Things will never be the same. Perhaps instead of waiting for things to get back "to the way they used to be", it is about adapting to this BRAVE NEW WORLD ... and for us to also learn how to profit/benefit from these uncertain times.
Just my thoughts. Theory -- depression, anxiety, and melancholy originating from the body (physiology). There is nothing wrong with you. Loss of motivation (desire to move) must originate in the body. More
I prefer thinking a more physics-based approach to life. Don’t think about “fate” and stuff like that, but think:
How will my actions manifest in reality?
How I conquered my own personal fear: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/11/how-i-conquered-fear/
I am proud to announce NONFUTURE-- the newest film by Cindy Nguyen (all edited and cut by Cindy in Final Cut Pro -- I was just the camera-man). A truly beautiful piece of art-work we produced through the pain and struggle of COVID-19. If this rings a bell with you, please share with a family member, friend, or loved one.
More here: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/05/nonfuture-film-by-cindy-nguyen/
Aren't you so happy to be alive? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/04/the-great-joy-of-existence/
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/THE-GREAT-JOY.mp3
YOU GOT THE POWER. You got the power to complain whine and moan, or you got the power to take your steel and make your own throne.
This is your Rome and Romulus ain’t holding you back. Never backtrack; only attack.
POWER is within you, and power is you. So why despise you?
Love you, and believe in you. Adamantine spine, live your life divine.
Why avoid news? It is like the human centipede of shit and fear. You keep consuming more fear, and you feel more fearful. You become more timid, scared, and paralyzed.
Your personal interests and the interests of the news and media isn’t aligned.
Consider– social media and these corporations are ‘fear merchants’. They aren’t incentivized to give you truthful information or news. Their ultimate goal is to maximize profits– via advertising. Their only incentive in making things ‘truthful’ is only insofar-much as people stop using their platform, which will result in less money earned and fewer profits.
Thus ask yourself:
Is it in the best interests of the news to give me the most personally-relevant, accurate, and useful information?
SOCIAL DISTANCING. Very interesting. Why? It is going to change how humans interact with one another for a very long time... https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/01/the-sociology-of-social-distancing/
CERTAINLY there is good and bad in life. But, perhaps the best way to live is this:
When shit hits the fan, figure out how you can benefit, profit, and EXPLOIT it in a good way for yourself!
For example: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/31/exploit-the-best-from-tragedy-and-life-philosophy/
What will be the industries of the future?
IT [information technology]
Crypto-currency [Bitcoin, Digibyte, Alt-coins, etc]
Amazon, delivery services
Live-streaming, live-webcam, live-life-streaming [imagine someone just walking around and live-streaming what it feels to be outdoors to others].
Mp3 file: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/P1451086-FUTURE-INDUSTRIES.mp3
WHAT'S THE POINT OF MONEY IN A POST-MONETARY SOCIETY? I think we are currently seeing vestiges of this impending future. A future of Capitalism 2.0. Less focus on money. More focus on... something else? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/30/post-monetary-society/
Share your opinion. Why? There is no right and wrong when it comes to your opinion. And if you got a true opinion, best to share it with others!
STOICISM FOR DUMMIES
MY INTRODUCTION TO STOICISM (simplified):
1. Life is all upside, no downside.
First principle -- recognize that life is all upside, no downside.
Let us take every event in life and transform it into our advantage!
Why do we get bitter and salty in life? My theory:
We self-sacrifice ourselves but when others aren't grateful as much as they 'should be', we become resentful towards them and reality.
Thus, it seems the solution is to become maximally self-centered, selfish, introverted, egotistical, and vain.
3. What is the duty of a stoic?
Your goal is to maximally empower yourself, then empower others along the way.
In life, you can have your cake and eat it too! Or, how to kill two birds with one stone: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/27/in-praise-of-double-dipping/
CURRENTLY I feel hyper-happy. Why? My physiological strength is off the Richter.
You don't know when you're gonna die. So perhaps make and create art-works like today were your last day on planet earth. And of course, share it with others! Share it on your own website, blog, YouTube, or directly with friends via email, messenger, text message, email newsletter!
What makes life so sweet? The opportunity to create art: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/27/life-is-and-reality-is-worth-it-even-for-a-few-great-photos/
Let us be honest with ourselves:
Even once this clears up, things will never be the way they used to be.
This is a good way to think. Why? It allows us to quickly adapt and move on with our lives!
I think we're afraid of the fear associated (BEFORE) you die...not the actual death itself.
Strive to motivate yourself (to move) to the maximum, and share your ideas/thoughts with others... to also encourage them to move and motivate themselves! https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/23/motivate-yourself-motivate-others/
What's the point of moving? To propel yourself. To MOVE. Move forward, move upwards... move to a higher level... a new plane!
Now is your chance. Your opportunity. This type of opportunity only comes once in (your) lifetime!
