May 15, 2017


Learning to approach courage through another perspective: through another lense.

#ThroughAnotherLense is an impromptu digital photography project that blends photography with one of my favorite activities to get out outside of my comfort zone: the 5 second rule via Mel Robbins.

While I’ve used the 5 second rule in a variety of different moments in photography, the #ThroughAnotherLense is a new tool for me to help “trigger” moments of courage at events and social gatherings.

The goal: take a picture of someone taking a picture.
Bonus: getting the picture without them realizing until I’ve already gotten the shot.
The REAL goal: take action when I get the impulse to do something. (i.e., the 5 second rule.)

Result: for the lols.
The REAL result: building courage and creativity muscles.

As I started to think about this #ThroughAnotherLense project, I began to remember a couple of philosophies.

If you want to get the shot, go get the shot and ignore what people think.

The simple desire to do something is really all the “permission” we need to do it. I watched a video from Devin who talked about her experience at Haste and Hustle (with Casey Neistat and Gary Vaynerchuk).

Basically, her take away was “hesitate less and do more.” Don’t worry about what people think and just get the shot.

To me this just goes straight back to the 5 second rule. Have an idea and an impulse to do something? Get up and take a step forward toward it. If I feel the urge to get a photo (for whatever reason), then I have to get up and go get it.

I often struggle with worrying about what other people think, but I have to keep reminding myself that those opinions and judgments of other people don’t matter, because they aren’t the one that wants the shot; this isn’t their art, it’s not their journey, it’s not their message to share. And that’s okay.

They don’t need to understand and I’m putting myself at a disadvantage if I’m worrying about what people think. The less I care about what “you” are thinking about me getting a picture, the more effective I become at traversing my own life.

And that is such a hard thing to cultivate, but it’s one step – one picture – at a time.

Fuck ideological points of view (that don’t resonate with you) about what you “should” do.

Gary Vaynerchuk expressed this during one of his AskGaryVee (E#231) show questions, where a guy was worrying about “wanting to get a picture of the beautiful place he’s in” and what he “should” do, which is to shut off, keep the camera away, and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Gary’s response: “fuck this beautiful place, document it.”

There’s usually a lot of pressure (sometimes it’s just in our mind) on what we “should” do (in this case: “disconnecting in order to embrace the beautiful place.”)

This ties into the first point: if you want to get the shot so that you can share it on social media, ignore what other people think and just do it.

Gary went on to say, “I just do what I want to do and I never question myself or my actions. … I never let ideological points of view of ‘what I should do’ dictate how I feel about myself. … I just do.”

We can’t judge ourselves for the things we want to do. I care too much about what people think about what I’m doing. I worry too much about what I “should” be doing or what I “shouldn’t” be doing.

Maybe I “shouldn’t” be holding my phone up to record a segment of a dance.
Maybe I “should” just be paying attention to and experiencing the moment.
Maybe I “shouldn’t” ask to get a selfie with that person.
Maybe I “shouldn’t” take a picture of my food.

But every time, I’m happier for getting the shot.

I can’t care about what you think. I can’t care because it’s not up to you to dictate what I should and shouldn’t do. The sooner I can get back inside my own thoughts and the focus in front of me (getting the shot), the better. The sooner I stop worrying about what you think (or what my mind thinks is your thoughts), the faster I’ll move towards my accomplishments.

Getting the shot is always two fold: I’ll get the picture (to share, to experience years later) AND I’ll have taken action despite the fear (having courage).

And courage is just a muscle.

#ThroughAnotherLense is just another way to build reps.

Do you have any “reps” that you could be making, even if you’re afraid of what people might think?


#ThroughAnotherLense on …

• (#throughanotherlense)