This morning Chase Jarvis posted a very short piece on his blog, titled It Ain’t All About You. He basically points out that we should remember to focus our efforts on trying to be a better person, and not just a better photographer. By doing so, we’ll inherently end up being better creative type anyway. His article proposes that we strive to make somebody else’s life better each day.
Well said, Chase. Right on. Words we should all live by.
I’d like to add one thing to this, though, which is that we need to remember to be good to ourselves as well.
Sure, we all know how to focus on ourselves, which is the gist of his piece. We know how to work on our techniques, our portfolio, our marketing efforts, our blog posts, our tweets, but how often are we genuinely good to ourselves? How often do we take time out of our day to visit with a friend, play an instrument, take a walk, a bike ride or a cross country ski? How often do we make a good meal for ourself or get a massage, or try something creative that’s not geared around photography?
By remembering to get up and away from your computer, camera and iPhones and really treat yourself to the joys of what life has to offer, you’ll increase your own sense of happiness and self satisfaction. This in turn will inspire you to be more creative and more willing to give back to others, just like Chase advised in his post.
Of course, as with many of my blog posts, I’m writing this as a reminder to myself as much as for you. Don’t think I’m not just as guilty as anyone of pounding away at the business so much that I’ll let nearly an entire week go by without picking up my guitar or heading out for a quick skate ski. That’s bad, because the closest guitar is only 24 inches away from my computer, and the trails are only 3 blocks away from my front door.
So, do something a little different today, even if it’s for just a short amount of time. Take yourself out to lunch. Pick up a pencil and draw a picture. Go outside and smell some flowers. (I’d do that, but they’re still covered in a foot of snow.) Yourself will thank you.