Another key to success: avoid “paralysis by analysis.”
One. Don’t overthink it.
Biggest failure we face is overthinking things.
If we think too much before doing something we will lose our “mojo” and not do it.
For example, in street photography, when I think too much before shooting a photo, I lose my courage and guts to make the photo.
If you wanna approach someone at a bar, if you over think it, you won’t approach them. And finish the end of the day with regret and asking yourself,
Two. Keep climbing up the mountain
My mom is a pro hiker. She’s 60 years old, and went backpacking in Nepal for 21 days. Her life advice:
If you look at the top of the mountain and see how far you have ahead of you, you will lose all your motivation to hike.
Just keep your face looking down. Look at your feet. One foot in front of another. Keep thinking of the next step.
In life, I follow my moms advice.
I just keep taking that one step forward.
For me, that might mean teaching one workshop. It might mean publishing one blog post. It might mean making one photo.
What is the one smallest step I can take forward?
Take one step forward.
The brain is good. But the gut is better.
I remember when I was in school, my teacher told me to “follow my gut” when doing multiple choice tests. Whenever I trusted my gut, I was usually right. When I didn’t trust my gut, and changed my answer last minute (based on my “rational brain”) I usually got it wrong.
I think there is a hidden intelligence to our gut and intuition, that science cannot explain.
In life, whenever I trusted my gut and intuition I was able to innovate, pave new ground, and become more “successful”.
I had an idea for monetizing via street photography workshops. Everyone told me it was a dumb idea, because the nay-savers said, “You can’t teach street photography!” Thank God I ignored them. Street photography workshops quickly turned to my bread and butter, earning 80% of my income.
Now my gut tells me the following predictions for the future of photography:
- Teach entrepreneurship for photographers. Teach photographers how to make money with photography, and you will build wealth for others and yourself.
- Invest in digital medium format photography (DMF) photography. The megapixel war will unfortunately never end. The future will be a bifurcation of iPhone photographers, or digital medium format cameras with 100+ megapixels.
- Education is the future of monetization for photographers. Everyone is a photographer and wants to make better photos.
Of course your gut isn’t always right. But taking small risks towards your dreams is the way to win and succeed in life.
Four. Just do it.
NIKE is the ultimate symbolism for what I believe in.
JUST DO IT.
JUST SHOOT IT.
When we try to over think things, we don’t do.
And action is the only way you can build your future. And the only way to write your future history.
Five. Take small risks.
Small risks to get your momentum going:
- Order something new: take a risk at a restaurant. Try something weird. Order a new type of drink at the bar.
- Take a different route to work. Drive a different path, or walk in different path. By breaking your routine, you will think differently.
- Ask an unreasonable request: ask the batista at the coffee shop for a free coffee, because you’re having a bad day. It doesn’t matter if they say yes or no. The fact is you’re making a small risk.
Don’t over-think life. Just follow your gut with most of life, business, and photography.
Life is simpler than we think.
Be a child, and paint your own world.
Follow your gut, not your brain.