I had this design teacher once, she had a policy of one good comment for everyone's project. I like this policy, people are more prone to do better on praise than bad criticism. But I think this policy showed it's failings when one student presented his work in paint. It's obvious it was done in less than 5 minutes and resembled something a 5 year old would do. I was the one assigned to comment on his thing, even after I prayed not to be picked. I lied to my teeth “I like it” “It shows very nicely….”. Everyone knew I was lying and I had to, it was an awkward moment.
Honestly, if I was the teacher, I would have kicked him out for disrespecting me and my time. But whatever, that's not the point. The point is, this guy didn't even do the minimum effort. I might be off on this, but I think anyone can do great things, as long as they just do the best they can. Everyday or so I get compliments for my magazine design and my photography. That's a nice feeling, but does that make me think I'm special? Ney. It just reminds me that the only thing I did is just to do the best I could.
It's as simple as it gets, just do the best you can. Don't try to be THE best, you'll go crazy, but I think everyone owes it to themselves to do THEIR best. When you do, there's two words that pop in front of your mind: No Regrets. Whether you fail or succeed, there will be no question that you gave it your best shot and in my opinion that's what counts. The only reason I'm where I am is because there's always been that little voice telling me (in a non put-down way) that I could do better.
Everything in my photography portfolio is the result of me buying a DSLR on impulse, shooting with and and simply realizing that I could do better. Even today, I look at my stuff and I know I can do better. Being the best that you can be forces you to go forward, something that's ingrained into the human psyche. I think when we top pushing ourselves, when we stop growing is when we stop living. I don't think much of myself but when it comes to my work, I give it my best shot. Whether it gets published or not, seen or not, liked or not…..I gave it all that I could and that's all there is to it. Just do your best and leave the rest. Be yourself, stay focused and keep on shooting.