I took this photo on the same day I was talking about on Giving Up Before Starting. Having confused and self-deprecating thoughts during that day, this photo best represents how I felt then.
When I imagined the possibility of becoming an artist, I felt like I was reaching for the sun and that the pursuit was futile.
I simply had the desire to create beautiful things and I thought I didn’t have that luxury at the time, And that — may just be my biggest regret in life.
We reach for things all the time. We find ourself wanting things we could never have. Imagining life scenarios and thinking about our “what ifs”. What if I worked towards becoming a fine art photographer? Would I be successful? In this world full of camera phones, how do I stand out to establish myself above the rest as a professional? What are my chances?
My mind reaches out to the possibilities — both good and bad — and see how realistic my imaginary life scenario is. I reach out to this hypothetical idea, without taking steps to get closer to it, expecting that by doing so, I can figure out if I will be successful or not.
It sounds pretty stupid when I use a metaphor to describe it but I do it all the time. I mean how can I forecast success if I am not even taking steps closer to it?
I take that to the next level.
With the power of google vested in my Macbook, I research all day long.
I get addicted to tutorials that make me feel I know a lot about my imaginary life scenario and that boosts me to believe that I can actually implement it. I create plans, pages, and pages of marketing campaigns, COGS (cost of goods sold) and P&L (profit and loss) excel sheets with all hypothetical data, but still, have no real life action steps.
Reaching is easy. Using your imagination and researching data and facts to make it seem realistic feels good. And doing all that is not unnecessary. Planning is good! Researching is good! Figuring out if an idea is feasible is a very logical step before actually committing to an idea. But committing and actually doing the work? Not so easy. It makes all the planning too real. Others are excited about this, but I get overly paranoid about it. It makes me feel like I still don’t know enough to actually start. Climbing is the actual work out that you have to do alongside your nutritional plan. You’ll never know if the plan works without actually applying it to yourself and seeing the results in your body.
To be really honest, I am not even fully aware of the full scope of reasons and factors that stop me from actually committing myself to making my ideas work 100%. I literally just need to read through my plans and just do it. They are all substantiated by facts and have a good chance of actually working.
Why am I not doing it?
These are the struggles and thoughts I am currently going through.
First I thought, it’s because I didn’t have the abilities. So, I studied and became capable.
Then it’s about not having enough capital. So I got myself a stable job and became independent.
And then I thought there’s too much work, I can’t do it all, I need help. So I revised my plans to accommodate it alone in the beginning and scaling it further down the road.
After that, it was about not knowing where and how to get sales. So I took a class to figure out how to generate leads and convert them to sales through digital marketing and business intelligence.
I’ve always done something about the reasons I tell myself why I can’t do it. And now that I’ve run out of reasons, I am starting to make real strides but still not effective action steps to get myself started.
Just. do. something. anything. As long as it’s not nothing.
I have yet to untangle this one. I am hoping that this post is a step closer to overcoming this obstacle. Just like this photo, reaching for the sun — the source of its growth and vitality.
*Update: I wrote this last night and planned to edit it next day (right now) but before I plunged in editing mode, I read this article that gave me lots of answers as to what’s stopping me from executing my plans and ideas and finally making the climb. I’ll be writing about it in a future article!
About the photo
I didn’t really do a lot of edits on this photo. I just had to edit out the rope that fences the trees in away from the actual trail it’s on:
After tweaking the contrast of the blacks and whites of this photo to emphasize the textures of the wood against the bright light, I think it was already good as is.
Maybe removing the rope that fenced this tree in the photo after 9 years is a sign that I am ready to make the climb? I do hope so.
For now, I want to look at this photo not as a futile effort of reaching for the sun but as a sign of hope that climbing for the unreachable is a worthwhile journey of growth and betterment.
Also published on Medium.