Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Some of you guys are taking the whole "being inspired" thing too seriously. The whole point of being inspired is so you can then go out and create. Some of you are making "being inspired" the end goal. A purpose all by itself.

The same is true of "perpetual students". Students that learn for the sake of learning. They never graduate. They just stay in school and keep taking classes. Of course there is nothing wrong with that as long as you're not in debt up to your eyeballs. But when all you're doing is learning but not producing/creating anything with the knowledge you've acquired, I fear you've failed the point of learning. You learn so you can do.

But if you are a perpetual student or you've made it a job to just be inspired, at least don't complain about it. If this is a hobby and you're in it for health and recreation, fine. But you don't get to be frustrated if you're not actually doing anything with what you've learned. That's like a photographer complaining about a sore index finger from shooting all day.

As Americans, we have created an entire industry out of inspiring people. Self-help, motivational speakers, workshops, etc. But more and more people use "seeking inspiration" as a means of escaping the actual work. For these people, the act of seeking inspiration obscures the real problem for why they are not more successful or more productive. And it is not the lack of inspiration. It is usually fear. Lack of self esteem. Analysis paralysis. You can watch all the talks on Ted.com and still not find a way to break out of your shell. Because those talks don't actually make you do anything.

Even Jillian Michaels can't make you do anything. You have to run your fat ass up the stairs yourself. But if you want, you can still lay on your back and take a nap in a tub of ice cream if you stand listening to her verbal assault.

This past weekend at creativeLIVE, I had a conversation with a member of the live studio audience and another instructor (Ben Von Wong). The member of the audience bemoaned that she'd wanted to be a photographer since she was 14 and she hadn't been able to shoot much in the last 7 years. I quickly asked Ben, "How long have you been doing this" to which he replied, "About 4 years". And I nodded, "Same here". Ben turns to the girl and says, "All I keep hearing are excuses for why you're not shooting more. Just go out and do it. It's been 7 years. What is stopping you?" She tried to explain all the reasons she couldn't shoot more to which Ben simply replied, "The only difference between you and me is that I've put in four times as much time in half the time as you have into photography"

You took the words right out of my mouth Ben. Thank you.

At some point the inspiration isn't the problem. It's that people don't do anything with the inspiration!

Not exactly what we're talking about but funny all the same.