What do you think is the ultimate zenith of human potential? What do you think is your personal maximum?
Why do we like things and stuff, instead of people?
We are obsessed with objects, cars, phones, tools, homes, money, etc. But certainly, all of these things are only a means to something, not the final end.
What I mean is this:
We often get suckered into desiring things which we think will make us happy, but they don’t.
What I believe truly makes us happy:
- Pushing your limits: Taking on epic challenges, and exerting yourself to the maximum
- The joy of accomplishment; the joy of overcome challenges and difficulties.
- The joy of creation: Having an idea of something you desire to create, the joy while you’re actively in the flow of creation, and the joy to admire your finished creation.
In other words, to answer the question: “What really makes us happy?” can be answered this way:
True joy in life is setting epic challenges for ourselves, actually accomplishing these challenges, and the joy of seeing ourselves grow, evolve and become stronger.
We need more heroes
The problem in today’s world is that we admire things and stuff more than human beings. Us moderns; do we really believe that human potential is unlimited?
And a practical idea:
What do we think our personal potential is?
Do we believe that we are capable of doing great, epic shit?
Taking on great tasks
I believe we must dream big. Dream massively big. To set insanely difficult goals for ourselves, and strive towards that goal with all our strength and resources.
I think a lot of us feel depressed in life because we feel lost, empty, and like our lives have no purpose.
Does this feeling of emptiness come from the fact that we don’t believe we can make a change in the world? The feeling that we cannot make an impact in the world? The idea that we don’t have enough strength to change things? Have we been disempowered with “learned helplessness”?
What is your potential?
I personally believe that your potential is unlimited. I don’t care about what others have told you in the past, but you can achieve anything, do anything, and become anything.
What is the secret? Hustle, hard work, and courage.
Reaching new maximums
I think life is similar to powerlifting:
The goal is to increase your “one rep max” (the maximum you can lift one weight of a certain exercise, once).
For example, my goal for a long time was a 405 pound deadlift (four 45 pound plates on each side). And when I reached the goal, I had an epiphany:
Holy shit, I cannot believe I did that. Hmmm… I wonder if I can lift more?
Two weeks later I did 410. And I think my maximum (ever) was around 430.
I do not have “good genetics” or whatever. On the outside, I just look like an average scrawny Asian guy. So this is my epiphany:
Hard work, consistency, supreme self-belief, and enjoying the challenge is the secret to accomplishing anything.
I have no idea what my biological limit to deadlift is. Perhaps I don’t have any? Perhaps pushing my maximum deadlift weight higher and higher just means I need to keep eating more meat, attempting to lift heavier, and giving myself enough time (time to get stronger, and recovery time).
Your personal maximum in photography
What is your personal maximum in photography? Devote your life to figure out what your ultimate limit is!
What does it even mean to reach your personal maximum in photography? Some ideas:
- To make the most supremely great compositions: This means to cultivate your own personal style in photography, discover brand new compositions that haven’t been done before, while making the most aesthetically beautiful photos.
- To keep pushing your artistic limits higher; there isn’t a final destination for you to reach as a photographer or visual artist. The point is to keep pushing your limits, to keep building your personal strength, until you die!
- To be ridiculously ambitious with your photography: To make the most epic photos; photos that haven’t been attempted before or photos that haven’t been made yet!
Have great heroes
Going back to the concept of human potential: study history, and discover role models from the past who you admire, and seek to emulate them. Also can include current living legends.
For myself, some of my heroes include:
- Steve Jobs
- Howard Hughes
- Kanye West
- Elon Musk
Never stop shooting higher
All plateaus are imaginary. If you hit a plateau, re-strategize and figure out how to overcome it!