What is one thing we all have in common? Something that binds us together whether we like to admit it or not?
We have all made mistakes. Big mistakes. Small mistakes. Growing-pained mistakes.
And we have all learned from some of those mistakes. That is what creates the human experience. We do, we fail, we learn, we grow, we repeat. That is the way we live. And if you ask me, that is a beautiful way to go about life. To try and to fail is to truly live, instead of never trying at all. In those failures we see ourselves at our truest. We see ourselves upset and angry and exhilarated and full of hope.
I was thinking about all of my mistakes – the moments I cringe at, the moments I’m embarrassed of, and the moments I am proudest of. And all of that culminated in a few thoughts that would have been great to hear from my future self back then. Yet in thinking them, I realized something really important: humans repeat the same mistakes over and over. Perhaps not in the same way, but certainly in the same patterns. And very often, the same advice applies.
So this is my advice to my past self and future self alike. This is the advice that I have stumbled on, both over and around, and that I will carry with me from now on. When I have a problem, I will look to these three pieces of advice to lift me up and move me forward. Because, in truth, despite how complex we are as people, are problems are usually no more than a voice in our heads beating us down.
1. Caring too much about others.
Most of us are guilty of this at one point or another. We care so much about someone else that we forget to take care of ourselves. We care so much about someone else that we develop lesser thinking of ourselves. We forget that while the world does not spin around us as individuals, our little worlds need to have a center focus. When we put ourselves at the center, we allow ourselves to focus our energy outward and spread it far and wide.
So often we make decisions with someone else’s voice ringing in our ear, or we judge ourselves against someone else and their accomplishments. We judge ourselves based on age and talent and number of successes and internet followers when, in reality, all of that is irrelevant.
2. Not caring enough about others.
It might seem strange, then, that my second piece of advice to myself is to care more about others. There are two ways of caring about others. There is the way that, in reality, isn’t very caring at all. We compare ourselves, we find reasons to hold them on a pedestal, but in truth, that is not caring – that is admiration. To care for someone is to hold them dear, to show them love, and to respect them. That is what I have learned to be the most important thing in my life. The more love we show others, the more we receive it in return. It is the most healthy relationship I can think of.
Selflessly show more love to people. Do not expect anything in return. Look at all people as being worthy of kindness and suddenly, without anything changing, the world seems like a better place. Sometimes all we need is to shift our attitude instead of expecting other people to change. If we all did that, if we could all just take care of our own thoughts instead of trying to change other people, think of what a world of good that would do.
3. Getting caught up in what I should be doing.
This goes back to putting too much emphasis on what other people think, or what other people are doing. The result is that we think we should be doing something a certain way, when in fact there is no right way to do anything at all. If I think about the times when I have been most unhappy in my life, it has centered around putting too much emphasis on what I thought I should be doing, rather than what I wanted to do. From seeing other people’s accomplishments and wishing they were my own to allowing someone else to define success and then chasing that definition.
In times of stress and times of worry, it is very difficult to focus on what we want to do. We are all too often concerned about deadlines and clients and what others will think, and when those feelings take over we lose sight of what is important. The sad thing is that so many societies are built around those feelings. We are taught to obey our boss and do what is asked of us and dare not to dream anything outside of those guidelines. But the moment we do it is hard to stop, and that is when real change happens.
Today (and for the next 3 days) you can watch me on CreativeLive (for free!) teaching all about image compositing. I hope you’ll join me 😀
Amani - I’ve been sitting here patiently waiting for this post after I got a Youtube notification, and maybe I refreshed the page a few times too.. (I sound like a stalker)
I’m guilty of all three. I’m always aware that it is just the voice in my head that’s telling me I’m not good enough or that gets me to care about people to the point where it actually hurts ME. It’s not a voice that can be easily quieted down but it helps to know that I’m not the only one who does this.
My advice for myself right now would be to calm down and stop dwelling on the negatives. To remember why I began this journey in the first place. To remember that even if it is easier to stay down and stop trying, it’s not a way of living. That content and happiness are worth the fight. That all the answers are within and all I need to do is dig deep.