Mp4 file: https://videos.files.wordpress.com/gwdcoWQ2/brave-new-world-of-digital-entrepreneurship-1080.mov
Okay looks like zombie apocalypse mode is fully on. If you're working from home, here are some ideas to become more productive:
Turn off your wifi: 'Freedom' is a great app to TURN OFF YOUR WIFI for certain periods of time. For example, you can say: "Freedom, turn off all wifi on my laptop for the next 2 hours" and you literally cannot access your internet for the next 2 hours [even if you restart your computer]. Ultimate life hack to be more productive is to TURN OFF YOUR WIFI and NOT get distracted by the internet!
Get on the ground and do max rep pushups: For a fun game, get on the ground and see how many pushups you can do in one go. Or bodyweight squats. Or crunches. When you get your hormones going, you will have more inspiration to actually work.
Standing desk: I have a ghetto standing desk at home. I put a plastic box and Bounty paper towels on top of my kitchen counter, then put my laptop on top of it. When you stand and use the computer, you're more productive. More activation of your legs!
Uninstall all apps from your phone, and use your phone to make phone calls and text message. Use your phone to make phone calls and text message. If your parents are sick, they will call or text you. Uninstall Facebook, Reddit, Netflix, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. All this will distract you.
Walk around the block [if possible]. Or open the window and get fresh air. Movement to our legs and fresh air is good for creative productivity.
Intermittent fasting: If you're not leaving your home, practice intermittent fasting. No breakfast or lunch, only dinner. Break your fast at around 6pm-8pm. During the day only drink black coffee and water.
Call a friend or family member: To break up the day, call a friend or family member! Social interaction via the phone is one of the best ways to re-spark your motivation!
Play music on speakers: No headphones. Blast your music, listen to the bass. Bass activates your heart rhythm-- which will pump you up and get you going!
Have (another) cup of black coffee.
Take a nap. If you're exhausted, you can FINALLY take a nap during 'working hours'. The ultimate energy and life hack.
Shit is a bit cray cray right now, but think to yourself:
How can I use this opportunity (stuck at home all day) to build my side hustle, get into shape, build muscle, lose fat, and focus?
This chance can be yours to truly thrive! ERIC
THE GOAL AIN'T TO BECOME ANYONE ELSE BUT YOURSELF! https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/19/become-yourself/
Why aren't we encouraged to become ourselves?
You are imperfect, bad, and you must become like x, y, z if you desire to become worthy, loved, and virtuous.
What we are currently witnessing might be a sign of things to come. A new society. Society 2.0.
Why commute to work? Why not just work from home?
Why have in-person meetings, when you can do it virtually? Or — why have meetings at all? Has anyone ever truly accomplished or created something truly unique and great during a meeting? Doubtful.
Consumerism and capitalism on pause
When we can no longer buy stuff, no longer go to the mall, no longer travel, no longer go to restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment venues — what is the point of earning money besides paying rent and feeding ourselves?
Producers shall inherit the earth
Who will thrive in this brave new world? The creators and producers, NOT consumers.
A brave new world of digital entrepreneurship
I am excited. With the destruction of Society 1.0, there will be NEW GROWTH and NEW LIFE in this brave new digital economy. More cryptocurrency, more digital products, more digital art works.
More self sustaining things. More self-reliance. For example, if you cannot go to the art store, of course you can’t buy paint and canvases. So what are you to do? Make digital art on your iPad at home! Same goes with photography. Why buy and shoot film and process it, when you can do it all digitally?
Think new opportunities
'Digital sharecropping' is probably a more fair assessment than 'digital slavery', but the sentiment is pretty much the same. If you find your self-esteem and self-ego tied up with numbers on social media (likes, followers, views, etc) -- you're metaphorically enslaved to social media, and their whims.
Take the red pill
Social media is a metaphorical matrix. If we are being subtly programmed to act, think, and feel a certain way -- we are becoming enslaved.
Consider -- if you ever feel social media 'nudging' you to think, feel, and behave a certain way, this is bad.
If your ultimate goal is apex artistic productivity, or to become the most epic human-being, you must delete Instagram, stop using Reddit, stop using Facebook, and instead -- become a producer and creator (instead of a passive consumer of social media content).
I'm so motivated because I'm in hyper-health, physiologically thriving, through powerlifting and sleeping a lot, through intermittent fasting, and eating lots of meat.
Also, the child-like curiosity in creating new things!
Creativity isn't this superpower you're born with (or not). Creativity is having the DESIRE or the motivation to CREATE and make stuff!
Also, creativity is something which can be trained (like our muscles)!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/26/a-new-definition-of-creativity-propensity-or-desire-to-create/
To conquer photography, we must kill all prior notions of photography, and declare to ourselves:
I shall become the most epic photographer of all-time, and build up all my creative/visual faculties to the maximum!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/26/how-to-conquer-photography/
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/HOW-TO-CONQUER-PHOTOGRAPHY.mp3
Consider-- we as photographers are both image-makers and idea-makers. This is huge, because it means we have the power to shape, interpret, and mould reality to our own liking.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/26/photographers-shall-inherit-the-earth/
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Prioritize-Your-Own-Needs-Desires-and-Wants-Over-Others.mp3
To maximize your impact and change in the world, embrace MAXIMUM SELFISHNESS, and barbell 'maximum altruism' on the other end.
