I think it’s kind of natural for us humans to focus on the things we don’t have in life instead of the things we do. If the opposite were true, the self-help world would be bankrupt and this blog wouldn’t exist.
I admit, I’m one of those people from time to time—things can be going great, life can be just fine, and then I’ll hop on social media and see how much ‘better’ someone else has it and start feeling dissatisfied with my own circumstances, accomplishments, relationships, yada yada. And then I find that others say the same when they look at my instagram or facebook. It’s this weird world of smoke and mirrors.
And what a shame that we let it take over sometimes. We wish for more, wonder why others are so blessed, or even doubt our own abilities. It’s an awful headspace to be in. Ew.
Last summer I met a guy who seemed to defy this trend. His name is Greg Vaughan, and he’s an incredibly talented, successful, Brooklyn-based fashion photographer. He also only has one arm.
Now, being a photographer/filmmaker, my mind was blown when I first heard about him. Sometimes I feel like I can barely get a good shot off with two hands—I couldn’t imagine how he got by with just one. At the time I was going through a creative slump and needed someone to remind me how to claw my way out, so I decided I had to meet him.
A mutual friend connected us and I showed up on his doorstep, camera in hand, ready to interview my way into his potentially incredible outlook. I was not disappointed. You can see the result here.
Before I walked in there, I was feeling bored, boring, and seemingly irrelevant in the creative world. I left with the renewed perspective that there are opportunities constantly being poured upon us, we just have to recognize and seize them.
Quite frankly, most of us don’t. The people who ‘make it’ in life just move on the chances they’re given--too often we’re too lazy, tired, scared or skeptical to reach out and grab them. I was inspired by how Greg ran with what he had—incredible talent and a belief in himself. That was enough. And you better believe he wasn’t sitting around looking online at how great other people had it or worrying about what others thought about his handicap. Nope. He just started kicking ass and taking names.
I interviewed him a year ago, and it’s taken me this long to finally sit down and cut it together. And I really owe him a big thank you, because I was yet again in a little creative slump and it reminded me real fast that I need to quit waiting for hand outs, a “management position”, the right time, courage, money, help—whatever the hold up is, I gotta let go of it and just go for it.
To see Greg's amazing work, visit www.gregvaughanstudio.com.