03.20.11 Personal

A Conversation About Failure

From: Jane P. Chung
Subject: "Are you happy?"
Date: March 11, 2011
To: Jasmine Star

I don't know if you remember, but the last time we worked together at Pelican Hill, you stared me straight in the eye and asked me if I was happy. Ever since you asked me that - and I don't get asked that often - I've been asking myself that daily. Not because I'm not happy, but just because it remains with me as such a profound gut check.

X put me in contact with Y at Flower Company and I'm going to be starting as her assistant in April. It all happened so fast in the span of a few days but when Y actually offered me the job, instead of jumping for joy for the gig of my dreams at the moment, I found myself completely paralyzed with fear. Fear of change, fear of the lost of security, fear of failure - big fat Fear with a capital F. (And frankly, the fear of the drive from Los Angeles to Newport Beach daily. :)) It occurred to me that as I stood on the cusp of a cliff I've been wanting and waiting for, I suddenly wasn't sure I wanted to jump at all. It boggled my mind. Then I thought of you, your story, and your advice to be true to yourself and to speak your hopes and dreams aloud. I realized I'm so blessed to even have this opportunity come at a time when I could make the career change but most importantly, that there is a great possibility that I'd be able to answer a resounding YES if ever asked again about my happiness.

here's to endless optimism for your dream home on the beach...

From: Jasmine Star
Subject: RE: "Are you happy?"
Date: March 12, 2011
To: Jane P. Chung

