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When is the juice no longer worth the squeeze?

When do we let go? When is the juice not worth the squeeze? It seems like we always gravitate towards two extremes with our work: First, the hustle culture. You probably know this one. The idea that we should work around the clock burning the candle at both ends to get shit done (which is pretty unhealthy IMO). I’m all for diving headfirst into a project but not if it takes away from my life. I've always wanted to go into the freelance world, but was always too busy or too scared to really make the leap. My layoff kind of gave me the kick in the rear I needed to dive in head first into this world of freelance photography and design.

The second idea that is probably equally unhealthy is the, “it’ll be easy” culture. Are you familiar with this? This is the idea that once we find our passion, we will know it’s right because it will be so EASY. All the roadblocks will dissipate. Every wall will collapse, and if we do encounter a problem, we tell ourselves we must be on the wrong path because it’s supposed to be EASY.

What a fallacy… the truth is, turning your dreams into a reality requires a little struggle. And if you abandon ship because you aren’t successful right away, you are probably giving up too soon. I’ve felt this to be true for relationships too. Not just jobs. The tough question is: how do you know you’re giving up too soon? Or if it’s the right time to call it quits?

How do you measure the success? Maybe by money? Maybe by the level of passion you still have? If you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to do your thing, it’s probably not the time to give up. God doesn’t tell us life will be easy. He says “Be strong and courageous.“ (I recently learned this verse this past week). When things do feel too easy, we have to remember that luck is when hard work meets opportunity. All of the choices we’ve made in the past have led to now. Progress is never passive, but even knowing all of this, it’s still hard to know when to let go. These thoughts came to me during my street photography journey in the city this past month. What better place to contemplate the hustle culture than in the most bustling city in the world. Almost everyone here is burning the candle at both ends. Always trying to get every last drop of juice from the squeeze.

New York City Street Photography Feb 2023

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