Saturday, October 16, 2010

talking about (my motivation)

don't ask what the world needs.
ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
(howard thurman)

today i had a conversation with a dear friend on the topic of motivation. it sparked a lot of thought in this little brain... stuff that i've been mulling over for a while now.

as a result, here comes a post chock-full of honest thoughts. :)

did you know that i never wanted to do photography as a business? it was just a hobby, something i LOVED, and i was actually really opposed to doing this for others. in general, i hate being the center of attention and i hated the pressure of doing something i loved a) on demand and b) with someone else's expectations involved. it wasn't until all other doors slammed in my face, plans crumbled, and i had very few other options that i listened to solid advice from a few amazing people. i was finally open to the idea of not being selfish with what i'd been given. and... wham. the doors pretty much swung wide open. more opportunities than i ever could've come up with for myself. this began a little over two years ago.

lately a few people have asked me how to do what i do. my answer to that is this: there is no formula. i didn't have to "make" this happen. with almost everything in life, we all have a unique story. i really believe that the best way to live often involves following your heart. sounds a bit cheesy, yeah- but what i mean by that is that you shouldn't try to follow anyone else's vision or copy what you think looks like a recipe for success. think about it- deep down, what makes you come alive? what motivates you? figure out who YOU are and who YOU were created to be... and go be it. you are different than i am and i am different than you. it took me a lot of tries before i found this and i'm not even positive i'll continue do this as my job forever. i can't predict what life will bring! if at some point the work dries up i'm sure God will provide another way for me to pay my bills. guess what- i'm totally okay with that. i will take photos if someone pays me and i will take photos if nobody pays me. i'm not anxious about the future of my business and i'm definitely not in competition with or against other photographers. :) that's silly. this is simply what i love to do.

now, i have a confession. parts of this year, i haven't really loved this like i used to. 2010 has been one of the craziest, most disappointing/challenging years i've ever had. while good things have been coming from the struggle- to do something (like photography) that's so related to my heart has been TOUGH. it's hard to put into words, but what i shoot (in large part) comes from what i feel. so when i am wrestling, and life is hard, to try drum up my best work in spite of that- oy. it's been a huge struggle to continue to enjoy what i do. i've been telling myself this lack of love has been because i'm so busy, but i've come to the realization over the past few weeks that it has nothing to do with busy. i can handle busy. :) sure, i've learned how to function inside this valley, but it's been a frustrating process.

however, you know what else i've been thinking about in the past few weeks? no matter what's been going on in my life, it is, has been, and continues to be such a good thing to be a part of your lives. i love spending time with you. i love witnessing your weddings and seeing all the beauty, detail, and emotion that goes into that day. i love laughing with your kids, playing peek-a-boo with your babies, and i enjoy the wonder found in seeing the world through their eyes. i love hearing about your relationships, your lives, and your families. it brings me joy to know you and to have a small window into your world.

i feel privileged to have the opportunity to get to know you and capture some of your life.
so, thanks. you are amazing, every one of you.
as for me and my life? i have a lot of faith that better and different is right around the bend. in the meantime, i am thankful for the growth and the blessings in the midst of it all.

the best is yet to be.


thezsfamily said...

loved this post, love the quote!

Anonymous said...

1 - i think you're pretty incredible.
2 - just started reading a great book that goes perfectly with your post! it's fast track photographer by dane sanders and it's less about photography and more about doing whatever it is you're most passionate about and is uniquely you. i'm only 3 chapters in, but i think it's going to be excellent and would highly recommend it! if you're interested, i think i got it for about $12 on amazon. or you could go to the wonder that is powell's when you get back to portland :)
3 - i have a feeling that beautiful things are going to be (and are already being) made from the dust of 2010. i mean, the song says so!
4 - this may be the longest blog comment in blog comment history. hope you are having a great day, friend :)

Mandy Cornick said...

Love the post Nancy! I admire you so much and wish I we had time to chat 'life and business' while you were here. You are and will continue to be so inspiring to me!

//nancy said...

court- thanks, lady! and i've loved that quote for YEARS. probably since college. it's a good one. :)

b- thank you, lady. and i totally have to check out that book! you're fabulous.

m- you're so sweet. thank you for your kind words!