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I want to be a successful photographer more than I think I want oxygen. It's almost all I think about. When you have taken 3 decades to finally find your calling, it can become a bit of an obsession when you finally realise what you were put on the planet to do.
And I have been working so incredibly hard at it and putting in such long days. When I am not working on my photography, I am thinking about my photography... planning, scheming, figuring it all out in my head.
Landscape photography means early mornings and late nights, which translates into very long days, especially in summer. And to be honest, sometimes I get tired. I have been trying so hard, and pushing so hard, and working so hard, and as much as I just adore what I do, it can wear me out.
So this morning whilst out scouting locations, I suddenly thought to myself... "what if I had already made it?" How would my day look different if I was already the success that I intend to be? What would I do differently? How would I feel? What would I think about?
Maybe my day would be no different at all. I would still scout locations. I would still take photo's. I would still edit photos, publish them, post online, work on my website, etc etc..
But I would "feel" differently about it.
The pressure would be off. I could relax a bit. Maybe even have fun, enjoy the process again. Get even more creative. I wouldn't have to push so hard, try so hard. I would still totally work just as hard, because this is my true passion. But it wouldn't feel quite so much like hard work. I could relax with it a little.
So I did that. I let go. I told myself that I had already made it. I was already the successful photographer I dream of being. And guess what happened? My shoulders dropped a little. A tiny smile spread across my face. The sense of urgency that has been following me around, suddenly disappeared. I even think I might have walked just a tiny bit taller (wonderful when you are 5'2") I felt different. I felt successful. And most importantly of all, I had fun. I was once again doing what I love doing because I love it… and not because of some forced feeling of pressure to succeed.
Just with everything in life... it's all a matter of perspective. Compared to Ansel Adams I am not the least bit successful. But compared to where I was a year ago, 2 years ago or when I first started my quest, I have come such a long way, and improved so incredibly much. We can spend our time tying ourselves in knots because the road ahead still seems far too long and treacherous. Or we can appreciate the progress we have already made, and let the feelings of gratitude and accomplishment make our days that much brighter.
Life coach Dan Sullivan calls it the “Reverse Gap”. We are all aware of the gap between where we want to be in the future and where we are currently standing, and most of us put all of our attention onto that gap. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to focus on where we are hopefully heading, but it can also bring you down if it becomes the only thing you ever think about. Try spending some time focusing on the reverse gap, i.e. the distance between where you are now, and when you first started out. And spend at least as much time feeling truly grateful for all you have achieved in that “gap”.
So ask yourself today... how would my day look if I already had all I desire to have? How would I feel? What would I do differently? And do those things.. feel those feelings. And act as if you are Already There.. (because if you think about it..in some ways, you already are).