Why prioritize yourself?
My thought is this:
We want to avoid pettiness and resentment in life.
Often when we spend our entire lives devoting it to others (instead of focusing on our own self-development), we start to build hidden resentment towards others.
Why not posit yourself as an end into yourself?
Why are we not allowed to posit ourselves as an end unto ourselves?
Well -- Christian/Utilitarian morality says:
Thou shalt become a useful instrument for the masses and others.
And also in almost all cultures in the world, the notion of being 'selfish' is synonymous with 'evil'.
Why is this? Well-- in the past (when there was a limited pie, zero-sum society), any benefit you gave yourself was a HIDDEN DOWNSIDE to others. For example if I have a pizza with 12 slices and I eat 6 slices, that means 6 fewer slices for my community or family. But in today's world with infinite technology and effectively infinite/free food, these old-school notions of 'selfish' being 'evil' is not a good one.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/25/prioritize-your-own-needs-desires-and-wants-over-others/
In life, we always want to feel that our power, influence, and strength is ASCENDING. It brings us great dismay when we feel our power is descending.
For example, when we think about money — it isn’t about how much money you ultimately got. It is more about income flow (the stream of money constantly entering your bank account), the feeling that your earning potential is increasing, and the feeling that your bank account is becoming more swollen. We want to see upwards growth — this is the feeling of augmenting strength.
Also for myself, I track my personal growth via my strength gains. I track my “PR” (personal records) at the gym in my deadlift, squat, and bench press. When I feel that I’m on the road to increasing my ultimate strength and lifts, I’m happy. When I look at myself in the mirror and I see my body and muscles getting bigger, I feel happy. But once again — it isn’t about objective strength, or ultimate strength or numbers. It is about the feeling of growth, the feeling of increasing power.
Don’t allow your will to be obstructed
I think this is the big thing:
The worst anger is when we feel that our will is being obstructed by something.
Then perhaps anger is like fire and ammunition— anger gives us ADDITIONAL strength, power, and adrenaline to overcome obstacles, enemies, or those who get in our way, or who we feel is obstructing us. Thus perhaps the biological thing is to channel your anger to overcome whatever is obstructing your will. Perhaps this is how warriors, fighters, and soldiers fight — by channeling a combination of desire to become dominant, part fear (to focus them), and also part anger that their opponent is getting in their way.
Then it seems that the goal of life is to never stop augmenting our strength, power, and influence in the world. It is all about continual growth and progression.
What does a tree want? A tree wants to grow infinitely tall, and to maximally extract resources from the earth — burrowing her roots deeper, and gathering more nutrition from the sky.
What do we as individuals desire? We desire to feel as if we’re always ascending and becoming more, and becoming stronger. Perhaps this desire is a good one. This is the fuel which keeps us empowered and motivated in life to keep on going!
How many resources can you consume, or should you consume?
Now this is the tricky thing — this notion of “sustainability”. We humans consume lots of resources.
Let us talk about ourselves as individuals, not of “humanity” as an abstract whole.
First question: how much resources do we need as individuals?
For myself, I of course desire the maximally optimal conditions for my own individual thriving. This means, being self employed (not having to work a 9-5), having complete freedom over the cadence and flow of my day, having a fast WiFi connection (to upload), a clean and Uber-convenient apartment (minimal cleaning and maintenance), no car, no responsibilities, a good powerlifting gym close by, lots of natural light, coffee and water on tap, and meat on tap (crockpot). Besides this, I don’t need too much.
For my tools, digital camera (RICOH GR III), vlogging camera (Lumix G9), laptop (MacBook Pro), tablet (iPad Pro).
When do I feel my personal power is ascending?
I feel my personal power is ascending when I’m creating more. When I’m making more. When I’m sharing more.
Also the feeling that I’m discovering deeper truths about art, life, photography. This is great, because augmenting my personal power is 100% in my grasp — my feeling of augmented power comes from my sense of artistic creation and productivity.
Practical tips on how to become a more productive artist and creator:
Intermittent fasting: Don't get food coma during the day. Fast until evening or dinner-time. After eating a (massive) and meat-heavy dinner, it is best to 'food coma' and go straight to sleep.
Sleep a shitload: I aim for 10-12 hours. This is good for me, because I start the day with 110% battery capability.
When you can no longer do creative work, walk to the gym and powerlift.
Drink much water and coffee during the day.
Maximal walking, standing, and movement.
To blog, vlog, and log yourself on the internet --
To share your stream of constantly becoming with others.
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Why-I-Blog-Vlog-and-Log.mp3
What is the worst thing holding us back?
This obsession for views, likes, and followers.
