Never Rest

The danger of success is losing energy and the drive to keep going on. Because it’s just a little too easy to sit back and rest on our laurels. We stop confronting ourselves, we stop pushing and expand. Why should we? We have found a formula that seems to work. But creativity isn’t repeating, isn’t conforming to a formula, but to keep widening the horizon.

Thus, what is done is done—and shall not be the end of the road. I am not saying we shouldn’t enjoy the moments of success—but then rather push on. It doesn’t matter if the success is small or big—getting a blogger blog award, getting assigned by the dream client, getting pictures exhibited on a show, getting positive feedback from fellow photographers, getting great results from the last shoot or just knowing that we had done a good day’s work—no matter what, we cannot allow ourselves to sit back and rest on our laurels. To be content, too content, is just as much an obstacle for the creative mind as the opposite, being too critical of one self. No, let it all go, keep moving on and enjoy new creative impulses. Because there is only one way for the creative mind: Forward, ever onward.

The question is really why do we do what we do? We are not just photographing—or creating in other fields for that matter—because we need to do something, we do it because it’s a way of expressing our inner creative urge. So let it come out and not get stifled by old thinking and what we believe brings more success. Because then it won’t. The point is, we want to be creative, and photography—or other creative fields—is solely the tool for our creativity. Whichever way we chose to express ourselves is in accordance with our creative soul or spirit. If we think we have found the formula, all too soon it will start to be boring, boring to ourselves and boring to our audience or viewers or spectators.

Conformity stops the creative process. It becomes a pillow so soft and pleasant, that it suffocate the creative process. Success is a good feeling, but even better is the feeling of creation itself. And creating means bringing new into life – not repeating what has already been done.


73 thoughts on “Never Rest

  1. This beautiful feeling of wanting to create something is worth more than all the success in the world, according to me! Your morning words are balsam for my heart! I wish you,Otto, and all your readers a lot of creativity and happiness😀

  2. Thought provoking. For me it’s loving what we do. Having a passion and expanding on it, always looking forwards. Thank you for your inspiring words.

  3. Beautiful words… and sharing dear Otto. Creativity is great, whatever we make, creativity keeps us alive…Thank you, have a nice day and end new week, Love, nia

  4. Not resting on ones laurels does go for so many aspects of life and taking on new challenges does keep it interesting. The inclination to stay with what makes one comfortable can be a trap. Pausing to enjoy a success is important too. An interesting reflection Otto – thank you. Love the photo!

  5. Encore. finding something that energises is the key. I despair when I cannot key into the creative flow. It feels great when it arrives though. What it’s all about!

  6. So very true Otto. We cannot afford to get comfortable and just work to that formula you mention. Seeking out new avenues of expression is extremely important. I know it’s something that I need to think on and work towards creating new work that stretches me beyond what has become comfortable. A great article as always and a smashing picture Otto!

  7. You’ve written a poignant post that queries why we are compelled to create. That inner drive is an inherent quality and cannot be taught, but nourished and nurtured. In the act of the creative process is the reward as is the inner drive to keep on and on and on. Success is all in the eye of the beholder, varying from one person to another and having some of the issues that you raise.

    1. I think what you point to here is often hard to accept. We all want success, but often success as in approval from the world, rather than the feeling of accomplishment from within. 🙂

  8. Wonderful post and photo, Otto, and as usual, thought-provoking. I think you’re right about needing to let go and push ourselves forward. It does become boring, doing the same thing all the time. I really like your last paragraph. It sums it up well. 🙂

  9. Good write up! I think that is very easy for everyone to falls into as you mentioned it is comfort or less effort. You felt you are there. It is hard to do otherwise, I believe.

  10. A subject close to my heart at the moment 😀 I find that ‘success’ drives me on – because it’s never successful enough!
    Above all though, I enjoy my photography and the creativity of it – that is reward in itself.

  11. What comes to mind as I read your encouragement to try new things is that I have recently become a little bolder in taking photos of people. I often encounter people that catch my attention for one reason or another, but I’m such a private person, I assume others won’t be comfortable with me taking their photos. I’m still very tentative of this, but I have a few photos I really love. I hope to become a little bolder!

  12. Well said, Otto, and food for thought. At times, the creative spark mysteriously happens and other times you have to work at it. And, there are many factors involved to feel that the outcome is a success. You’ve got me thinking. Thanks.

  13. Ja du Otto, som så många gånger förut känns det som att du förmedlar mina ord och tankar.
    Har inget att tillägga och vill inte säga emot dig, jag sväljer allt.
    Född kreatör som jag är och dessutom har haft förmånen att ägna mig åt mina “intressen” professionellt, så vet jag så väl att allt är på gott och ont.
    Det “alla” drömmer om, det har jag ägnat mig åt hela livet…och frågan är förstås?…är jag en lycklig kreatör eller önskar jag mig rent av “ett vanligt jobb” ibland:)
    Ett arbete där man “vet vad man har att vänta sig”, varje dag…år efter år.
    Tror inte det, men allt har sina för och nackdelar, det gäller bara att ta tillvara på dem:)
    Önskar dig en fin sommar var du än befinner dig!
    Hälsning från mitt norra hem…sångsvanens rike.

    1. Uansett hvilket liv vi velger, så har det sine fordeler og ulemper. Jeg er nok i samme leir som deg, og vet med meg selv at jeg aldri ville kunne trives i en tilværelse der jeg visste hva man kan vente seg. Usikkerheten er både en berikelse og en til tider vanskelig faktor å håndtere. Takk for sommerhilsenen. Jeg ønsker deg likeledes en fin sommer, Gertie.

  14. The comment that resonated most with me is, “Conformity stops the creative process.” Whether we’re conforming to our own past patterns, our own ways of doing things, or allowing ourselves to be shaped by others’ ideas of “how it ought to be,” we’re the losers. Conforming to external standards is easy, if not very satisfying. Setting our own standards, and then meeting them, is better, I think.

  15. This is a phenomenal piece of writing.

    As a passionately creative person, I have not yet found an instance where I felt like I can’t reinvent myself. It’s not that I’m not finding success, it’s just that there is so much fluidity in the creative process that we must pursue it relentlessly – wherever it takes us.

    Keep up the good work and don’t be a stranger.


  16. I’d like to create and not rest today. 😊 Do you allow fellow bloggers to share your photos, Otto? I’d link to your blog and give you proper credit for this great shot. No worries if you’d rather not. 😊

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