Good to Great
There are people in this world that spend their entire life trying to get better at something they’re plainly mediocre at or even things they’re bad at doing. In fact, society has built institutions around the concept of “be better at what you are bad at; work on your weaknesses”. Haven’t we have all heard this sermon before?
I am here to say, baloney!
I used to live this way. I remember growing up and hearing voices, teachers, and other significant people in my life telling me to focus on my weaknesses and become a well-rounded person. What I’m advocating now is not a sweeping concept that applies across the board. Certainly there are areas we need to work on in our lives. For instance, when it comes to personality and disposition, I think we all need to work on our weak areas and become better people. If you are a bad father or mother, then you need to work at being a better one. My point is that when it comes to talent and shall we say “gifts” and in this case photography, I think we need to look at things in a different way.
The good Lord has numbered my days here on this earth and I don’t have the time to spend working on areas of weakness. Sounds bizarre I know, almost heretical. I truly believe my time is better spent on focusing on my strengths. That’s not to say I cannot learn something new, but at some point I need to decide if that new thing is worth pursuing or should be put aside. I want to be truly great at a few things. I have no desire to be mediocre at many–a “jack of all trades, but a master of none.”
In a world full of “not quite” and “almost”, there is a cry of “No! We want more than that”–a demand for people who stand out and who excel. People and organizations that spend a lot of money on an idea or project, call out for those who are the best. I want to answer that call. In the short time I have on this earth, I want to spend it bringing my really good up to really great and my really great up to awesome.
The world only needs one Steve McCurry or David duChemin. Be the best you can be at being you and in whatever you can excel. Be great at expressing your vision and your voice.
It’s hard enough for me to just be really great at being me. I know I’ll never be a great writer and I wouldn’t want to become one at the expense of being a really great photographer. Recently I started to build in support for my writing by hiring a proofreader and editor. I know my limits. I know what I am good at and that’s where I want to put my efforts. To borrow a phrase, I want to spend my time going from good to great!