December 20, 2012

Reflecting on the Year - Roll The Sleeves Up and Punch Fear In Its Face

High Five to facing fear!
A couple of daddy-isms over the next couple of days as I wind down the year and reflect back on the year.

Daddyism #2: For the majority of us, life demands you to roll up your sleeves, get into the mess of things, make mistakes, and get your butt chewed every once in a while to keep you grounded.  And low and behold, as you work your way through it all you get better and better at the execution of your passion, while gaining humility, wisdom, patience and finally, respect for the unique bit of artistry you forged.

I have come to the realization that fear of failure is a death wish, and if not confronted and dealt with, will lead me absolutely to the end of my creativity and passion inside the rabbit hole of photography.

I realize that in order to grow, I must put forth my best effort, work tirelessly, and get knocked down by the constructive criticism, the destructive criticism, and actually try and push through the fear of doing those things that have a bigger chance of failing than the safer mediocre attempts....for whether my attempt is a failure or a hit, either way I learn something from it and, if in the proper frame of mind,  grow from's really a win-win...but hard as 'effing hell.

Some of my favorite resources on the matter:

  • Page 39 from the War of Art by Stephen Pressfield (GET THIS BOOK!): "Self-doubt can be an ally.  This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration.  It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it.  If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), 'Am I really a writer?  Am I really an artist?' chances are you are.

    The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident.  The real one is scared to death."
  • Chase Jarvis interview: Creative Mastery, Power & Seduction with Robert Greene.  Robert Greene wrote the book of the books I plan to get during winter break and start reading.  But please, watch the re-watch of the interview...FABULOUS!
  •  The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally  You will laugh, you will cry, and you will learn.  This man's passion for photography and the sacrifices I never would be able to make are quite thought provoking...he's been through the good and the bad, tenacity to the core, and at times, living through a self inflicted hell of choices...and he comes out of it as a hero to many and a lover of teaching the craft...
  • The Vision Driven Photographer e-Book by David duChemin...I think I cried within the first two pages of this as the connection was immediate to my soul and love for my photography...
  • Quote by Ira Glass from his video on Storytelling:  "
    "Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is a gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It's only by going through a volume of work that you will close the gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than any anyone I've ever met. It's gonna take a while. It's normal to take awhile. You just gotta fight your way through."
    Ira Glass

    Until next time:  Love Yourself, Love Your Neighbor, and Stay Unique!

    Michael P. Young

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