“I don't do anything unless I can give it 100%”
Working towards your goals… be it personal, career-wise or hobbies will take time and a whole bag of patience and commitment. And to get closer to them, you will need to be 100% onboard. Most of the time, we get distracted and sidetracked which in turn, will add onto our current list and result in overflows… just because we love to do them. This is the wrong thing to do especially if you are looking for opportunities to monetise them.
Here are a few examples of me putting in my 100%
A guitar instructor, singer and a full-time performer.
When I was a teen, I worshipped the band Blink 182 — I wanted to perform on stages and be like them. They were everything to me. I got my first electric guitar and I started to make music — more like noises, very irritating noises. Soon after… I got looked down by my friends, mentally beaten up and zero support from my parents — the typical Asian family, music and the arts, no future. Be a doctor or a lawyer instead. I pocketed these painful events and decided to rage commit — I gave my 100%
I practised every day for at least 5 hours, took guitar lessons and humbled myself down. I became a certified external guitar instructor who taught in government schools, joined a private music school and slowly worked my way up into operations and landed my first paid performance which turned into a full-time job. Back then, nothing else mattered to me. I wanted… (No, NEEDED) to prove myself and I did it, with the help of my 100% commitment.
A documentary photographer/videographer who travels for work.
After 14 years of being in the music business as an educator and a performer, I decided to fuel my other passion — helping others to tell their stories, visually. However, this time around it was more difficult because I was in my early 30s and I had very bad financial records. Back then, it was much easier as I was younger and there weren’t any major financial distractions — I failed to see the importance of having good financial records like most other young dudes. Basically, I murdered myself.
Hilariously, the cycle repeated itself. I wanted to borrow some money to get my first camera and no one supported me. Eventually, I overcame that hurdle but my work was crap and rejections were plenty. It was really tiring to juggle between my new found love for photography and financial freedom — everything was messed up and I wanted to give up 1000 times. To make matters worse, I took up every single photography/videography job at cut-throat rates just to make a dime which in turn, killed my passion — I have to force myself to do the genres which I hated the most.
I took a long break… maybe about a year or so. I still had some of my performing and teaching jobs which allowed me to survive on a day to day basis.
One life-changing incident that made me want to invest all my time and 100% commitment was after a trip to Santorini, Greece. My cousin supported my new “hobby” and brought me along to one of his family trip as a family photographer. I didn’t know how fulfilling it was to travel overseas and document a family’s vacation, only until then. Heck, I don’t even know that line of work existed. However… being fairly new, I was producing bad and I was still stuck in my darker days — I did not know how to appreciate life. I decided to turn it all around and give my 100% — I practised a lot.
With my cousin’s help, I had the opportunity to follow some of his closest friends abroad — I flew to Jakarta, Japan and London to practice my photography and videography skills. Even up till today, I am still using the old pictures to practice my edits… 100% commitment.
Eventually, I have earned myself 2 overseas jobs, Taiwan and Manila during the start of 2020 before COVID showed up. It takes a lot of work and commitment to reach your goals. If you fail to give your 100% and focus on one thing at a time… you will take a longer time to achieve the unachievable and… you will be distracted.
Today, due to the inability to travel or do more photography and videography jobs due to the presence of COVID, I decide to focus on writing blogs to inspire others instead. After writing blogs on Medium for about a year or so with only 1 to 2 view on each post, I finally received a positive comment and 50 claps on one of my recent blogs: I am a documentary photographer
With my 100% commitment in motion,
I have achieved my goal of being a full-time performer and music educator.
I have achieved my goal of being an overseas working photographer.
I am still consistently working to better myself in these areas.
Yes, even though I have achieved the unachievable, this is just the tip of the iceberg, my beginnings. Goals are not made to be completed… they are made to grow and branched out into more goals… if it even makes any sense at all.
“John is a man of focus, commitment, sheer will… something you know very little about. I once saw him kill three men in a bar… with a pencil, with a fucking pencil.”
Be like John Wick. Do the right thing. Buy a pencil.
Thanks for reading!