you. oh, you.
i'm so, so darn proud of you! this is it! this is what we've been waiting for. yes, i made it plural because i am so sure of you.
and, i hate to break it to you, failure is going to come. without a doubt. but failure comes in whatever path you choose in life and, really, it's how you deal with failure that makes you a success. and happy. trust me...i speak from experience.
and--oh emm gee--that commute is going to suck. horribly. but if you love what you do, then it doesn't matter. and maybe you can work east coast hours and avoid the madness on the freeways. or whatever.
yes, you are blessed. know this. embrace this. cherish this.
at the end of the day, it's better to have tried and failed, than to have lived your life in a constant state of what-if. get those hands covered in pollen, girl...THIS. IS. IT!!!!!!!!!!!
lah-lah-love you,
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Abby Grace Photography - This is a crazy encouraging/horribly depressing post for me to read right now. Only depressing because I envy her freedom to do what she's done. But crazy encouraging because I'm praying I'm less than a year from being able to do the same.   04.28.11 - 12:41pm
Erkin Ańüsaran - "at the end of the day, it's better to have tried and failed, than to have lived your life in a constant state of what-if" I think I'll be quoting this :)   04.01.11 - 6:31am
Michael - This idea of failure is resonating with so many spheres right now. There is a conference on failure just for pastors/leaders coming up next month.  03.24.11 - 5:37pm
linda - Asking yourself if you are happy on a regular basis is definitely something we forget to do especially amongst the busyness of our lives. It is this simple task that keeps us aware of finding ways to be happy when we're not, cutting out things that make us unhappy, and appreciating all the things we have that make us happy and getting more of that. It helps us to evaluate our state in life to make it the best possible. I'm realizing it's easy to let fear take over even our most joyous moments but our strength and love that overcome that. Best of luck Jane in letting the fear come second to pursuing your dream!  03.24.11 - 3:40pm
Cate - Thanks for posting this. I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer far away in Moldova and I had what I thought was such a great idea for a project... and it failed. I'm not very good at handling failures so I appreciate this post!! :)  03.24.11 - 8:01am
Faith Bowyer - Love this. I'm in the same type of position as Jane right now, but regarding photography (not flowers), and I needed to hear (errr read) this right now. Thanks for this post.  03.23.11 - 6:09pm
Yvonne - You Rock!! Seriously! :)  03.23.11 - 1:53pm
Bobbie Brown - Love this.   03.23.11 - 11:32am
feuza - I don't want to live a life paraylized by fear, nope,  03.22.11 - 7:36pm
Lyle - Wow...this is so true...failure will come but how you deal with defines character.  03.22.11 - 6:18pm
Marcia - J* you forever rock!!!!!!! I've admired you for so long. the courage and fierceness you constantly share is the reason you continue to grow so darn huge.... Love you girl :)  03.22.11 - 9:01am
Jenna Danelle - I am soooo terrified about starting up with this photography thing... I've had a pretty SOLID career as a drug and alcohol counselor for 6 years! I loved it, yes... But I love my husband more, and he is active duty military - so we move, constantly! Which means I have to re-take state board exams to get licensed to practice every time we move! It's a year process, and is rediculas, I get no where fast in my career like this! Photography makes me happy, very happy, so I've given up solid and amazing income, for a part time barely pay my minimum payments on my bills kinda job to pursue this DREAM and get my business up and running! I'm terrified! Daily. I'm struggling really badly. But I'm happy with what the future can bring me if I WORK really hard at this! Thank you for sharing. I need inspiration on a regular basis - you are my guiding * for sure! <3  03.21.11 - 9:54pm
Staci - What a great post! I was once asked, "What makes you happy outside of your job?" And I had to sit and think about it. I was at the end of my grad. school journey where I worked while I went to school and literally would go to class in the morning, work till whenever work was done, then homework and before you know it, it was midnight and I was at it again. It pained me to realize that I hadn't thought about what else made me happy...and that I had to THINK about what should have been such a simple question. I try to visit this question every once in awhile because it really helps me gain perspective on life and how I want to live it :)  03.21.11 - 6:41pm
April Cenora - J*, You are a true inspiration to a new name in the industry. Your positive energy makes completely inspires me. Thank you for this post, it really hit home. :-}   03.21.11 - 6:01pm
Tanya A. - Thank you. THIS is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Thank you Thank you Thank you!! :)   03.21.11 - 3:44pm
Abbey - J*, you are just ball of positive energy. I hope you realize that you were put here on this earth to inspire other. And you do it soo well. Thank you for opening up your heart to us. I'm soo sad that I missed you when you were up in CT last week. I pray that I get to meet you in the near future!   03.21.11 - 1:26pm
