A wee story about myself:
At school, I did better in the Humanities subjects and art but was ‘persuaded’ to follow a science path because ‘there would be a better chance of getting a job’, which in reality was true. In my late twenties I had a bit of an early 'mid-life crisis '. I knew I was in the wrong profession and needed to get out of the oil industry, despite the good money I was earning. I did OK in the job I was in and became qualified in electronic engineering and applied physics but the company owned me and I was unhappy.
There was a ‘creative urge’ inside me that was being ignored. So I turned to self help books to see how I could move from one career to another. The good thing about reading these self help books, which many people mock, was I started to study with the Open University and gained my Honours Arts degree and got out of the oil industry, did a Post Grad Teaching course and eventually got into teaching.
I became a Principal Teacher and settled into that position, a job I love doing. But I realised I still wasn't satisfying the creative spark inside me that had been snuffed out by guidance teachers and adults who said art was a waste of time and something you can do when you retire. After a Diane Arbus exhibition in Barcelona a few years back, I decided there and then that photography would come back into my life.
The point I’m making here is I became a bit of a self help expert and came to the conclusion that 'Just Do It' is probably one of the best pieces of advice you can give anyone. Stop thinking and start doing - have no worries or fears. Making a complete mess of things was OK as long as you learned from it and progressed. I try to overcome that fear of failure by failing and the only way I can fail and improve is to just get on and try it. Each time I learn from my actions and efforts, my self confidence and self esteem increases (well, most of the time!).
I still struggle with this approach in some areas of my life, for example doing some DIY around the house like plumbing or car maintenance because the consequences can be a bit messy and costly to put right! However, for Lent 2012, I thought I would try hard to think less and do more. (I'm trying hard not to think about what a bad idea this is because I will probably fail!!) Wish me luck.
(Above is a picture I took of the Peel of Lumphanan last weekend. The Peel is difficult to photograph because it is hard to isolate the Peel from the surrounding countryside. I thought I had it when I saw the dusting of snow on it and none elsewhere. Sadly, I didn't quite execute this shot as well as I could have - a bit of a failed shot but I know why and learned from it.)