Your greatest hits
Recently, I heard the photographer Joe McNally talking on the Chase Jarvis podcast. Joe was describing an annual event that he attended regularly. He and the other participants were asked to bring 5 photos to introduce themselves. Joe decided that he would bring his 5 best shots from the previous year – rather than a lifetime portfolio.
(I intend to adapt (or steal) this is idea for my own photoblog. Essentially, I plan to do an end of year ‘highlights reel’.)
This concept bubbled to the top of my mind during a conversation this week. I was having a chat with a colleague who was feeling a bit flat. They were (in my words) in the doldrums. They were struggling to find any positives in their work. Everything seemed mundane or sub-standard. As I teased out a couple of the examples highlighted, it became clear that:
- they were being unduly hard on themself;
- there were elements of good work in the midst of their gloominess;
- they were able to recall other, recent examples of great work.
As I reflected on our conversation later, I asked myself, “What are my ‘greatest hits’?” “When did I last do some great work?”
Then I realised that too often we focus our thoughts on what goes wrong, rather than what goes well. Yes, we learn from errors and experimentation, but we need to stay motivated and maintain a degree of confidence.
So, the next time you’re feeling a bit down, or when you’re talking to someone in that mindset, ask about your greatest hits and see where the conversation leads.