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.
Last July, I decided to embark on a simple mission: I was going to post a new photo on Instagram every day for one year. It’s called a Project 365, and the goal is to challenge yourself to consistently create and share something new with the world. Today is the last day of my Project 365. So much has happened in one year: I collaborated with makeup artists and hair stylists for the first time, I photographed my first wedding, I completely overhauled my editing style and workflow, I broke the five-figure mark in earnings, I upgraded my equipment, I found a full-time job, I left my full-time job, and oh, I got engaged :).
Here are some of the most valuable takeaways I’ve gained over the past year: