I've had a pretty good run as a professional photojournalist in the last ten or so years. Shooting regularly for The New York Times and other top institutions, the people I've worked with range from iron chefs to youthful waiters, bigshot celebrities to struggling artists, and billionaire executives to corner store clerks.
My camera and press badge have granted me privileged access to a variety of experience that most people only hear stories about. No matter where in the world I've gone - remote villages and labyrinthian cities alike- an insatiable desire followed: to understand what makes people tick.
Photography is an effective way to learn about human identity and share my findings with the world. But for years I felt something was missing, like an incomplete equation.
After a long soul search I enthusiastically decided on coaching as a new career path. Here are some reasons why.
- I want to help people. And I want to know that I'm helping them directly. Journalists look at the big picture, and contribute to society in the broad sense. At this stage in my life, I want to use what I've learned about humanity as a whole and focus that awareness on one individual at a time. The look on someone's face when they have an "aha" moment is priceless. No act of kindness is completely selfless; when we help others it releases brain chemicals that make us feel great. But I'm also compelled by a sense of duty. It's not enough for me to observe and report - I feel it's my responsibility to help make people's lives better.
- I love science. Before enrolling in the journalism school at University of Florida I floated between different departments - engineering, architecture, pre-med...Although I'm hopeless at arithmetic, I've always admired the scientific method. The relentless pursuit of empirical truth that trickles down from hard science to everyday applications. Neuroscience, which informs my coaching practice, is a beautiful combination of evidence and real-world application, and gives us tools to understand how we think and behave.
- I can't help but think like a psychologist. Maybe it's genetic- just have a conversation with most of my family members and you'll see. It could also be because I moved at least five times before age ten and constantly had to adapt to new people and environments. Whatever the case, I've always enjoyed the challenge of looking inward to understand myself, as well as studying people's identity in the context of community and personality. What makes some people succeed when others fail? What makes one colleague happy and another depressed given the same variables? Why are some communities moral and peaceful while their neighbors are vengeful and violent? What must it feel like inside the mind of the strangers I meet, and what would they need to feel better? The opportunity to learn research-based tools to answer these questions feels like a worthy pursuit.
- Mindfulness practice helped me, and I want to share the love. I've had intense bouts of anxiety and depression, and I'm not alone. Thankfully I was introduced to the concept of mindfulness (as both meditation and philosophy) and it helped lift me out of my misery. Religion and spirituality aren't really my thing, so I was skeptical until I learned that science is proving the positive effects of the Buddha's ideas from a couple thousand years ago. This stuff changes the brain for the better when used properly.
- I'm not much of a salesman. The hustle is my least favorite part of being self-employed. So if I'm going to market myself I need to believe in my product. The good news is I don't feel conflicted about helping people help themselves. Your state of mind is THE most important factor in success, happiness, relationships, financial growth, physical health, etc., etc. Offering to help you with that feels great.
- I've been in your position. Making big changes is challenging. Sometimes it feels impossible. I know from firsthand experience. There can be so much guilt, shame and doubt involved that by the time you're ready to make the change it's because you're emotionally exhausted.
- Deeper 1-1 connections with people
- Helping directly, not abstractly
- Intellectually stimulating- missing science, psych interest
- went through career change, took forever, wants to help others
- understanding myself and others using tools rather than just intuition, long interest in identity
- successful photographer but needed something more. was interested in learning more about successful and truly happy people. having met many examples.
- applied mindfulness, interested for years and want to help others like they helped me
- as a freelancer, learning how to be bored, learning how to be busy, learning how to accept reality and make the most of it….gave me space to realize there was a deeper need to connect and help others. wish i had accelerated rather than a super long self-coaching process
- I don’t like marketing myself so if i’m going to do it i want it to be to directly help people. I can only sell something I really believe in.
- As for years without knowing what call it.
- I enjoy psychological thinking. What makes people tick, what makes people succeed or struggle, and what happens biologically, neurologically, what nature or nurture factors contributed to this.
- For some reason I avoided this in my earlier location although I was attracted to it. I didn't take it seriously as a profession, or maybe it was an already think critically for maybe I was too adventurous for movie distractive to sit still and analyze
- As journalist I trained by brain to be skeptical to find both sides of a story. Also observing people as photog to gain understanding of identity and beauty in context. Then use to publish results for wide audience to get info. Want to help others gather info about their brains/minds to find ways to change the story they tell themselves. We are negatively biased by nature about ourselves but the truth is a different story.