Over the last two years that I’ve been shooting without a crew, I’ve been surprised by three things:
- If there is anything you really wish you knew how to do, it is possible to learn it. I spent almost the last two decades thinking I was not the kind of person who could learn how to operate a camera, light a scene, record sound and edit footage. I’ve never been a tech-y person. When I was in my 20s, my then 8yo sister sat down with a new digital watch and changed all of the settings herself, and I was amazed. But the cliche is true. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
- The dread I felt about learning new, “difficult” things was unfounded. Going outside of your comfort zone, taking the risk of looking dumb, being willing to suck at something when you are in that icky-feeling “just getting started” phase–it’s unnerving but it’s also exhilarating. You feel ALIVE. Like anything is possible. You suddenly have a vehicle to get you from here to THERE.
- Another thing that has surprised me is that, when you are completely immersed in learning something new or having fun using your newfound skills, it crowds out a lot of your bad habits. You don’t spend nearly as much time worrying, looking at your phone, being concerned about what others think, and otherwise wasting precious time.
- Okay, wait, there’s a 4th thing, and it’s the most surprising of all: There comes a day when you look up and all of these activities that used to intimidate the hell out of you have become part of your daily routine.
Currently, I’m in a comfort zone again, somewhat. And once again, I don’t want to stretch and feel the discomfort of trying new things, to get to the next level.
I guess that’s just a testament to how hard it is to fight inertia.
When you think of the times in which you learned a new skill or pushed yourself to do something challenging, is it gratifying? Do you feel proud?
There’s a saying: “All happiness is growth.”
Maybe not ALL happiness is growth. But arguably progress is one of the most gratifying things we can experience, including observing it in others. For example, it’s really great to see a child you love overcome some difficulty or learn something new.