inspired monday: the limitations of prestige

this time of the year can get hectic for a variety reasons. holidays, gifts, exams, end-of-year reports, travel, goals and dreams for 2013… it’s easy to get caught up in the unknown of the future. i’m currently in the midst of finals (ahhhh) but have some lovely photos to share with you over the next few weeks! (*hint..if you missed the sneak peak(s), make sure we’re connected on facebook!)

“what you should not do, i think, is worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends. you shouldn’t worry about prestige. prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world.

prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. it causes you to work not on what you like, but on what you’d like to like.

prestige is just fossilized inspiration. if you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious. plenty of things we now consider prestigious were anything but at first. jazz comes to mind–though almost any established art form would do. so just do what you like, and let prestige take care of itself.”

-paul graham

i was introduced to this quote by paul graham via it’s actually an excerpt from an article he wrote entitled, “do what you love.” i found this excerpt quite striking, especially since one of my professors told us a story last week that had a similar moral. it’s so easy for us to look at those around us and those whom we aspire to be (another great article on this topic can be found here, via fstoppers) and use their accomplishments and struggles as a benchmark for our own. or even worse, to let their standards discourage us from pursuing what we might otherwise pursue.

i certainly was not immune to the constraints that the idea of prestige can put upon us. but i’m slowly learning that as graham writes, “if you do [almost] anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious.” the truth is that everyone is on a different path. everyone has a different story. we could follow a recipe of what someone else did and still end up with completely different results because we are individuals. we are the variable in the equation. the same thing applies to what everyone else is doing. john steinbeck put it well when he wrote, “…don’t worry about losing. if it is right, it happens – the main thing is not to hurry. nothing good gets away.

i hope this inspires you too and brings you some comfort throughout the week! do you agree with graham? leave a comment below and share your thoughts! =) if you know someone whom you think would like to read about this, feel free to share this post with them using the buttons below.

lots of love,