspiring generations of photographers.

Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind had her decisive moment  as she declared to God and the world that she would never go hungry again!

This weekend I read the very interesting story of Brunello Cucinelli in The Australian Weekend magazine. His decisive moment came watching his father cry in humiliation and frustration at having to perform factory work after having been a farmer and working his own land. Brunello has gone on to build a massive cashmere empire (worth approximately $A500 million) employing over 700 workers. His methods have been deeply influenced by that decisive moment long ago. His workers are trusted, respected, work in a beautifully restored 14th century castle, and are fed 3 course meals for lunch. Just as importantly Brunello works in a small town which directly benefits from the business’ profits through the construction of public works.

The importance of this ‘decisive moment’ cannot be underestimated. It provides a stake in time that one can return to over and over in order to gain motivation to continue pursuing your goal. I have had my decisive moment (actually I think I’ve had a few). What was your decisive moment? What were the emotions attached to it? What was the goal made as a result?

3 replies
  1. Katie Raspberry
    Katie Raspberry says:

    What a great post! Such an interesting concept. Castle office with 3 course meals for all employees? Truly remarkable… My decisive moments happen regularly and have helps me build my business and who I am today; While obtaining great results.

    Great Post Kathy!


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