Simplicity vs. Clutter
Most photographers know the basics of composition involve simplicity, balance and lines that portray a clear direction and intent. If we can apply this to our photography, why is it so difficult in life?
A few months ago I was pondering this quote from Steve Jobs:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
That may seem a cliché that we’ve all heard many times before, the sort of thing said to many people leaving school or university (Jobs was addressing students at Stanford University when he said this) . The irony is, of course, that it’s probably the worst time in anyone’s life to try and get that message across. At the age of 21 the invincibility of youth means we probably all believe that whatever we end up doing will be successful and our lives happy. Either that or we simply have no idea what we want to become so it’s pointless trying to work out what is primary or secondary.
At some point in life we all do come to realise what that “thing” is. But all too often, by the time we have acquired that wisdom we have also acquired a marriage, mortgage, children and all the duty and guilt associated with being an adult. Having the courage to say “Following my heart is now more important than all those things” is really rather a gigantic leap of faith and one that can’t help but feel very selfish.
At the age of 37 I’m at this point in my life and have summoned the courage to make the changes I hope will allow me to have a more fulfilled life. So I quit my job. Just like that. It’s a liberating feeling! Because, whatever I manage to achieve from now on, I don’t want it to be about work from 9-5 with 20 days holiday a year. I won’t necessarily be any richer but I doubt I’ll be much poorer.
I love where I live (above is a photo taken outside my front door) and when the light is beautiful of a morning I want the choice to say “work can wait” and be able to have that experience anytime, not just on 20 pre-arranged days a year. For me, that is an honest life, it’s where I belong and it’s what I want my daughter to learn from me if nothing else.
Like a great photo, I hope it’s the simple recipe for a great life.