To truly thrive as a photographer and visual artist, you must learn to DISDAIN views, likes, and followers.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/24/anti-views-likes-followers/
To photograph yourself means:
Select a certain aesthetic to convey your personal aesthetic tastes, moods, or attitude towards life.
Only photograph what you consider beautiful. Or if you want to photograph what you consider ugly, do it with intent.
Don’t strive to make “good” photos. Strive to make HONEST photos that reveal part of yourself and your own soul.
There is the saying "You are what you eat" which means:
If you consume nutritious foods, you shall become powerful. If you consume bad foods, you shall become weak and fat.
Perhaps we can approach this attitude to photography --
If you are what you photograph, by photographing what brings you joy will make you more joyful and happy!
Apparently there is a saying in Chinese:
Health begins from your feet upwards.
Which made me think:
The source of all photography begins in your feet!
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Photograph-with-Your-Feet.mp3
The perfect conditions of existence is the optimal circumstances you need to maximize your artistic and philosophical output
Mp3 file: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/What-are-the-Perfect-Conditions-of-Existence.mp3
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/4.-Unlock-Your-Hidden-Superpower.mp3
What are Your Hidden Powers?
PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Share-Your-Perspective.pdf
No more censoring yourself. Better to be insanely and brutally honest than to water down your opinion.
All of your perspectives are legitimate and worthy to be shared.
All perspectives are equally legitimate, but the difference is rather: How many people can you get to listen to you and follow/obey you? Or better yet-- how convincing are you?
Your perspective is irrefutable.
The great thing about having a unique perspective:
Nobody can refute your perspective as being 'right' or 'wrong'.
All perspectives are subjective -- the great liberating thought!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/22/your-perspective-is-irrefutable/
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/22/i-wanna-be-me/
I WANNA BE ME!
Your goal in life, not to become anyone else, but become MORE YOU!
'I wanna be like Mike!'
Do you remember those old-school commercials with Michael Jordan saying:
"I wanna be like Mike."
Why was this so catchy?
First of all, it rhymed. Secondly, people wanted to BECOME Michael Jordan. He was the greatest athlete during his time, and everyone wanted to become more epic. Thus the notion was this:
If you buy Michael Jordan sneakers, you can become MORE LIKE Michael Jordan.
For example, if you wanted more dominance on the court, wearing "MJ's" would give you more of an edge. People obviously know that wearing a pair of sneakers won't magically turn you into Michael Jordan, but most people think is:
It will augment my innate abilities to a new level.
So the goal is with consumer purchases:
We want to take ourselves to the next level.
Why aren't we allowed to be ourselves?
Why are we encouraged to become OTHER PEOPLE, and not encouraged to become more of ourselves?
My thought is this:
In modern society, we are DISCOURAGED to become ourselves, because of the notion of 'original sin', and the notion that the only legitimate person to imitate is Jesus.
In society we aspire towards messiah-figures. MJ was a messiah-figure in the realm of sports.
Also, Christian morality says:
Thou art a sinner and imperfect, and in order to gain eternal salvation in the afterlife, you must become LESS OF YOURSELF, and become more 'holy' and 'virtuous' (imitating Jesus Christ).
Modern (American) society is weird and contradictory.
This is the problem with American society:
All the desiderata (things we should desire and aspire towards) is contradictory.
For example, consider the ridiculous mis-mash of all these American notions:
Duty to one's family, country, nation, and community.
I feel the reason why consumerism and capitalism has worked well is this:
We all want to differentiate ourselves and gain ascendancy over other humans, but we are taught that we cannot do so without hurting the feelings of others (assuming we change our character and personality). Instead, the only 'safe' way to feel superior is to purchase certain things which augment our feeling of superiority.
Be proud of yourself
Our new virtues:
In praise of (good conscience) bragging
Perhaps these new virtues will elevate us to the next level!
What are Your Hidden Powers?
What lies latent within you? What hidden powers do you have, that you haven't discovered yet, or let out yet?
What is your hidden mutant power?
When reading AKIRA, or thinking about X-MEN, the thought is this:
How can we unlock or uncover hidden human super-powers -- and augment and grow it, to be used for 'the greater good'?
What distracts us?
The problem -- entertainment is being used as a sedative, rather than something to AUGMENT your powers and uncover your hidden powers.
Perhaps if we are constantly being distracted or entertained to death, we lose our inner-signal (our hidden powers), because we are being drowned in noise.
Thus the first Zen-Taoist notion is this:
In order to uncover our hidden powers, we must let ourselves become empty, vacant, in order to let our inner-power and inner-signal to come out.
What is effortless to you?
A hidden power is this:
What can you do insanely well, which doesn't feel like 'work'?
For example, what seems easy to you which seems difficult for others?
Don't fake humble.
"I don't gotta fake humble just because your ass is insecure." - KENDRICK LAMAR
If you know you're good at something, no need to fake humble. Humility is a vice. Humility denigrates us, humility lowers us.