rich - jasmine, you inspire so many people daily - thank you for always helping us to see more and push further!  03.21.11 - 9:42am
Bill Raab - I think there is a little bit of all of us in what Jane shared. I definitely know that is true for me. I tend to always love the journey more so than the destination. In my case my fears about any shoot do not kick in until it "is time". I don't think those fears will ever go away for me. Quite honestly I hope they don't. They keep me on my toes and I do not let them overwhelm me, that would be the worst thing I could let happen. I have to keep pushing through my fears if I am going to grow and if I am going to realize more and more of the vision that I have and make materialize. Good luck Jane. Never let fear stop you from chasing your dream.  03.21.11 - 7:21am
Kristin Nicole - Love this....I needed that reminder   03.21.11 - 6:25am
Shuva Rahim - Inspiring indeed... Good for her :-)  03.21.11 - 6:08am
LEOLAK -'ve made me cry...again!! Thanks for sharing...Jane...congratulations and much luck to you in getting to achieve your dream! You are certainly not alone in feeling the fear, but you give hope to me (and others) to just push pass that fear and go for my dream. Jasmine..."it's how you deal with failure that makes you a success" AND "it's better to have tried and failed, than to have lived your life in a constant state of what-if"...thank you for this constant reminder said in so many different ways...I'm getting closer to letting go of my fear to reach my dream...I can't ignore the happiness that comes over me with a camera in my hand. Thank you for your continued inspiration.  03.20.11 - 10:48pm
Sarah Danaher - jasmine, you're precious.  03.20.11 - 10:17pm
kay* - this is a wonderful wonderful reminder and couldn't be more timely. i'm reading this as i sit halfway around the world from my family and friends. me in Delhi, India and everything familiar back home in Toronto. i'm on day 4. still in training. will be working as a paid volunteer. it's something i've wanted to do for a long time and sometimes, as i sit here i think "what the HECK am i I I happy..." but like Jane I'm blessed to be at a point in my life where I can accept this opportunities and embrace them. like you said in your response to Jane - it's better to have tried and failed than have embracing this culture so very different than my own. and i'll remember this post.  03.20.11 - 9:02pm
Katelyn James - ya know... I have an email like this from you....back when I hosted my first basic workshop during college and I had a FREAKOUT because I was convinced that I WAS NOT qualified to teach ANYTHING to ANYONE.....well, I JUST hosted my 2nd workshop YESTERDAY.....with 18 wonderful photographers from the 3 different states and I must say...... you deserve some credit my dear! a lot of credit.....thank you for encouraging me when really, you had no reason to. Before I was your bride.... before I had any "money shots" in my portfolio.... before I had a pretty little blog..... you believed in me and you'll never know the impact that has had.... thank you friend:) xoxo  03.20.11 - 8:51pm
Jessica Sweeney - Oh yes, Jane and Jasmine, this is a great reminder! Sometimes I AM afraid of success, because it brings with it so much responsibility. But with confidence, and hard work, it is a true blessing. Thanks for the reminder. And for keeping it real.   03.20.11 - 8:19pm
Lloyed Valenzuela - Inspiring!!! Good luck Jane...i can relate in sooo many ways.   03.20.11 - 7:58pm
Anh - This post brought tears to my eyes. :)   03.20.11 - 7:23pm
nadean - LOVE your passion in everything you do Jasmine!!  03.20.11 - 5:06pm
monica ouziel - heard in a song today "if you want to kiss the sky you gotta learn how to kneel" this lyric in the song says it all life throws us curveballs and we can choose to run with a new ball or stay out in left field. Amazing possibilities lie ahead and waiting for me. Happiness means living in the moment and as Jim Quinn used to say everyone wants flowers give to others and most of all give them to yourself!   03.20.11 - 4:52pm
Columbus GA Photography - Pretty awesome story. Best of luck to you Jane!  03.20.11 - 4:21pm
Lydia - I'm ready to take some risks this week!  03.20.11 - 4:01pm
life with k - happiness overload. love this. la-la-la-love it.  03.20.11 - 2:42pm
Erika C - Big Huge Smile!!!! That's what this post brought to my face. You rock my creative world :0)  03.20.11 - 2:32pm
Tammynize - Your message is always so inspirational. You touch hearts. Thanks Jasmine.  03.20.11 - 2:25pm
Elizabeth at Seaport Photo - Dear Jasmine...I want to buy one of the first (signed!) copies of the book you have to are more inspirational than you will ever know...and I've read way more than my share of "self-help" books! Looking forward to your CreativeLive workshop coming up in Seattle...we'll try to arrange sunny weather for you while you're here.  03.20.11 - 2:00pm
kelsey {las vegas wedding photographer} - Thanks for sharing this! I must remember to ask myself this often!  03.20.11 - 1:59pm
dee - wow. what a powerful blog post! I have to be honest and say that it made tears come to my eyes. Gosh.  03.20.11 - 1:12pm
ashley barnett - Ah yes, this is what I needed to see today :) Thank you!  03.20.11 - 1:02pm
Tanya De Leeuw - Fear of Failure. I am Familiar with that Feeling ... in Fact, I'd call it my Friend. On my journey into Photography, though, I see that my Future is bright and I know I'll Flourish! Glad I'm not alone on this road! Thanks for sharing, Jane & Jasmine!  03.20.11 - 12:37pm
