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!