Don't "humble brag". Better to "vain-brag". If you think you're great; don't censor yourself.
The reason we must become vain is this:
To augment your hidden superpowers, you cannot talk down on yourself.
We must not be ashamed of our gift. Instead, it is perhaps a good thing to boast about what we are good at-- in order to augment our self-confidence, in order to maximize our gift!
Black and white simplifies and uncovers the hidden beauty.
I love black and white because:
Black and white SIMPLIFIES your compositions
Black and white is challenging: A 'creative constraint' of monochrome is interesting because it begs the question, "How can you make an interesting image without adding the interest of color?"
Black and white is simpler, more minimal -- which follows my personal aesthetics.
Black and white is more open-ended for the viewer. It forces the viewer to use more of their own imagination to interpret the image, making the image more memorable!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/22/why-black-and-white/
Augment your strengths.
In order to MAXIMIZE your productivity, you must SIMPLIFY your life to the maximum as well!
Why this cult of productivity? My theory-- we want to become more productive (in order to make more money), in order to gain our personal freedom in life.
Problems with big file sizes:
Wasted time: More time to import, export photos, videos, and files.
Internet speeds are still quite slow.
Often more megapixels is WORSE image quality.
More money — more money used on storage (offline) or online (cloud).
Learn more >
More megapixels, more problems: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2015/10/14/more-megapixels-more-problems/
Mp3 file: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/In-Praise-of-Small-File-Sizes.mp3
Leave others alone; tolerate their behavior and way of living!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/20/the-golden-and-silver-rule-of-ethics-maximally-tolerant-society/
Mp4 video: https://videopress.com/v/wtTAllZn
The goal isn't to become someone else; the goal is for you to become more maximally you!
Video mp4 file download: https://videopress.com/v/ricfmI2x
PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/How-to-Become-Yourself-3.pdf
LEARN MORE: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/18/why-i-live/
WHY I LIVE
Why do I live? Why do I wakeup everyday?
What pushes me? What drives me? Why do I do what I do, and why am I so excited to (continue) living?
First of all, excitement. I am excited for the day -- today. What I will do, what I will attempt, and what I will accomplish. And to be frank, I am not so concerned whether I achieve it or not, but I'm more curious about fulfilling my curiosity:
CAN I do this-- am I strong enough?
I then attempt it. If I fail, it ain't that big of a deal. I then simply know that I will continue to train, and continue to attempt! Because even success is a bit overrated. When I succeed, I'm always interested to go 'onto the next one'. Thus, success and failure are the same thing to me. What is more important: ATTEMPTING to go BEYOND.
Helping empower others
My morality and ethics are very simple:
Treat others how I would like to have been treated when I was a kid.
Or more simply:
Treating others how I would like others to treat me.
For example, I am sooooo grateful for all the adults who helped empower me as a child. And I wouldn't be where I am without their external help. Thus, I feel a duty and obligation to give back -- to empower other (ambitious) youngings who desire to become great.
Helping others who were once in my boots
But not just helping kids-- helping other adults. I remember when I felt disempowered, and I discovered a few things which have helped empower me. Thus my ethics are this:
If I share an idea that can empower at least 1 other human being on planet earth, it is worth sharing.
I know that what works for me doesn't work for everyone. However, if my idea, thought, or technique has even a .0001% chance of empowering another human being -- this thought and sentiment drives me to share!
I consider myself a great individual. I don't think there is another human being who has ever come who is similar to me.
I don't consider myself the greatest human being who has ever lived, but I strive to become the greatest human being who has ever lived.
Now this is a lofty goal. But it is a fun and lofty goal. It is something that gets me up in the morning. To fulfill my own vanity and ego, I push myself. For example, let me talk about my physical ego:
For my own ego, I wanted to prove to myself I could deadlift "4 plates" (405 pounds). I then strove hard to accomplish this goal, not because there is any truly practical purpose behind it. It was a pure vanity thing. I wanted to prove to myself my strength and my ability. And I achieved it. Now I am on the road to striving to deadlift 500 pounds.
Also, I have extreme vanity and ego when it comes to my bodily physique and composition. I desire to have much muscle mass, and very little body fat. I am actually currently striving to become around 200+ pounds of (mostly) muscle, with minimal body fat. Now whether I will achieve this goal or not isn't that big of a deal to me-- but striving towards this goal is fun and interesting to me.
CONCLUSION: Become all that you can be
Perhaps the life goal I got is this:
Within my very short lifetime, how much can I become? How much can I empower myself and others?
How high can I fly? What new discoveries can and will I discover? How strong can I become? What new contributions shall I make to humanity?
Lifting weights is boring when the weight is too light. Lifting weights is only fun when it is challenging, difficult, but still "achievable".
Is the best life in which you are seeking the MOST DIFFICULT and hard challenges, and striving with all your might to overcome those challenges?
Read more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/17/the-path-of-maximal-resistance/
How to Live
The trillion dollar question:
How should we live our lives? What is the best life?
