You Have Got Passion. What Now?
“I have got passion, but I don’t know where to start.” I know you have this voice inside your head. I did too. A few years back, after I got hold of the basics of photography and realized that I have an immense amount of passion for it, I kept asking myself, “Where do I begin? What exactly do I do? What is next?” I had a lot of passion, but I had no idea where to take it. Are you feeling the same? I guess I can help you out here.
This article is not just aimed at photographers. I believe this information is applicable for all creative professionals out there, and even for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. My advice is very simple – you have to do two small jobs. First, find out what you want to do. Second, do it. Simple right? Yes, it is simple, but not easy. If you know what you are supposed to be doing, then see the next destination and start running at the thing that you are supposed to be doing.
You can now ask me, “Sanchari, what if I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing?” PLAY. That’s what you need to be doing, playing. Go out and experiment. This holds true for all creatives. Take your first picture, decide whether you are going to paint more or focus more on video editing. Decide if you want to read some more books on design, or learn sculpting, or start your very own company. Dare to be vulnerable, and put your work out in the world. And this part is the hardest, I won’t sugarcoat the fact. You may feel creative, but then dabble a lot at this stage and feel like you don’t have traction. Good for you, make dabbling your full-time job. Keep dabbling till you find out what you are truly curious about. When no one is watching you, and you have forty-five minutes or an hour, take the TV and mobile phone away and notice what gets you excited. Do you want to read about robots? Do you want to make a film? Do you want to walk around with your mobile phone and take pictures? Do you want to cook? Or is there any specific service you want to provide to people? Explore as much as possible. Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t feel like everything has to be for a reason, say earn money or gain fame. Don’t expect things to be perfect on your fifth, sixth, or even fiftieth attempt. These expectations keep so many people stuck.
I will give you an example from my life. I got a Nikon Coolpix as a gift from my cousin sister when I was fifteen, I started taking photos of random stuff – from my earrings to a balloon seller on a beach, from the windows of an old building to the pets of my neighbor. I was not trying to be perfect; I was just excited to have my own camera, and I was just exercising my independence as a photographer. I saw other photographers roaming around on the road with bulky professional cameras. To be honest, I had some inferiority complex, but my curiosity for photography was way bigger than that. Eventually, people in my college started taking note of my skill, and I got a few small gigs. I gained the confidence that I can cash in on my passion. Eventually, I started writing this blog. Did I have any idea about this blog when I got my first camera? No. Do I have an idea now about where I will exactly be in the next five years? No. Does it matter? No. I learn something new about my craft every single day. I visualize the future I want to have. But I have no clue about how many dead ends I will encounter in my future. Will that stop me from practicing my craft? Hopefully, NO.
I’m charging you with the same task. Just start doing things that spark your interest or that you are curious about. Research things. But don’t sit back, SIT FORWARD! Do stuff. Don’t speculate on so many “tutorials” on the internet and burden yourself with the unrealistic expectation to get it right the very first time. Get out in the world, get into adventures and when you find “your thing”, get curious about it and take a close look. Sometimes it may look like a dead-end, but I promise you even that thing that looks like a dead-end will eventually lead you somewhere else, but only if you keep being curious. That is your first job. Once you find “your thing”, your second job is to go and rave bonkers on that thing – master that thing. Once you find “your thing” you will stop looking forward to Fridays to finally take a break from the job that you don’t enjoy. Mondays will get you excited to get back to your work and execute the idea in your head. That is the mode you will operate in when you find “your thing”. It’s insanely valuable to be in that mode, both for the world to see and feel your gifts and for you – because when you are on that path, you feel better, you feel more alive. If you want to be interesting, just be interested in something that you care deeply about, and you will find so many doors open up.