I just tried to squat some heavy-ass weight. As soon as I got to the bottom of my rep, my legs started to shake and my back fired a signal to my brain: “The f*ck you trying to do, kill me?” As much as I really wanted to squat that weight for five reps, I knew it was against my better judgment. It just wasn’t worth the risk of injuring myself. So I re-racked the weight, took off a few plates, and did my set.
If something you’re doing isn’t working at all, it would be foolish to persist with the same approach. But it’s important not to confuse choosing to change up our strategy versus giving up.
I read an article recently where four men with varying incomes ($1 million, $250k, $53k, and $7/hr plus tips) were each asked the same questions about money and happiness.
Specifically, they were asked how much money they would need in order to feel “set” and truly comfortable. All of them answered that they wanted to be making more — in fact, *several* times more than what they currently are making. Then they were asked how happy they are in any given day. Interestingly, all of them answered pretty high, about an 8 or 9.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the intention of your art is just as important as the art itself. When you pursue something because others are doing it, your self-satisfaction and fulfillment are always at the whims of the status quo. Creative projects become necessary assignments to keep the attention of your audience. There is a constant scramble to keep up with the latest trends.
Ideas in your head begin as just a spark. Something catalyzes the chain reaction: a conversation you overhear, the melody of a catchy song, the cadence of a piece of prose, a photograph that evokes memories of your childhood. Whatever the catalyst, the result is a fraction of a second of brilliance that, if acted upon, could quite possibly change your life. These idea conceptions happen more than you think. We often confuse them as just passing thoughts.
I’ve felt a bit uninspired for a little while now. At some point my photography started to feel stale and unoriginal. Instead of feeling excited and challenged, I was just going through the motions. Everything I created seemed to be aimed more towards an audience of faceless people whom I would never meet.