Let me share some honest thoughts:
Only do what you want to do, don't do anything you don't want to do.
No duty. You don't "need" to do anything. If we throw away morality and ethics, then we must stare truth and reality in the face:
You construct your own meaning in life.
There are no ultimate "purpose" to your life. There is no conscious afterlife. This life is your only life.
We are lucky enough to live in a society in which there is enough specialized labor for everything. This means, you don't gotta do what you don't care for.
For example, I don't need to grow my own food, nor do I need to slaughter my own meat. I don't care to live a lifestyle in which I must maintain things; I prefer a maximally maintenance-free lifestyle, in order for me to maximize my artistic production and creation.
"Give me a spot to stand, and I shall move the world!" - Archimedes
The basic notion is this:
Maximize your strength, and disregard your weaknesses.
Most of us generally enjoy doing what we are good at. This means:
If you keep doing what you are really good at (and you enjoy it), you will never get bored of it!
Not only that, but by maximizing your strengths in life (and sharing this with others), you can maximize your impact on humanity.
Download PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/How-to-Augment-Human-Energy.pdf
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/a0fa78cQQHM
It seems all of us want more energy to do more stuff.
But what does this really mean? What is 'energy' from a physiological human-metabolism perspective? What does it mean to have "more energy", and can we augment our human energy?
And even if we have more energy -- towards which ends do we desire to channel this energy into?
Let me essay some of my thoughts:
READ MORE: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/16/how-to-augment-human-energy/
When should we ask for feedback? When shouldn't we ask for feedback?
Why do we ask for feedback, towards what end?
Are you a newbie?
First of all, my psychological thought:
When we ask for feedback, we are signaling that we lack self-confidence in ourselves.
When we ask for feedback, we acknowledge that the other person is smarter than us, or we perceive them as more knowledgeable or powerful than us.
Do we not want to take responsibility for ourselves and actions?
When we ask others for feedback, we want someone to blame (if we end up screwing up or failing).
Perhaps this is why companies hire consultants:
If a company institutes a new policy, and the policy is bad, they are able to transfer liability to the consultant (easy to blame the consultant).
Kind of like scapegoating.
How much faith do you have in yourself?
Consider a life in which you never asked for feedback. Can you still live a great life?
Yes! Also -- one of the benefits of NOT asking for help or feedback:
More interesting and unique self-experimentation (innovation).
For example, I mostly ignored everything on the internet about powerlifting. I just do heavy singles and attempt new PR's (usually once a week). It is against all conventional wisdom in powerlifting, but it seems to have been working for me.
Another thing -- intermittent fasting during the day, and not breaking my fast until later the day (after working out). I also have done all my powerlifting in a fasted state for almost the last 5 years, which is also seen as a "no-no" (we are indoctrinated with the notion that you must eat something BEFORE working out, but this is not true).
So perhaps the benefit of NOT asking others for feedback is that you are more likely to discover NEW TRUTHS, which are contrary to conventional wisdom.
When is it useful to ask for feedback?
If you need new ideas, and a novel perspective.
For example in photography, I wanted to know how to improve! I felt like I hit a wall in terms of self-improvement, and in order to take it to the NEXT LEVEL, I wanted to elicit the feedback from others. Much of this inspiration is what fueled arsbeta.com -- the desire to 'crowd-source' the 'wisdom of the crowds' to empower photographers from all around the planet. Essentially, creating a platform which I wish I had access to when I started photography.
You don't need to ask for feedback in order to improve.
Don't ask for feedback if you just are looking for someone to blame if you fail.
Ask for "tips" (suggestions) from others, but ultimately you decide whether to obey their feedback/ideas or not. You choose.
If you feel like you're stuck in your growth, hit a plateau, and need an outside perspective, ask for feedback, suggestions, and help!
GROW ON! ERIC
10 Rich Tips How to Make Money from Photography: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/13/10-rich-tips-how-to-make-money-from-photography/
Download PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/10-Rich-Tips-How-to-Make-Money-from-Photography.pdf
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/How-to-Make-Money-from-Photography.mp3
What is the purpose of life? There isn't an 'ultimate' purpose of life that applies to everyone. But for us brave streettogs, this is my thought:
The purpose of our lives is to devote ourselves to photography.
Use our entire lives, our entire power to make great photos, share great photos, innovate photography, discover new compositions, and push the genre and culture of photography forward!
Publish is Pleasure (Download PDF TEXT)
There is the common saying in academia "publish or perish". This is often seen in a negative light.
But what if we flipped the notion upside down, and thought that publishing IS PLEASURE?
Why is 'publish or perish' seen as such a bad notion?
Nobody likes to publish against their own will. Perhaps the stress is also feeling like you must publish according to someone else's schedule, instead of being able to follow your own personal rhythm in publishing.
To make public
Studying the etymology of the word 'publish' is interesting, because it has to do with making something public for the public (the people). Therefore to publish something is simply to make something public.
