I’ve gotten away from writing lately, maybe because I’ve been really busy, and maybe because I’ve felt uninspired. That’s a terrible feeling for me, it’s as if I’m void of any “feeling” at all. It tends to happen when I’m spending more time doing the things I don’t want to do instead of what I feel I’m here to be doing.
When I woke up this morning I thought, “anything can happen today”. That thought in it self makes me want to get out of bed. I start thinking about the endless possibilities that can happen on any given day. I grabbed a cup of coffee, checked my email and read Seth Godin’s blog and it was like it was written for me. It was called “The moment of highest leverage”. He was talking about moments when you’ve either lost something or won – when it feels hopeless or when it appears to be a lock. He said that these were the times you can choose to do what’s in your heart and bring your real work to the world, instead of the lesser version that you think the market wants.
I’ve been struggling with feelings of hopelessness after a slew of rejections and misses. I knew I needed two things: a change of scenery and some insightful conversation. I went to Hawaii on impulse and got both. One day, my good friend PF Bentley was showing me the “film” that he made for National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones. Dewitt has been shooting extraordinary images for the Natl. Geo for over 40 years and he had hired PF to create inspirational corporate training videos. The “film” segments were a combination of Dewitt speaking about his life and his career in an inspirational way and b-roll of him shooting in beautiful Hawaiian settings interwoven with his amazing still images. The piece was so touching; it brought tears to my eyes. When it was over I started crying and I apologized to PF. He said, “that’s ok, I know I’ve done my job right”. PF and Dewitt had done theirs jobs right and they had inspired me.
I’ve had two speaking engagements and a screening of Opening Our Eyes this past weekend and in each situation, I was feeling good and that I had something to say and to share. It must have come across because at each venue there was at least one person who I inspired – I could tell – I could feel it. There was one woman at the screening, who had found out about it through one of our subject’s blog, Maggie Doyne. After the movie was over and most people had gone, I talked to her for a long time and I could see that the film had inspired her greatly. I knew that I had done my job right and it was the best feeling in the world. It reminded me of what is most important to me in my life and that is to create awareness with my still images or movies and move people or inspire them.
I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook these days but I was looking at my news feed at the end of that long weekend and I noticed a photo that Ethan Browne (Jackson Browne’s son) had posted on his page. It was a photograph of Jackson with one of his fans and Ethan had commented underneath it “proud of my pops – he stokes people for a living”. I smiled and I thought, “That’s what I want to do”.