William Oldacre Photography

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Don’t Take No For An Answer

I was just emailing my nephew David about his interest in photography and art and any recommendations I might have and it occurred to me that even though I typically only think of myself in terms of the here and now – the sum of all my experiences – over the course of the extremely convoluted path I’ve followed to get here now it turns out I’ve very often had the conviction to stand up for what I wanted, even when I was told NO repeatedly by those in control.

I hadn’t thought about it in those terms but there were pivotal moments in my life where I identified something – some course, workshop, idea or job that I wanted to learn, to know more about or work at – where I refused to accept a – no you can’t do that, you aren’t qualified, you haven’t got the prerequisites for this, there are no positions available – answer from the gate-keepers. In what I’m coming to see as my typical pattern – perhaps it has something to do with my stubborn nature (ya think?) – I’ve side stepped around the road blocks and repeatedly pursued that which mattered to me.

So much so that I can safely say I’ve achieved pretty much everything that is important to me in my life via this method of relentless pursuit. Most of the time – well actually all of the time, its been completely unconscious on my part but now that I see this emerging pattern I’m inclined to think I’m going to have to make this a conscious habit from now on.

I encourage you to do exactly the same – DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. When you’ve taken the time and thought to identify what matters to you, to identify the thing that is important or pivotal to your growth and future – go for it – relentlessly – until you get it. And most important of all do not accept NO from the gate keepers. The gate keepers are the people in charge, the ones whose permission you seek, the people you THINK you need approval from or need to get past to reach the next step in your progress.  Find a way to bypass them altogether, go over their heads, find another avenue, ignore or deny their answer, sweet talk them, convince them, pursue them and perhaps even trick or deceive them until they say YES, but whatever your method do not give up and do not complacently accept their negative answer. Be like water and gravity and always find a path to your goal.

YOU CAN DO IT, I know you can. Take it from someone who’s done it… repeatedly.