Blogging is publishing, because you make it public. If you write in a diary or journal, it isn't publishing, because it is personal to you.
Why the pressure to publish?
In academia, the 'publish or perish' notion is this:
In order to secure your spot and tenure, you must make your research public, in order for the institution to justify your worth.
Now academics always get stressed out about publishing. Why? They are soooo busy not only doing their original research, but serving on committees, teaching, preparing their courses, going to conferences, dealing with travel and logistics, etc.
But something I'm curious about:
Do academics really like publishing, or do they simply publish for the sake of getting a tenured position?
Publish and perishing notions in blogging, social media, YouTube, etc.
There are similar notions with internet publishing. The notion 'feed the beast' or 'upload or perish' seem to fit well here.
But my thought is this:
Much of social media is about FOMO (fear of missing out) or fear of being forgotten than actually the joy of publishing, sharing, and making things public.
Not only that, but this horrible obsession with numbers, views, followers, etc. Numbers don't matter-- longevity, depth, profundity, and wisdom matter.
Only publish if you get pleasure from it
This is my thought:
If you publish something which brings you pleasure, it is more likely to last.
Why? To publish something which gives you pleasure is actually an indicator that you're doing something truly for the love of it, or that thing actually interests you. And generally things which interest you have a high likelihood of interesting others.
Only publish what you care for
Thus, my simple takeaway is this:
Only publish what you care for.
Also, publish and make public your thoughts or art-works which resonate with you. The more your artwork resonates with yourself, the more likely it is to resonate with others.
Where Should You Stand?
“Give me but one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth.” - Archimedes
Download mp3: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Exploit-Your-Strengths-Ignore-Your-Weaknesses-Archimedes-Lever.mp3
Exploit your strengths, ignore your weaknesses.
Allow yourself to become asymmetric; don't aim to become 'balanced'. Better to maximize your strengths, than to build upon your 'weaknesses'.
Never stop practicing. Practice is like it were your first time. Retain your child-like "beginner's mind".
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Practice-is-Pleasure.mp3
Have the mentality that there are MORE opportunities you have yet discovered. Don't let yourself become trapped by concepts, and certainly don't self-censor yourself (Political Correctness is bad).
The aim isn't perfection
When I write, it is pleasurable! When I lift weights, it is insanely fun! Photography and art-creation is endlessly fascinating to me.
When we follow the ethos 'practice makes perfect', we end up getting suckered somewhere. Why? We aim for perfection; we don't do the practice for the sake of it.
'Practice is pleasure' is better as a notion. It keeps us motivated to practice, because the practice in itself is fun!
What is one of the noblest goals you can have in life? Simple: Focus on your own personal development.
Read more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/06/develop-yourself/
Watch YouTube: https://youtu.be/XwNHoihQau0
Pursue entrepreneurship for your own personal and selfish aims.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/04/solo-entrepreneurship/
Download PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Solo-Entrepreneurship.pdf
Mp3 Download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Solo-Entrepreneurship.mp3
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/NZ2pPPpwXrM
Leica M-E 220: Honest Thoughts and Ricoh GR Temptations (on Dylan's new channel): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlbdmO96kqo&
See Dylan's Website: https://www.dylanfanphoto.com
Dylan Fan's email: Dylan2000leap@gmail.com
A thought: all of existence can be justified even with one great photo.
Also— an entire trip or experience can be justified for even one great photo. Same goes with [x] amount of money spent on an experience, spent on equipment and gear, travels, etc.
Mp3 download link >
The principle to life: never stop striving to gain more!
1. Money isn’t for utility: It is simply a game to acquire more of it.
Infinite gains in the gym, whether muscular mass gains (gaining weight in muscle), or gains in terms of powerlifting “one rep max”.
2. Never stop augmenting your ego: You must continue to build your ego, self confidence, and self focus. The ego can never be too large.
3. Never stop innovation: Innovation as life augmented. The goal is infinite gains for life.
4. Never stop accumulating, assimilating, appropriating.
5. Never stop expanding and becoming more.
More philosophy: http://erickimphotography.com/blog/philosophy/
Via Negativa Traveling
Inspired by Nassim Taleb, a thought about travel:
Before traveling, don't stress so much on what to bring, but focus and think deeply on what NOT to bring!
When traveling, decide what you DON'T care to do, or what you don't want to do.
When talking to locals, instead of asking them 'what to do", ask them: "What touristy and stupid things should I NOT do?"
When packing for your trip, decide what NOT to bring, what NOT to pack, what devices NOT to bring.
Treat travel as an opportunity for 'simulated poverty' (Seneca's idea). For example -- are you brave enough to leave your phone at home? Or your iPad? Or your laptop? Treat it like a fun game -- intentionally UNDER-PACK for your trip!
What are you traveling for?
Traveling is a good way to SUBTRACT the internet, SUBTRACT your worries from back home, and SUBTRACT all the silly noise back home.
