eric kim photography -2017 - hue-0004608 cindy project

How to Reformat Your Brain

eric kim photography -2017 - hue-0004608 cindy project

Dear friend,

You have in the power to reset, or reformat your brain.


eric kim photography -2017 - hue-0004608 cindy project

If your computer is slow, has a ton of viruses, or is running out of storage space— one of the best things to do is to “reformat” your hard drive. That means to totally clean the hard drive— to wipe it to a blank slate.

When you reformat your hard drive, and re-install your operating system, it generally fixes any problems you have had in the past. And your computer can (once again) run quickly, efficiently, with no lag or hiccups.

Human brain

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Of course, we are not computers. The brain is not a computer.

But I like this analogy: to reformat our own brain.

So for example, let’s say you have all these negative memories from the past, you have all this emotional burden, stress, anxiety, or frustration. Let us say you want a fresh start in life.

Reformat your brain.

Some practical ideas:

1. Backup your important files:

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Look at your brain, and figure out what is really important. Organize and backup that stuff.

Who do you really love, care about, or what creative work is truly important to you?

Write that on a piece of paper or your phone.

For me, my important files:

  • Cindy
  • My family
  • My friends
  • My creative work

2. Hold your breath

eric kim dark skies over tokyo street photography black and white 9

Whenever you reformat your hard drive or brain; shit is scary. I always get scared that I might accidentally erase something that is important.

Yet, that is the best part. Whatever is really truly important to you — you will have backed it up. And to be honest, your fear of “what if I need that file?” is unwarranted. 99.9% of the files we have on our computer (or brain) is not really important. And we need to delete old shit, to have a fresh new start.

3. Reinstall your operating system

eric kim dark skies over tokyo street photography black and white 1 boot

So you wiped your hard drive. You need to reinstall your operating system (Mac OS, or Windows).

Your operating system is your personal philosophy or your mind. You have a choice (to a certain extent) what operating system you install in your mind.

You have certain preferences, and a way you like to live and work.

Find the cleanest, most efficient, quickest, leanest, and the newest operating system for your mind.

For me, I have ‘reformatted’ my brain by re-installing Stoic philosophy. Stoic philosophy has helped me no longer be afraid of unimportant shit in life. Stoic philosophy has helped me grow scales, and a thicker skin to disregard the pettiness of others.

So what operating system do you want to reinstall in your brain?

4. Reinstall your programs

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Now you have the new operating system on your computer, you have the choice what programs to reinstall.

What programs (activities and passions in life) do you want to re-install? What programs do you want to keep in your dock (who are the important loved ones in your life?)

We only generally use 10% of of our programs or apps for 90% of the things we do in life. What are those programs in your life?

For me, those ‘programs’ include:

  • Photography
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Philosophizing
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Teaching

That is pretty much it.

5. Reformat every once in a while

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No matter how good your new software, your new operating system, or programs— you will need to reformat in the future. Maybe every year, two years, three years, five years. Whatever it may be— your system will (eventually) get bogged down, and slow down.

So every few years, have the courage to re-format your brain, your mind, and your soul.

Be strong,

Learn more: Philosophy >

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