QUICK SHAMELESS PLUG: The team will be shooting in the Los Angeles area April 11-13 and are available for gym and studio sessions! Now… onto this morning’s article.

There was a group of us in college – all journalism majors – who spent a significant amount of our time together both in class and out of class. As such we got to know one another fairly well. Each of us filled into your typical college stereotype. There was the party host, the guy who wanted to be in the frat but couldn’t make it, the stoner, the wannabe entrepreneur and the video gamer (you’re welcome to guess which one I was).

We also had another guy – I’ll call him the insanely studious 4.0 GPA guy. I assure you, I was not this individual in college. Although, at the time, I envied his ability to dedicate himself to his studies and assignments.  I recall an economy or accounting or some form of business class we shared together and we had this terribly brutal midterm. I finished in 12 minutes (fastest in the class of 300 students or so). He tried to stop me from getting up and turning in my paper.

“You are not done, sit down James!”

I calmly assured him that “I got this…” and confidently turned in my midterm which I received a grade of 14% on. Meanwhile my friend received an A.

Every class we had together, he would excel and this lasted up to graduation where he graduated with honors.

Then something odd happened after college. Everyone set out to pursue their path. Some went on to become journalists, some went into management positions, one became a teacher, another a news anchor and I developed this fascination with being a photographer. Meanwhile our friend seemed to flounder a bit.

He seemed to skip from job to job – perhaps never being fully satisfied – and none of the jobs being a passion of his. Overtime we just lost touch.

The reality was that he could spend his entire life learning. He was excellent at learning. Put a book in front of him – he will learn it and can recite what he learned. However his struggle was in doing. When it came time to actually do something – he hesitated.

The difference between learning and doing is that in learning there is no accountability. Nothing is truly on the line. It is a safe environment. Doing is what puts you out there. It is what opens you up to critique.

Consider the guy who buys a camera – watches every YouTube video on how to make great pictures, attends every seminar on how to be a successful photographer – yet never clicks the shutter.

Consider the girl who watches every talent and how they build their portfolio, market themselves and get work – yet never schedules her photo shoot or puts her portfolio in front of someone.

This is not to say that constantly learning and development yourself is a bad thing – but never putting it into practice is what many of us struggle with.

James Patrick
instagram @jpatrickphoto