The journey to mastery

We are a generation that was raised on the short term gratification of TV & the internet. We think and believe we can have anything right now. If we can’t, we google search for a hack to hurry the process and get there sooner. This subconscious influence from TV and the internet is what makes short-term gains so appealing. Why wait when I can have or do it right now. When it comes to the road of mastery there are two choices, the short-term fix or the longterm journey. Ones a hack the other is a lifestyle. One is the short term the other is long term. And only one of these choices is the process to mastery (if you didn’t figure it out it’s a long-term process). Remember it’s about the journey, not the destination. The journey is the story.

When it comes to photography everyone wants the hack, that paved road to success. They want to know the easiest and fastest beaten track. They want the five camera hacks to becoming a better photographer. They want to know what’s the best camera so they can instantly become a better photographer through the means of their wallet. Or at least get a leg up on everyone else because they have the newest whatever. If the easy road was the way to success then we all would be successful. If there was the ultimate camera we would all have it. If there was the best angle, lighting, lens, ‘insert quick fix product here’ we would all have it. But there isn’t.

There is no quick fix, the guaranteed road to success doesn’t exist. That perfect hack might help you in the short term, but this life is a longterm game. The best approach is the least appealing, and because of this, very few do it. And that approach is putting in the time, doing the hard work regardless of your resources or the cards you have been dealt. It involves constantly learning and improving, it requires effort and discipline. It’s an unknown journey, an unknown path because only you can pave it. It’s scary with no guarantees, no warrant, no money back, no school, tutorial or hack can do it for you or teach you the road to mastery. Because it’s not a thing it’s a journey. We think everything follows a path, a structure, a process. We have been taught physics, we understand that even nature can’t break its own rules of gravity and the effects of entropy. But for some small reason, our brains are great at lying to us because we think we are different, that we can find that shortcut, that winning lotto ticket.

Our schools tought us that there is only one right answer and we think that goes for our lives as well. We are sadly mistaken, 1+1 might equal two, but this course and that camera don’t equal success. Success doesn’t come easily, it takes work, time and discipline. Success is endless learning and enjoying that process, regardless of the end result. When something comes easy to you, you take it for granted. The road to becoming a master isn’t a road at all, it’s a life’s journey, a process that is never-ending. Ask yourself What would you do even though you knew you would fail at it. Would you still do it even though you knew you wouldn’t become successful at it? If you can find that special something, that something that you strive for, even when times get hard and there seems to be no end. Because the path to mastery is a never-ending journey, with no shortcuts or instant gratification. The joy and gratification only happens during the process, not in the final destination. Because you need to love and enjoy the process to become a master, a master of photography.

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