Saturday, 17 March 2007

The Positive

It's time for a photoless rant. Cos I can.

The other week I had a few coffees with a couple of local photographers, and I was struck by something kinda obvious.

Working with Andric in Nelson, and especially once we hit the road, everything was "super-" and "the best ever". It was a bit annoying at times, but he is a super-positive guy - in photography and in life.

Then I come back to Wellington and I get people complaining about pissy little jobs that really amount to nothing in the whole scheme of things. And I sit there and go "so what are doing this for?" It's an obvious question.

I admit that it took me a few years to work out what I wanted to be doing and how to go about doing that. And at the moment I am doing exactly that. I have made sacrifices, I'm always on the bones of my arse, but I have a supportive family and friends, and that helps lots.

As a self-employed person, you are (more or less) in control of your fortunes. It's easy to blame your failings on other people, but at the end of the day you are what you make yourself. If you're not happy with yourself, then rather than complain about things, you need to be questioning why and take whatever steps are necessary to resolve it.

Because I know the photographic industry that's what I talk about, and without picking on any people in particular, it seems to me that there is an overwhelming negativity here (in Wellington). And there also seems to be a lack of people trying to make things better for themselves, people just to happy to meander along, get the odd job, and complain about everything. (Some, a lot more than others it has to be said. And also, I probably get moments of venting from a number of people, so maybe my impression is blurred. Or maybe it's just that I attract depressives.)

But it was a revelation to work with someone who was so overwhelmingly positive - to the point that he told me off for being too negative about parts of this country (Ashburton?! where's the appeal?)

For myself, I'm not where I want to be, but for the time being I'm happy with where I've come from, and where I'm going. I know the big picture, and I'm working on getting there - maybe not as fast as I'd like, but I am getting there.

One of the photographers (who can be down about it, but works hard to come through it) said that happiness and money are too closely tied together in New Zealand. And that's where I'm at. I'd rather struggle with what I want to be doing and be happy, than earn more and be unhappy.

I'm happy now.

And it helps when you get to drive around this beautiful country, stay in lovely places, and eat great food - all at someone else's expense. Man I've got the best job ever.

Okay, so I know I complain a fair bit too - but I've got a fair bit to complain about. And I also know that I'm really good at handing out the advice and not following it myself. I'm a hypocrite. So what! Sue me.

Basically the moral here, and it works for everyone, is that if you're not happy, work out why, and do something positive about it. (Unless of course you're happy with being unhappy, and if that's the case you're just a dick.)


Unknown said...

Ah, at peace and happy, but then what would be have to worry about. ;)

Thanks for the reminder Andy. Yep, us photogs have the best job in the world but seem to be the best at moaning about it.

I will never forget the words of Nick Servian (a well know Wellington photog) who was taking my photo when I was a consultant and I had one day to decided whether to do the photography course and chuck in the consulting. I asked him if photography was a good job and he said "I love it, it's the best job in the world, wouldn't do anything else". So there's a little slice of positivity for ya.

Ok, must get back to this consulting work.

microphen said...

so that's my problem, i don't spend enough time with nick. but then i wouldn't cos he doesn't like boys ... as he's told me on a number of occasions