Raquel - Thank you for sharing this personal story! There are so many of us with BIG dreams that are paralyzed by fear. I made a big step recently in overcoming that fear and appreciate people like you who remind us that we're not alone.   03.20.11 - 12:21pm
Raquel - Thank you for sharing this personal story! There are so many of us that have BIG dreams and let fear keep us paralyzed. I am working hard at making my dream a reality, and it's always reassuring to know you're not alone.   03.20.11 - 12:17pm
Christina Dely - Fantastic post! And on a Sunday too! Gasp! :) I think this is something that SO many of us can relate to.  03.20.11 - 11:59am
Shauna - Oh thank you so much for sharing this, Jasmine... I read this post at the exact right moment...Today I have a HUGE meeting with another photog in town that wants to refer weddings.. to ME.. little 'old me... I don't even have a wedding portfolio yet! His kind words and compliments truly blew me away. When I got his initial message I was jumping up and down with glee.. this is the break I NEED! but then today while waiting to go meet him.. there have been moments where I feel like a huge imposter.. terrified about what this could all mean for me.. am I really good enough?? am I ready for this?? am I good enough?? *stomach flipping and seething* maybe I shouldn't be doing this... could I do this? Of course I can. This is my dream... the universe is coming together in amazing ways for me.. sometimes it's just hard to see through the Fog of Fear (or FOF as I like to call it ;). Keep reminding us chicky... love your reality checks. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting with destiny :D Shauna xo  03.20.11 - 11:57am
Ashley Terry - Thank you, Jasmine. This could not have come at a more perfect time. Yesterday I launched my own Showit photography website, and boy is it scary. But that is nothing compared to the fear of looking back and wondering what might have been. Without your daily dose of inspiration, I'm not completely sure I would have taken this step. Thank you.  03.20.11 - 11:56am
Robert - "Then I thought of you, your story, and your advice to be true to yourself and to speak your hopes and dreams aloud." Here this ... thanks and I'm way past the point where this should have mattered -- but, I'm going to try it again! Thanks Jasmine ... I'm going out on a limb and saying I know you'll get that house on the beach ... it's a strong limb!  03.20.11 - 11:49am
Adriana Morett - Dear J*. Thank you. You have no idea how big an inspiration you can be for people whom you've never even met. I love this blog, and your writing style, and your photographic style, so much!! Thank you.   03.20.11 - 11:36am
ami - I'm on a similar road, so Jane, you're not alone! I was offered a career-defining promotion at my job -- a great job if you love working in my field -- but instead I sat down with my boss and told him that I needed to decline. Because I want to be a photographer. After that, I have had the occasional freakout, like, "Oh, crap, what have I DONE? What if this doesn't work out? What am I going to DO?" But really, what if I hadn't done it? I would have regretted that more. I'm so afraid to fail, but happier than I have been for a very long time. I'd be happier failing at this than succeeding ten fold at my day job. So I figure that must be a good sign, right?? I'm walking right along with you. Here's to pursuing our dreams. You can do it!!  03.20.11 - 11:30am
Noa - Yes, yes, YES!!! Making the leap is flippin' scary!!!! Its even scarier when you have a family to provide for. But you know what, Jane? Its so worth it, beyond your wildest imagination. Reading J*'s blog a year and a half ago changed my life and caused me to do the scariest thing in the world - follow my dreams. There is not a day that goes by that I don't pinch myself and say "I am so lucky. and blessed". Follow your dreams, sister.... Dream big and then bigger. I'm rooting for you!!! Noa  03.20.11 - 11:24am
Stephanie Saul - "It is how you deal with your failure that makes you a success." I LOVE this Jasmine! I'm going to steal it and use it sometime in the near future ;-)  03.20.11 - 11:20am
Brittani - =) Awesome. Very inspiring. This is great, and I'm glad you posted it J. &hearts;  03.20.11 - 11:02am
Brittani - =) Awesome. Very inspiring. This is great, and I'm glad you posted it J. &hearts;  03.20.11 - 11:02am
angel - Pure awesomeness!  03.20.11 - 11:01am
Kaylee Sizemore - life is a journey, a work in progress...  03.20.11 - 10:50am
Isaac Stott - This sounds an a lot like someone I know. Isn't weird how sometimes we can fear success more than we fear failure. Thanks for sharing, and Jane, I know you will tear up the flower world (or whatever flower folks say for doing an awesome job:)  03.20.11 - 10:44am
Brian Bulemore - Thanks for this little gem Jasmine...just what i needed as I am currently on a trip toIndia making efforts at street photography and portraiture in some of the most challenging surroundings and circumstances I've ever been in...and have had quite an experience of some intense "fails". the few and far between successes have been enough to keep me going! The reminder about living rather than living in fear and what ifs was perfectly timed rock!   03.20.11 - 10:44am