Norman Vincent Peale said it best. Short, sweet, inspiring and to the point:
*Decide exactly what it is you want.
*Make it a primary goal.Make it big. Make it important.
*Establish a series of yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily objectives to achieve that goal.
*Fight the urge to give up along the way. This is easiest when you have clarity.
My own experience bears this out: you can achieve almost anything you want in life – even if you don’t have much faith in your own abilities.
Lack of self-confidence, Peale said, “is one of the great problems besetting people today.”
(And that was like way back in the days of old, when everything was still in black and white.
Nothing much has changed…besides color. Yes, they invented color.)
He makes reference to a survey of college students indicating that for 75 percent of them, confidence was the thing most lacking in their life.
No one know this more than I do. No one was more afraid, lost and burdened with the stress of life than I.
Just last night over supper with friends we were recounting our early 20’s.
(we’re all in our 50’s now, healthier, wealthier and wiser… so we think)
I told our friends about how petrified I was when I was 21. Working full time in a darkroom.
Loving it, good at it. But ready for change and ready to start a new job photographing school photos for a large national company.
That first year shooting was horrible. I was in a constant state of panic it seemed. I had anxiety attacks that were unrelenting.
When asked how long that went on for, I answered: “A whole year.”
It took me one whole year of photographing hundreds and thousands of students to finally, FINALLY get a handle on it.
In the second year I started to get a sense a confidence. I started a new skill set in those early years.
But I had a long way to go.
“Imagine if you would have been stuck in that prison the rest of your life?” was a comment.
“Yes, I know that! I always look back at those years and wonder what would have happened had I let the fears and anxieties rule me. Rule my destiny. What if I would have embraced it and made it my closest friend, my dearest ally? What problems would have and could have arose? What medications would I have chosen to eventually fight that battle?”
Crazy stuff when I think about it.
“The blows of life, the accumulation of difficulties, the multiplication of problems tend to sap energy
and leave you spent and discouraged,” Peale says.
In such situations, “it is easy to lose track of your abilities and powers” – but by re-appraising your personal assets, you can convince yourself that “you are less defeated than you think you are.”
Part of me is glad I went through all those times.
They made me who I am now. I persisted. I did not let myself get defeated.
Easy? Not for a second. Worth it? What do you think?
I grew because I persisted. I faced the fears and moved ahead in spite of them. I created goals.
I studied and fed my mind a constant flow of books, seminars and new ideas. I pushed hard.
I fought the demons that tried so hard to rule me.
And you can too. Be true to yourself.
Be fearless my friend.
Yours in photography and success,
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