Humans of New York (HONY) started as a photography project in 2010 after its founder, Brandon Stanton, lost his job in Chicago. It has become popular for featuring portraits of different people from New York, alongside inspiring and motivational quotes or short stories about their lives.
Last February, Stanton roamed Luneta, Malate, and other places in Manila to talk to Filipinos and know their inspiring stories. He also organized a back-to-back talk with his fans at the University of the Philippines Cine Adarna where he discussed the history of HONY and how it has changed his life.
Here, we list down some important life lessons from the New York Times best-selling author and photographer:
1. Spend time wisely.
“Spend time in ways that make us happy because we only have one life,” he said. Instead of spending all his time trying to earn money, Stanton tried to make just enough money to where he has enough time to pursue his love for photography. Spend time by doing something you love and everything else will follow.
2. “Following your dreams takes tons of hard work.”
Achieving something is not an overnight work. With HONY, Stanton believes that trusting yourself is the perfect formula to achieve your dreams.
3. Take the risk.
Like us, Brandon also got scared of the future, but that didn’t let his worries take over. That’s how he started making Humans of New York as his passion project. From taking the photo of the two boys in the subway, the Facebook page now has over 18 million followers all over the world.
4. “It is more important to be different than to be good.”
There are tons of good photographers based in New York, but Brandon is different. He captured the hearts of his followers by sharing photos of people and their amazing stories of hope, love, happiness, and heartbreaks. It’s just a clear proof that being good at something is never enough. Being good and different at the same time will make your work something special.
5. “You can’t wait for the golden idea before you start doing it.”
People try to think of the perfect idea before they finally start working. For Brandon, starting to execute an idea immediately is the key. If you want to pursue your musical career, do it now. If you want to publish a book, start writing. Doing it later may delay your success. “If I waited for the idea of Humans of New York, I never would have started Humans of New York,” he added.