On comfort zones and the quest for perfection

I have a picture on a wall in my office of a young boy jumping off a pier into the ocean below. Now, I would never claim to be in the same league as Craig Strobeck in photography, but this is one of several pictures I have taken in my life that I am proud of how it turned out. I can remember all the details of this picture, it was getting late in the day, it was hot. I was shooting in natural light, and was using slide film (this was before digital cameras). It was a bit hazy, never ideal for taking a good picture. I did not have a tripod, I was just holding the camera in my hand leaning out over the railing. I stood there for over an hour as the light got worse and worse, watching these kids jump off that pier over and over again hoping that my camera would capture enough light that the picture wouldn’t be too blurry to use. I took 35 shots of the same scene from the same spot trying to find that just right moment till I finally did. It can take a lot of shots to get the perfect picture, but if we don’t take a lot of shots the perfect picture never comes. Our lives are the same way, perfection doesn’t come the first time, not the second time, sometimes it can take a hundred times or more.

Anyone who works closely with me knows I like to push people outside of their comfort zones, I like to give people stretch assignments and see how they react, see how they handle diversity. I am amazed at how often people want to throw up their hands and tell me something won’t work just because it doesn’t work the first time. It can take a lot of shots to get the perfect picture, but if we don’t take a lot of shots, the perfect picture never comes. We can’t know how many it will take until it appears, so you just have to keep at it till it does, and if you do keep at it, it will happen. No matter what job you do, keep at it, never ever give up and you will find perfection.


Have a great weekend everyone.


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