Choosing You

Image by Treacy Mize.

I wrote an opera.

Eight years ago, of course.  But still, I feel it was a lovely accomplishment.

After my University sponsored the performances and recording of the work a fellow music composition student approached me and lamented,

“Gee.  I wish the University would have asked me to write an opera.”

I could have laughed aloud, but I didn’t.  You see,

no one asked.

And as Seth Godin points out,

“Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–then you can actually get to work.”

I simply decided that I wanted to write an opera, wrote a proposition and approached the Opera Department myself.  Turns out they were rather excited to be on board.

I have found that most all of the things that I have done in my life have been a result of me choosing myself.

The fabulous part of this approach is that there has never been a better time in the history of the world to be an artist with bounding opportunity.  To borrow a historical example, if you happened to live in… oh say anytime from the beginning of the world till circa 1800, you likely needed to produce art under the patronage system.  The King chose you.  You produced work for the glory of the royal court.  Fast forward another 200 years and those opportunities began to fall to those with special talent/training or money for education and equipment.


What an incredibly awesome time to live!  The tools are cheap, the education is assessable, and you can be truly great if you work to be.  And you can have some awesome opportunities if you simply create them yourself.

In some ways its much easier.

In some ways its much harder.

It takes more initiative and confidence to make things happen on your own.  But the wonderful part, is that they can and will happen…

If you choose yourself.

Are you waiting for someone to choose you in order to fulfill a dream or secret wish?

In what ways have you already chosen yourself and made things happen?

Unbeknownst to some, I was never asked to teach photography, I was never asked to go online, I was never asked to take those first few pictures or sessions, I was never asked to play team sports either–but there’s an obvious reason for that–.  Just because we aren’t asked, doesn’t mean we can’t contribute.  Make it happen.  You have the power.

bwselfie Brooke Snow is a photographic artist and delights in the pursuit of a meaningful life. Sign up for her FREE e course “Living A Thriving Life” to learn more about how to find true balance in your life. Brooke lives in Northern Utah with her calm husband and adventurous 4 year old son.

18 Responses

  1. This is great advice – we are conditioned to wait to be asked to do something – when it is never too late to choose to do great things. Thanks, Brooke

  2. Brooke! You are so right! I am fully impressed that you wrote an opera but even more impressed that you just made it happen. You are such an inspiring woman! I love the way you have a vision for something, believe in it, and see a clear path to making it happen.

    Thank you for this insightful and very motivating post! No more waiting around for someone to ask for my genius! 😉

  3. Beautiful post, and so true!! Along the same lines are the people who say to me, “I’d give anything to be able to play the violin like you do”. That always makes me want to laugh… if they gave years of dedication, countless hours of time, and sacrificed many things for music, they would have what I have. It’s theirs for the taking.

    1. So true! I totally relate to that as a musician myself 🙂 If you work hard at something you can have it–sometimes it takes YEARS, but you’re right, it’s there for the taking 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you so much for writing that and what an accomplishment. Inspiring. The last little while I decided I was tired of waiting to know everything about photography before I started taking pictures. It was never going to happen so I just started. I will learn as I go. That is how life works and nothing but me can stop me.

  5. Great article and perfect timing! I have a couple of personal projects that I have decided will be a priority in 2014. No one else is doing what I plan to do so….here goes!


    1. Cindy, some of the most amazing accomplishments that I’ve had in photography have been a result of personal projects. They are SOOOOOOO valuable! And you totally have to choose yourself to do it! There is such power in doing that! Good luck to you! I’m excited for you!

  6. 3 years ago I decided to choose myself. I was gradually letting go of a job I was extremely unhappy with, and committed myself to doing only what would give me joy and pleasure – guess what? Photography!
    In my 1st year I had 12 jobs I got paid for, in 2012, 41 and in 2013… more than 100! I’m so over the moon! I’d always believed you could live off your art, and I’m so proud of it now!
    Thanks Brooke, for your kind words of balance and encouragement.
    I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  7. Such an important and empowering message. Even for someone like me, who has ended up so happily back where I started (teaching kindergarten), those journeys that started with a dream and a risk are a huge part of my happiness and satisfaction. I needed to try out some other things to realize how much I love teaching littles! And the beautiful photos I take of my family that fill my home and my life bring me so so so much joy.

  8. Oh how I needed this post! I had a light-bulb moment and realized that I am the only thing holding myself back. It’s time to let go of the notion of proceeding with the perfect scenario or the perfect plan and just get started. I love Brooke therapy and encouraging. 🙂

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