Sending you lots of hugs <3
2 hours to CreativeLive – I can't wait!
TomNewforge - My best advice to my past self would be to just create. Skill, better equipment, and recognition come with time and effort. People like you were creating amazing work out of nothing. We can all learn something from that.
Julie - Hope you are having a blast!
Pink Light Images - #3…………………#3………………#3……………..
living through someone else’s dream…is not really a dream at all!!!!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! 🙂
Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - Plead guilty! A while ago I cared more about others that myself. All my concentration, love and affection, was directed to others. Until one day my body and nervous system gave the alert and realized I would also have to direct, love, care and attention to my being. Today, I seek this balance between giving to others and to myself, but it’s not easy! The nature of my being, always have this tendency to worry about others. Searching this balance, have the result of make me feel much better, inclusive with a self-esteem more cemented than ever. I am also guilty of giving too much importance or emphasis to what other people think of what I do or think of me. But I am improving it too. I watched your 1st day on CL and I loved. See you tomorrow at 9 am, 5 pm in Portugal. With all my respect, a big kiss for you. 🙂
Robert Cornelius - I actually just wrote a blog post about getting out of your head. I was feeling very much down on my newest image before I started editing and thinking that it wasn’t creative enough, wasn’t original enough, and I almost scrapped the whole thing. My biggest piece of advice for my past self would be to JUST DO IT! Don’t look at other people’s work and think “oh it’s basically already been done,” who cares, it hasn’t been done by me in my way. So don’t let anything stop you from creating the ideas in your head, no matter how many other people have shot similar concepts!!!
Norman Lamothe - I Just fell in Love with your work and now giving it a go….
Judy Reinford - I saw an interview while on vacation. Nat Berkus was one of the guests. He had a lot of good advice but the best piece of advice was “Get out of your own way”. It was brilliant. Here is a link to the interview. http://steveharveytv.com/find-out-how-to-act-like-a-success-think-like-a-success/
Catherine Barth - Hi my dear friends…
there are my advices:
1) You are not the center of the world. There are so many people arround you that you have to know that all actions you made, it will have consecuences.
2) You build your own relationships. If you have to create something special, you have to think you can made it.
3) Never stop to dream or smile. If you do not have any dreams, you will not have any goals. And decide where to go, is big. Not impossible.
Looky Looky Pictures - You = my fave!
Erik - OH MAN! Micromanaging!! my very own personal dream-stopper… it was just 5 minutes before watching this video that I was totally caught up in my “to-do” list of mails, and “little things”… SO identified with that… I dont know if this happens to any of you, but I usually go finishing those “little tasks” first so i can “feel free” to do my thing… some times that is an antire day… sometimes its an entire week… i know people so caught-up in that spiral, that they spend years doing nothing but “urgent” stuff…
Thanks to the “free-growth-time” I gave myself this week watching Brooke’s course on Creative Live, I was able to re-connect with that passion and make it the top of my priority list (most of the time).
LETS KEEP CREATING DREAMS! 🙂 – THANK YOU SO MUCH BROOKE!!
natascha van niekerk - ok, first…. love love LOVE your new hair! 😀
Wonderful and reassuring video, thank you! I think my advice would be to never let go of your dreams, even if it seems far away and unattainable, keep working towards it. And then, very important, ‘do not despise the day of small beginnings’! Give yourself time and space to grow…
Sherry Hudson - Brooke, I’ve just found you through a course on CL. I stopped in from time to time when my day allowed it and found myself getting more and more intrigued. I was struck by the number of levels that you were communicating on and by the solidity of your sense of who you want to be in the world. You’ve inspired me on many levels, from dreaming in the clouds to a soft brush erase between layers. Perhaps what touched me the deepest is my sense of how you got there and this is my advice to myself..be who you are and where you are. Hold the knowledge that it is all temporary, a dream guided by your intentions and energy.
Melanie Mae Bryan - Wonderful advice as usual! I always look forward to these videos every week! And also – your hair and headdress look AMAZING!!! I love the look and you truly look magical. 🙂