As a firm believer that we all have a purpose in life, and we create our lives in front of us, it is my belief that we must find our WHY in order to find our way. Simon Sinek has written and spoken about it, and put words on this topic, and to this I would add you need to find your why, maybe you need to find our Meraki.
What is the meraki ?
Meraki is one of those beautiful words from modern greek, and it is often used to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.
Interconnecting your Why & Meraki
When you have found your reason for being here, and this takes time, you need to connect the dots. By connecting dots backwards, looking back at everything you have done, each element, meeting points, people, values, what makes you itch, laugh, tick. Once you have analysed your life and the patterns, you most certainly will see relationships between each element, and that would bring you to your WHY. Now Why we do things is essential to the meraki, because it brings fullfillment, and we can then put our soul into what we do. It is not a Job, or work, it is simply US in the simplest form of acting and being.
My interconnected dots
It has taken me a few years to see the lessons that life brought to me, but what I have noticed is the following. Please don’t read this as bragging about me, as this would miss the point (and the failures on the way are really not to be bragged about, haha). You could maybe as a path to trying it for yourself, and discovering the amazing path you have already lived for yourselves and where you might be heading.
- Age 2, was put on skis by my parents
- Age 2-8 learned various sports such as ice skating, swimming, hockey, riding a bike, hiking with parents
- Age 6, first camera, Age 10, using the Canon A-1 from my parents
- Age 11, started snowboarding, monoskiing (with a broken arm, no fun otherwise)
- Age 12, earning pocket money building computers
- Age 16, snowboard camp in the summer, sports, swimming, sailing with my godfather & aunt
- age 16 – 22, Track & field, teaching kids and taking part as a sports coach for 8-10 kids
- Age 18, studied IT, Graphic design, computer science, shooting snowboard world competition with Film
- Age 19, 6 months travelling in thailand, learned to scuba dive & became a Divemaster & photo instructor
- Age 29, left for Mallorca, opened a scuba diving school and raised the bar up to Qualifying for Master Instructor
- Age 36, back in Switzerland, back into photography, but starting my pro route
- Age 36-43, giving workshops in graphic design, photography, and shooting a blend of corporate, weddings, sports, families
- This summer, age 43, started surfing in Fuerteventura, and documenting a surf life through photography
- Age 43, started rock climbing, something i wanted to do in the back of my mind since i was a teenager without daring too much
Now that’s a bit of a long list I agree, but there’s a point to be made. Looking back 2 things tie me together, Sports, sharing knowledge and entrepreneurship. Everything I have ever done, I have shared it with others, and everything I have done has led me back to sports & outdoors. So it is quite clear to me that my purpose is to help others, through my photography, and through sharing knowledge with others.
It took me a few years to see patterns, and maybe i’m still not through with my path, but it allows me to be more focused, to understand what works for me, and maybe looking at the dots on your path might help you do the same.
How this makes me a better photographer ?
Taking decisions, making choices, and having a vision of where we want to go, and what makes us find our meraki and our why really makes sense to me. By taking these steps, and these decisions, I know for whom I will work best, which type of client or type of project will bring the challenge to the next level and allow me to do my greatest work. It has helped me decline clients, now that might seem counter-intuitive to some, but by refusing clients, or certain type of jobs, I’m clearing up space for more clients bringing out my Meraki. I will therefore produce better work, with specific clients or projects, and turn down what doesn’t work for me.
How is this good for clients ?
We have all had these days when we didn’t want to go to work, do the job, get things done. Think about it, how many times did you say yes to something and wonder why on earth you accepted ? Well sometimes you do things which are not in your meraki, and you feel it, because you’re not giving your soul to it, and this… is BAD for the clients. The client wanted you to do a job, and you’re not giving your 200% dedication to the job because you’re not into it. So technically you’re undermining yourself, you’re creating poor experience for your client and you’re both going to come out frustrated with this mission and the deliverables.
By being focused, you’re ensuring that your unwanted clients or projects find another photographer, and that’s good. It’s good because your client will find the photographer they need, they won’t stop at one choice, and they will find the one, who really looks forward to working for them, and who is passionate in order to deliver a great quality product to them, because they will bring out his meraki with their request.
Empower yourself and dig deep inside of yourself, your relationships, your life, your travels, your experiences, your personal relationships, friends, and find what connects the dots. I am convinced that you will grow amazingly, and you’ll have fun along the way.
If you feel like telling me about it, feel free to do so here-below in the comments section, or by email or through my contact form. I’d be happy to hear about how this has helped you take steps towards your dream life.
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