Landscape Photography | Creature of Habit
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
I’m a creature of habit. Those who know me know this and, well, either embrace it or go crazy trying to invoke spontaneity in me. I recognized it in me in junior high. I always had to take the same route to school, sit in the same seat on the bus. In high school, ask any of those that knew me then…must have grilled cheese when ordering food at restaurants. Grilled cheese was reliable to me.
Now a-days…I go to bed at roughly the same time every night, I have predictable meals for given days of the week (Sunday night steak night!), I do not take phone calls after dinner (unless its family, they are special, but even they know my habits), grocery shopping on Sat. mornings…and my list could go on with all the ways I am freakishly predictable.
You are what you eat (I guess I’m cheesy) and you become what you do.
I’ve been reading a lot on entrepreneurship and one of the things that keeps coming up as a mark for a successful entrepreneur is one who can create a schedule in order to keep on task and keep in the doing of their business. I’m convinced that if you do not have a disciplined personality, that it will be hard to be successful as a small business owner. If you don’t have it in you to keep a habit, you are probably better off having someone tell you when to show up to work, how your day should be structured, and when to go home. I think its akin to the teenager who suddenly finds a world of endless freedom the first time his/her parents are out of town for the weekend.
So the more I think about it, the more I think that maybe I was destined to the entrepreneurial spirit. I do like my routines after all.
Part of my work flow is structured around routine. I like to look at my different web sources (usually catapulted by social media) for inspiration first thing in the morning to get my brain moving and again during the mid-afternoon dull-drums (at this point usually photography and small business education platforms). I like to sit in on creative commons webinars about once a month.
I try to photograph something every day.
I think its easy to lose pace, or direction, at least for me. So I have to switch things up, in my predictable-habitual-way. So after spending time at the computer in the morning going over inspiration and answering emails, I then go outside. I either run the dogs and let my mind think and build upon ideas, or I photograph. Then I come back to the computer and put together a blog post. Next its lunch time (and maybe a little Real Housewives-guilty pleasure time). Do you know I have predominately eaten salami sandwiches on sour dough or french rolls for lunch for the last 9 years?? Yeah, I said it. Proudly 🙂 After lunch I edit photos, and the afternoon is delegated to business/photo education time. And once again I step away from the computer, usually with my camera.
I think a good practice to have as a photographer is to try and photograph the same thing or same place you have shot previously in a new/different way. Its definitely a challenge, but its a good habit to develop in order to push yourself to grow, push yourself outside of the comfort zone.
This past weekend I went back up to my favorite little pocket of water with my camera in hand. I photographed this particular river this late winter (you can see the pics here and here). I don’t know that I necessarily was successful in photographing it in a different way, but it’s a process. Yup, that’s what I tell myself when I don’t think I aced it 😉
If you are going to be rooted in habit (or the lack of habit), you might as well make it work for you because it is often defining in who you are. You are what you do.