Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Advice from your future self

My future self and my present self

How many times have you wished you knew, back then, what you know now? I know I have sure had that thought enough times. Now I know, however, just what advice my future self would give my present self.

I realized that the advice that I wish my younger self could have received is always the same. That advice? Go for it. Throughout my life I have always been the one who limited myself. For whatever reason, fear of failure, fear of success, lack of confidence, or even low self-esteem, many times I have stopped myself from reaching for something I wanted. Yet, there are times when I look back at my life and am quite amazed at some of the things I did go for.

Look into your heart and see what you really want

It was those times when I reached beyond my comfort zone that have been most rewarding. I can’t tell you how I have agonized over some decisions, agonized about whether I was good enough, whether I would regret my decision due to failure and/or embarrassment. I can look back and wonder why, in some instances, I chose not to extend myself. But as I write this I can’t think of a single instance where the decision to go for it was a mistake. I didn’t always get what I reached for, but it was always a valuable experience. And so it is that I know that the advice my older self would give my current self would be to look into my heart, see what I really want, and to act with courage and boldness to go out and get it.

A new line of work…not!

When I first decided I wanted to be an advertising photographer, I managed to get an appointment with one of my heroes, a well-known professional. His work was featured in camera advertisements at the time and he was one of the top shooters in the world. I showed him my portfolio and he suggested that perhaps I should find a new line of work. A couple of years later my accountant told me it was about time I got a real job. Once I had a bookkeeper quit because, as she told me, “You aren’t going to be in business three months from now”.

But I really, really wanted to succeed in advertising photography. Somewhere along the way that dream came true. It was hard work, and a lot of it, but even after 30 plus years I still wake up every morning excited about it.

Look into your heart. If you really want it, go for it…but don’t forget to enjoy the journey!


Rahul said...

Love this post! Thanks for sharing this perspective and your advice to yourself is universally applicable.



Chris Gramly said...


I can relate brother. I have always thought, "Why would I want to let someone else tell me what I can and can't do?" A good tag line at the end of the motto 'Go for it' would be 'Never give up.'


Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images said...


A great post at a really key time. Thanks for pushing that "go for it" attitude. This ties in exactly with something I wrote last week on my own weblog about having the right state of mind. It was called, It's a Jungle out there.Cheers,

John Lund said...

Gary, something a little fishy about your post...:)Good point you have though, one important piece to the puzzle is the need to stand out!