In my latest conversation for my Inspired By series, I was speaking with Justin Lee. First and foremost, Justin is a friend, but he also happens to be a kick ass wedding and lifestyle photographer, (post coming soon). During our conversation he said something that really made my ears perk up. When digging for what the ingredients were that lead him to discovering his talent and positive perspectives of living he simply said, “I paid attention.”
Attention to what Justin? Help me here?
As the conversation unfolded, it became clear that he paid attention to events and happenings around him that made him curious. As he followed the lead of those external "bread crumbs" he was lead to his desire. So, by following his interest, curiosities and what fired him up, he became the man who he is today doing what feels authentic and true for him: shooting photos, living where he wants to live, having freedom over his schedule and lifestyle, among other goodies.
Let me break this down a bit.
No matter where you are in your life or what’s happening around you, I do believe that there is something that you can start doing now to help guide you toward “that thing” that’s your “baby,” talent, desire, want, however you want to phrase it. It’s very simple and the trick is to avoid over complicating it.
Here it is: Pay Attention.
For Justin paying attention led him to photography, which has led him to his overall way of life. I’m not sure what paying attention will lead you to, but that’s the journey and discovery of the process of life. I want to take the pressure off of you with stating that many of us might not know what our desires, passions and talents are. It can feel really frustrating to continue to hear the message “follow your passion” when you don’t even know what it is. Maybe you have tons of things that light your fire and maybe you don’t. Regardless, the point is that paying attention to what interests you, what turns your head and what makes you feel is a huge arrow toward a road that I highly encourage you to follow.
Paying attention will cause you to see things that you might miss if you're not mindfully looking around and noticing. If you’re truly paying attention you are going to see, hear, feel and be lead toward what you’re curious about and interested in. When you’re paying attention to your surroundings you open up the space for new insights. Paying attention automatically sways you to notice and explore what triggers your interest. When you consistently look behind the doors of topics, happenings, places and people that stand out to you; you're bound to find something good. Once you’re aware and curious, you organically will have inner knowings of what actions you can take to further explore these interests. Your actions will lead you toward more information about yourself and possibly “that thing” that you yearn for or just, straight up, might enjoy. This focus can lead you to untapped and hidden desires within.
Perhaps a way to “start” the habit of paying attention more, is, to simply, just start. Just do it. Make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to be more present and aware during your everyday experience. Do your best to be more mindful of what is happening around you. Often times it’s within the small changes that you make where you will notice big results. I’m not sure how you can go wrong with having more awareness within your life.
Keep your eyes open. You might come across some pretty amazing things, people and places. They are out there, but you need to be able to notice them. So…….pay attention my friend.
* This image was taken by Amy Lynn Bjornson, San Diego based Photographer.