Finding Your Purpose and Clarity
Photography is easily perceived as just another tool to create beautiful images and to document moments. Yes it goes far beyond just creating visual memories with our loved ones, sharing the story and message of our business, or showing the world what we actually look like.
When I rediscovered my love and excitement for photography I spent a good amount of time getting clear on my intentions, purpose and path within photography. Where do I want to go? What do I want to do? What is this all about? What impact do I want to have on people’s lives? How can I contribute value? Why do I even care? What do I care about?
How to find your purpose and create clarity - the 7 ‘whys’
Over time I defined my own why, and it became clear to me what my purpose and intentions are with photography, and really anything I do at this stage in my life. I asked myself “why” seven times (and you can do the same thing) to get to my deepest why, my purpose.
Why do I care about taking photos? See the intro above - in short, to capture and document beautiful moments and stories
One level deeper from just creating beautiful images (the first why) is the desire to tell a story - about a brand, business, person. I want to document someone’s life, and truthfully communicate what they’re all about. What’s going on in someone’s life or business? How do they run their day to day activities? What makes their brand unique? What are their own values? And how can we communicate that through images? I want to tell brand and personal stories. Authentic, deep, and real.
So, why do I care about authentically and truthfully telling brand stories?
Because I care about showing the world all the amazing things that other people are doing.
Why? To inspire and empower people, to show them that they too can do the same thing, to show that it’s possible; while also showing them how to do it. Sharing the tools and strategies others use to grow their business and to grow in life.
I want to dive deeper into why exactly I care about inspiring and empowering others to build amazing things and go after what they want in life. Why does it matter?
I believe that if we all step into what we’re uniquely great at, we can provide the most value to the world. I don’t believe there’s only one single “right” path for any of us, but I do believe that we’ve all got a unique blend of life experiences, skills, talents, interests and passions. It’s where all those align that we can find the sweet spot of where only we can provide value in the way that we do.
Let’s go even deeper. What about this matters, and what has that got to do with creating beautiful images?
I believe that “sweet spot” that each one of us has is valuable. It’s something no one else has and can give. If we’re able to share our sweet spot (our unique gifts, values, worldviews, etc.) with the world we create real connections, we offer value, we help people. We grow together. We get better. We ultimately make this world more beautiful in our unique ways.
And there is my purpose:
To show and help people see the beauty of this world. To appreciate it for what it is and all it is giving us. When we become aware of the world’s beauty and its value to us, we’re more likely to preserve it, look after it. We can create a fulfilling, lasting, sustainable life for all of us. On an individual level, as well as on a planetary level.
But it goes even deeper...
Can you see the common thread in that purpose? It’s about life. Sustaining it. Living it. Thriving.
Out of what I called my purpose above comes my biggest value (or the ultimate purpose): Growth.
Always learning and evolving, never stopping, never settling. Nothing in nature is static - everything is forever evolving, growing, changing. If we ever stop to grow, we’re basically dying (maybe physically, maybe mentally). I love life - so I love growth. Life itself is growth.
Lastly, I want to bring this back to photography and storytelling:
I value growth and personal development (and the internal drive to do so). I also value freedom. Whenever it comes to personal branding and storytelling, it’s in the context of entrepreneurship for me. I never imagine documenting a 9-5 employed dentist’s life; instead I think about creative business owners, entrepreneurs, people who have built a life for themselves around what they value.
I could also never see myself getting a job. In fact, I’ve never had one. I’m “unemployable”, and I hope to work with many more people who are too.
How to live your purpose + what you will gain from finding it
Currently my way of living in that sweet spot I talked about is through sharing it via photography. But really, it doesn’t matter how you live your values and purpose. What matters is keeping that purpose in your awareness and acting accordingly. And when you do, that’s when great things start to happen - you begin connecting with the right people, you’re able to openly share your values and mission. Your business, friendships, relationships grow.
Most importantly, you’ll feel clarity, and that’s one of the best feelings there is. Clarity allows you to move forward and take steps in the direction you know you need to go in. (See, there’s my value of growth again). ;)
I hope this post has been insightful and connects with you on a deeper level. I also hope that you can take away some practical ideas for how to discover your own purpose, and find that sweet spot of yours. And finally, I hope that you feel inspired and empowered to go after what you want and build the business of your dreams.
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