For example I am about to leave tomorrow to Cuba for a week, and will not have access to the internet (this is what I am the most excited for). I wonder:
A week without internet? What will I do, and NOT do?
What camera equipment NOT to bring
Figure out what superfluous camera equipment to leave at home.
For this trip (one week in Cuba, two weeks in Mexico City), I am only bringing RICOH GR III.
Insanely lightweight is the goal
This is what I have learned from my decade+ of travel:
When in doubt, throw it out.
99% of the things we think we 'need' in travel is superfluous. Furthermore, if we truly see travel as a road to adventure, having LESS makes things more interesting. Treat it like a fun 'creative constraint':
See how little you can pack for your trip.
Minimum viable travel
What is the minimum viable amount of stuff you can bring for your trip, without any serious downside?
Let this be your guiding force!
Probably one of the best ideas which have come out of Silicon Valley is the notion of the “MVP” (minimum viable product). I am not sure who first coined the phrase, but my guess it is Ryan from BackYard Brew in Palo Alto.
Anyways the extrapolation I have is this:
What if we applied a ‘minimum viable’ design philosophy, or thinking philosophy, or life philosophy to everything?
Learn more >
Success as a photographer means to never stop shooting new photos!
If we use this as our definition for photography and art, then perhaps Henri Cartier-Bresson wasn’t a successful photographer (he gave up photography), and we can consider Richard AVEDON (died while on assignment) and Josef Koudelka (in his 80s and still traveling and making new photos) as highly successful.
Thoughts on the desire for a "perfect" and "ultimate" productivity device:
What do we really want?
Something ultralight, always with you.
Something to increase your ability to produce more creative things.
To have a device which makes you feel more powerful.
But the question is:
Can iPhone (or any device) do this for us?
Live as if today were your last day on planet earth (MEMENTO MORI), but also live as if your day (today) will be put on repeat for infinity (ETERNAL RETURN).
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/08/27/play-the-long-game/
A thought while at the gym today:
True happiness is the striving for more.
Once you got the thing, you aren’t “happy” anymore. Happiness is the joy of overcoming difficulties, challenges, the joy of battling an obstacle/opponent.
Never stop striving for more.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/08/05/true-happiness-is-the-striving-for-more/
One of the best silicon-valley thought concepts is the idea of the ‘MVP’ (minimum viable product). It is anti-perfection. It is PRO-quick iteration, and just getting it out there!
I think if we all lived more ‘MVP’-minded, we would be more creatively productive, confident, and happier!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/24/minimum-viable-product-mvp-for-entrepreneurship/
http://ARSBETA.COM - The Anti-Social Social Media for Photographers
If you desire to thrive as a photographer, #deleteinstagram and join ARSBETA.COM instead.
Why do you make photos?
“What you rappers rap for?” – Kanye West
First of all, ask yourself:
Why do you make photos?
I feel the best reason to make photos is to express yourself creatively and artistically. Or more specifically,
To ‘flex’ your artistic power. To share this artwork with others.
This is the problem with Instagram:
You start to quantify your progress and value based on the number of likes and followers you have.
I personally believe that your progress as a photographer/visual-artist should be based on your own inner-metrics. Your own ‘inner scorecard’ (as Warren Buffet calls it). The basic idea is that we should NOT use social media (Facebook/Instagram) as a tool to judge ourselves.
No. If you want honest feedback and constructive critique on your photos, arsbeta.com is the solution.
Learn more here: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/22/why-instagram-is-bad-for-photographers/
Life is about growth. Our passion is photography and visual arts. How can we optimize our own artistic growth in photography and beyond?
Becoming stronger, becoming bigger, become more powerful, becoming taller, extending your reach.
It seems that life operates on this growth principle.
What is the opposite of growth? Degeneration. Getting smaller. Getting weaker. Becoming more meek.
Why grow? It seems there is no other option!
How to grow
To grow as a photographer and visual artist:
To continue to make new photos, to gain influence, to evolve in your philosophy of aesthetics, to dig your creative roots deeper, to become more multifarious.
Learn more : https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/23/if-youre-not-busy-growing-youre-busy-dying/
A difficult question to answer:
Why give more?
First of all, it seems that the more we give, the more we receive in return. Now, the purpose of us giving isn't to receive. We give out of super-abundance. However it does seem that the logical *consequence* of us giving much is us receiving much.
Thus, don't give in order to receive. Give because you want to share your inner-dopeness with others! And keep giving without exhaustion. And as a consequence of continually giving, you will receive more. And the more you receive, the more you can continue to give!
Read more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/22/why-give-more/
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” Is this statement really true?
What if the opposite were true:
Abundance is the mother of invention.
Let me explore these ideas with you.
Are you creating this thing because you need money, or because you don’t need money?
One of my best epiphanies in life when living in Vietnam:
Wow, I will never starve to death.
I am earning money quicker than I can spend it.
Thus, I will never become broke. Thus, I can take any entrepreneurial risks in my life!