“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” – John Maxwell
My dad died suddenly.
It wasn’t really unexpected. He had been on palliative care at the nursing home for months. The lung cancer got the best of him; he was just too weak to continue treatments.
To say I took his death poorly is an understatement.
My dad was my best friend. It would take me years to realize the depth of my grief, even though I thought I was handling everything well. Instead of feeling his loss, I went numb, logical, cold.
I got the call on my drive into work. My cell phone signal was spotty, but I could just make out the nurse on the other end, crying, and telling me my father had died in the night.
I wish I had spent more time with him in his final days. I couldn’t wrap my mind or heart around the fact that he was here now, but soon wouldn’t be. I couldn’t grasp his not being there to talk to, joke with, get horrible if hilarious advice from. I’d smart off and he’d call me an asshole and we’d give each other a knowing, loving look.
I wish I’d gone to the nursing home and watched the boxing match with him that weekend he died.
I wish I’d made a lot of better decisions in my life, but none stand out so clearly when I think about the word ‘regret. ’
And oddly, when I sat down to write this post for you, regret is the word that came to mind when I thought about kaizen. Kaizen is the Japanese philosphy of small daily actions that lead to amazing improvement over time.
I want to tell you about kaizen, and how it’s helped me in my journey as a working artist, because kaizen is a powerful weapon against regret.
I wish I could get back all the time I spent crippled by my perfectionism.
I wish I would have done all the things perfectionism kept me from doing. I wish I had told him how I felt. I wish I’d have launched my business sooner and hustled harder. I wish I’d have made more art and fewer excuses.
It’s my hope that these words will help you earn fewer regrets than I have in my photography business (and life).
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier