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Nhat Nguyen is a photographer and self-development writer.

We spoke to writer and dear friend, Nhat Nguyen on our next exhibition theme: COZY. and asked him to share some thoughts on the theme. 

What is it?


As humans we crave comfort, we seek shelter. We escape the withering cold into the warmth of home, into a lover's hug, into the protection of family.


Cozy is ideal. It is the warmth of a fireplace, the taste of dinner cooked to perfection. It is a state of being which brings rejuvenation and recovery for our soul.


It's watching cherry blossoms bloom during the exclusive few weeks of the year, enjoying its refined elegance and knowing that, naturally, it'll come around again soon enough…


Cozy is all around us which we feel gravitated towards, breathing in its radiance and warmth on its journey.


On Balancing


Life requires a balance along the fine line of comfort and discomfort. In analogising to the archetypal yin yang, life requires navigating the division between good & evil, chaos & order, comfort & discomfort. It is not feasible to remain lodged within a state of perpetual coziness, as it restricts our opportunities for real and practical growth.


We should possess the inherent drive to move beyond comfort and into the unknown. Why? Because it is precisely there, in that space, where we find what it is that is most meaningful to us. Perhaps it is something worth getting out of bed for and, arguably, what it is that we have been searching for all this time.


Another thing, life is meant to be a challenge, an opportunity for conquest, a self-fulfilling display of courage. Bear this in mind whenever we encounter challenges. The allure of comfortability will always be there, however, strength of character to delay choosing comfort is powerful in its ability to get us to where we wish to be in life.


To exhibit discipline and determination to push ourselves beyond self-imposed confines will become great, personal conquests. This enlivens us. It nurtures our soul and drives our spirit. Whatever it is we strive for, it is for us to decide. And that there is the beauty of it. If it is up to us to decide, then the responsibility falls back on us to ask ourselves what is worth striving for. Most of the time, it will require us to learn to balance comfort and discomfort so that you're comfortable, but not too comfortable - perhaps, cosy.


Cozy with Nhat Nguyen.JPG
Cozy with Nhat Nguyen.jpg
Cozy with Nhat Nguyen.JPG

On Distractions.


We live in an era that caters to comfortability and pleasure. Perhaps as individuals, we have lost an intrinsic drive to pursue what is meaningful, as many sources of comfort have pierced our mental discipline to resist them due to their increased accessibility. A myriad of addictive distractions has become well within reach. A phone, for example, is a bountiful source of dopamine, simply through its ability to push notifications and further noise into our already crowded mind. Checking our phones regularly have become the norm in modern life and these dopamine hits are always accessible without any hard-earned effort. This psychologically modifies our dopamine reward system to want more, which potentially coalesces into cravings or hedonistic behaviour.


We have become a distracted species, fumbling our way from one distraction to another, without the consideration of what brings us the most fulfilment in life. However, we do possess the self-awareness to realise that pleasure and comfort aren't spaces where we grow most, nor feel most fulfilled. We should try to reduce the noise and distractions in our lives to create space for what actually matters. What matters most is up to us, and surely the many distractions we utilise are not the most fulfilling tasks to dedicate time towards.


Imagine ourselves in 40-50 years’ time, reflecting on a life we have lived. What would we like to think about?


On Discomfort

Discomfort should have a place in our lives as it becomes a space for growth. To languish in comfort, we relinquish opportunities to build confidence by handling difficult situations. As human beings, we are in a perpetual state of flux, absorbing information all around us. When we are positioned in a new, challenging environment, our mind becomes switched on and grows in accordance with that environment. It attunes itself, demonstrating raw adaptability. We should never underestimate the power of our minds. They are ancient, powerful tools which, if nurtured well, can guide us to where we most want to be in life. A lot of the times where we want to be will be barricaded by some sort of personal endeavour which represents precisely the discomfort which we must overcome. This is the growth mindset which we can take advantage of. We are all naturally in search of meaning in our lives, to some degree or another. For some, it is to create an amazing piece of artwork, or volunteer for an importantly worldy cause. For others, it could be to raise a family of four or five. Whatever it is, we should respect that intuitive desire and humbly understand that to achieve it will be no easy task and will require a fair degree of discomfort. The great thing is discomfort is justifiable because we know the tradeoff is often to our betterment as individuals.


Final Notes

We can agree that sipping hot chocolate with close friends on a winter night is delightful. Perhaps we can even picture the warmth emanating from the social cohesion of the night. The stories and smiles we share with those around us are perhaps all we need to get by, day by day.


The fascinating thing is that we should aim to not only have more of these cozy moments but also increase their quality. Time is precious and when we spend time with people we care and love it is important to make it meaningful. Hence, keep up the hustle to constantly improve as individuals and start celebrating meaningful milestones with others we love. Know that when we go out there to challenge ourselves, to overcome distractions, to harness discomfort, we will always have the backing from those who care about us.


From the Writer:


"To me, coziness is knowing that I have the emotional backing from those I love so that the courage to move forward into the unknown outweighs the risks involved."

Nhat aims to tell stories through images. He is a photographer and self-development writer who runs a business servicing small businesses in Melbourne with their creative needs. Nhat’s professional portfolio can be viewed @nhat.explores and features his passion in digital arts and writing thought provoking pieces. Whilst building his online portfolio, Nhat works in management consulting, assisting clients move towards a sustainable future.

This piece you’ve read is a work with Jess to explore the COZY concept. I hope someone out there feels a little warmer after reading it. 

Should you need any photography work completed or interested in my writing expertise, please feel free to reach out. I’m also open to connecting and collaborating in creative endeavours.

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