Lofty is the perfect word for me, and especially right now.
Many times I have people say to me, "Oh, Eliesa. You've done so much already and you're always doing something! What is next for you?" This is always immediately followed up by the question," And how do you keep going?"
This whole thing, my life, my business, etc. is all fueled by passion. I am passionate about doing big things. I'm not interested in being mediocre or okay - I am determined to be great. I am determined to be a legend. These are big words and I have set some extremely high expectations and lofty goals for myself, but I always have. I think there have been two keys to my success thus far. 1) Everything has come about and happened very organically and naturally for me. I have never tried to be anyone else but myself and I have stayed true to the art that I want to create. I have always put my efforts into projects that I believe in and I have not compromised anything to get to my dream. 2) I have always had momentum. I am constantly pushing myself - and those around me - to go out of our comfort zone and create things and chase our ideas to make them a reality. If you own a business and want to continue to do so for the next 30 years, you better not get comfortable. In fact, you better get UN-comfortable...the more, the better.
On the flip side, this past week, I was out to a little impromptu dinner with some fellow photographers and one of them said, " Sometimes I just hate being around you Eliesa, because you are so god damn motivated and that is just not me! It's exhausting...but deep down I suppose I need a little of that right now." She is absolutely right! You shouldn't feel like a horrible person if you are reading this and thinking, "But, I don't want to be a big deal. I just want to make photographs that make people happy and have my little happy business." Great, fabulous, lovely. Everyone has their own vision of how they want to impact this world and Oprah is no better than the volunteer in the soup kitchen.
However, my point for the whole post is to encourage all of you to do something that is uncomfortable for you and see where it takes you. Whether you are interested in photography and you've been putting off buying that camera - do it. Maybe you want to quit your day job and pursue your passion as a full time career - do it. Maybe you feel like you need to do some soul searching and you really want to book that trip - do it. Sometimes in life, your best decisions are made as spontaneous ones. I guarantee you that by taking a big risk, you will be absolutely terrified, but I also guarantee that it won't be as scary as you think. You will have catapulted yourself into a situation that you simply can't fail at. Failure has never been an option for me, and big surprise...I've worked my ass off, but I have never failed myself.
You can thank my great friend Josh Elliott for this photo up above, which started me thinking about all of the above thoughts! This image was taken about a year ago when we were at a workshop together and I love it, because I am SO focused on whatever I am doing.
Passion. Truth. Momentum.
Don't get comfortable - ever.