Ten things I've learned in ten years | Personal

March 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

1. Life is a gift. It took me losing people too soon to truly get this. But once I lost them, I got it. Life is short. Nothing is guaranteed. Every day counts for something. Remember it especially on the bad days. 

2. Follow your dreams. We sometimes stare longingly at the things we daydream about doing one day - but allow fear, self-doubt and in-the-box thinking to slowly destroy the hopes we secretly harbor for these dreams. In order for dreams to happen we have to be unafraid, confident and entirely stepping out of the box of comfort. 

3. Not everyone's opinion matters. I spent about 30 years really caring about what EVERYONE thought. Nix that practice. Well before your thirties. Not everyone's opinions matters. And trust me, you'll get opinions from people that shouldn't give them to you. Start sorting the ones to keep and the ones to trash. And when I say trash - straight out of their mouth and into the trash... no chance to even pass through your head except that you recognized from the first word - "yeah, that's going in the trash."

4. Go the extra mile. Do more than is expected of you. Put that extra bit of elbow grease into everything and anything you do. It shows people that you care enough to make them feel good. There's a quote by Maya Angelou: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When we go the extra mile for someone it shows and they feel good. Spread the love, show the kindness, be the light.

5. Stay organized & prioritized. Keep a list of the things you intend to accomplish each day. Check them off as you go. Figure out what needs done first and list in order of priority. This is the best way to feel productive. Keep your lists reasonable. Know that an 8 hour day can realistically accomplish 4-5 tasks. Setting a task list of 25+ things is already setting yourself up for failure. Keep it do-able and realistic. 

6. Make time to rest {reset}. I admit, I struggle with this one. I am a worker bee. Self-employed often fight the battle of the office that never truly closes. Try to find a stopping point each day and be done with the day. Find a 9-5 or a 6-3 or a 7-7. Whatever it is you need, but at some point.. STOP. But in 10+ years of being a photographer I have found that I enjoy my job more, have more creativity, feel more motivated when I make time to simply REST, re-charge, reset. It's not just your body that needs this down-time. Your soul needs it. Eat well, rest well, love well, live well.

7. Find gratitude. I can promise you life will not go the way you always anticipated it going. There will be days that push you and challenge you. There will be days you are convinced you can't go on. There will be in-between days where we simply exist. And days where we are elevated beyond elation. Each day, find gratitude. Even if you make a list of the high points of the day you are thankful for {discussed at dinner} or if you start your day before you get out of bed with a mantra of 3 thoughts of gratitude. Gratitude changes every perspective into a positive one.

8. Tell your tribe you love 'em. Your people... do they know how much you love them? Don't let them guess. Tell them and keep telling them. And in such a cold world? People need reminders of how much they are loved. Love always wins.

9. Believe in yourself. Just read through history... Humans accomplish amazing things when they believe that they can. We are what we think. So THINK it... see it, will it to be and tackle it with perseverance, determination, domination. YOU got this. And you WILL make it happen. But you gotta believe it first.

10. Be you, everyone else is already taken. Anyone can buy a DSLR camera, a great lens, editing presets. Anyone can do this job. 50% of business owners doing it full time own't be in business after 5 years. 70% after 10 years. What makes someone succeed? It isn't their camera. Isn't their lens. Isn't their preset collections. It's THEM. Doing their job, keeping their focus, determination and passion for the job. YOU are what makes YOU succeed. In a sea of photographers {and in a world of people} how do you differentiate yourself? Just simply by being you.  If this is for you, you'll know it! If this isn't for you - you'll know that too! Being you is exclusive! Liking what you like. Looking as you do. Making your style consistent. EMBRACING WHO YOU ARE WITH CONFIDENCE. When you like you? Others like you too! So know all the reasons YOU LIKE YOU above any reasons why you don't. There's only ONE fabulous YOU in the universe with your exact likeness. One person with YOUR drive, YOUR talent, YOUR will to succeed. And the one person who knows you best, loves you best and should be your biggest fan? That's you.

Photo by  Adina Selner, Thistle & Lace Photography


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