Practice, practice, practice. The mantra of anyone wanting to be great at something. Now to schedule in time to do more of it.
It’s been a long year. From December holidays I had a plan that this was the year to improve my photography and start my business. I was going to shoot every day, and process every day. That hasn’t happened. Life, you know? It just gets in the way sometimes doesn’t it? Working, partnering, parenting and just general day to day living can really take you away from your dreams.
But you just need to remember that getting to where you want to go takes work. There’s a few quotes that keep popping up that embody the best way to approach reaching your goals …
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.” Liz Gilbert. Liz Gilbert is one of my favourite creative inspirations. I’ve never read Eat, Pray, Love but I have read Big Magic and heard her speak on a number of podcasts.
Ultimately creativity and making great things comes down to two things: having an open heart and grabbing on and curiously exploring the small threads that interest you; and working your arse off.
My daily journalling and meditation practice has been kicking on for over two months now. After finishing the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (effectiveness and efficiency – are you working on what you should be working on?) I’ve made some changes in my life. I’m now reading more non fiction than I ever have before. And much to my surprise, I’m really enjoying what I’ve been reading.
This time last year, Groovin the Moo morning, I was excited and petrified at once. I was embarking on an adventure I’d never experienced before. About to shoot a music festival with no experience and a small child I was reluctant to leave all day.
The sun was shining with a pleasant forecast for the rest of the day so I didn’t have todays worry of protecting my gear from the rain. I prepped my gear, charged batteries, formatted cards, cleaned lenses and packed my bag.
I find it to be a meditative process to write every morning. One of the exercises I do when I’m feeling confused or upset is to write through it. And much of the time the fear is imagined … as Seneca said
“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.”
Writing through the process grounds you in reality. It forces you to actively think through and intentionally rationalise the outcomes that are worrying you.
“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.” Epictetus
This is a quote you can appreciate once you begin a practice of streamlining your focus and maximising your energy. I’ve been reading many quotes lately that I’ve never been able to fully appreciate.
Some days you just feel crap. On these days you need to be kind to yourself. The world won’t stop turning, shit won’t fall apart, you know that you’ll be productive the next day. It just means you’re rested and relaxed and ready to get back into it tomorrow and you’re not dragging you’re feelings between days. Make it your intention for the day.
Your affirmation for today, “I am kind to myself”. Use it to frame your thoughts all day.
When the voice starts to make noise … “You should be doing this or that”, “you must keep busy”, “there is all that house work to do”, don’t listen to it. Remind yourself of your affirmation.
This is what I need so I am kind to myself.
It’s a daunting task setting up a new business. I’ve got an accounting and business background so I’m particularly meticulous about the planning stages. Dotting my t’s and crossing me i’s and the like. I have a manila folder that all my scribbled notes go in, a google drive folder that all my brainstorming and planning documents go in and a Trello board of all the things I need to do.
Here’s my to do list – it doesn’t include any photographic practice, this is just the business side of things.
I’ve been wondering if this relaxed state is what a person is meant to be feeling all the time. Is it the tense state that I’ve constantly felt ever since I can remember that is the unnatural state? Are people meant to be in a relaxed state all the time? There has not been a time in my life where I’ve felt relaxed for extended periods of time, until now. I wonder and marvel at how my body has kept going in such a state for so long.
I’ve been following Tim Ferriss on social media for some time. Listening to his podcast and reading his blogs. I bought The Four Hour Work Week ages ago, but only recently decided to read it. It’s full of brilliant little nuggets of wisdom that have improved my life significantly. Here are some of my favourites.
I was saying to a friend yesterday that I always thought procrastination was a part of my personality, that I’d never be able to overcome it. But the way I’m working now tells me otherwise. When you create a focus for your weeks and your days, it’s easy to block out the negative self talk that stops you from getting things done. Blocking out distractions and interruptions becomes a much easier process.
The reinvigoration of my photographic journey started with this podcast that I accidentally started listening to.
By accidentally, I mean I was exclusively listening to podcasts about writing and being an entrepreneur at the time. I was determined that my calling was to be a writer … or entrepreneur, and was gathering as much information and inspiration as I could to get myself there. One of the episodes I’d been listening to ended and the first episode of this photography podcast started.