Saturday, August 11, 2012

Goals vs. Opportunities

On my big roadtrip through the national parks we stopped at an overlook to take photographs of an amazing red canyon. I have a thing for wanting to capture local vegetation and for wanting to express the magnanimity of a place through showing the small details. So I took some photos and then got to thinking about my approach to photography and how it relates to my approach to life. So here is what I wrote:

Anyone can see the big picture, but it takes a trained / skilled eye to see the small beautiful things. Photography is a perfect example: pictures of big beautiful things can often seem cliché and don't seem to capture the essence of being in a space. However, if you can somehow manage to include a very detailed, small piece of information, you can bring to life the big picture. In life you have to appreciate the moments (this is literally an art term used to describe a small section of a work) in order to really love the big picture.

When I was writing this I was really thinking about a lot of different things. Quite often I see friends get so caught up in their long-term goals that they don't value a single day along the way. I have never seen anyone happy while doing this. Do I think goals are a bad thing? To a degree, yes. If instead of making goals for yourself you make opportunities, I believe the pressure of getting through the time it takes to reach a goal is relieved with the search to make every day an opportunity in itself.

I don't know if I am making a clear point or just hazy blobs, so I will use myself as an example. Last school year I was extremely focused on graduating, getting to a level in networking where I could have big-time shows in 10 years, creating the big work that would get me noticed . . . by summertime I was thinking about not going back to school, I was in a relationship that stressed me out more than helped me, I could not care less whether of not I got in any shows, and I had a minimal amount of work worthy to go in a portfolio.

Then, this summer, I traveled, became single and free, and sorted out some priorities. I'm actually looking forward to all of my classes, whereas normally I start the semester pissed off about my general education courses. I am more excited about what comes after graduation than just getting there, but most importantly every day I remember one important thing: there is no other moment than this; now is all I have.

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. - James Dean

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