ALWAYS SETTLE.

Dear friend,

I wanna write you a letter on settling.

I. Purpose

First of all, I think we waste so much of our time and lives on pursuing the wrong things.

For example, we seek to make a lot of money to move into a nicer neighborhood. We seek to save enough money for retirement, and one day travel the world at age 65.

We seek to upgrade our car. To upgrade our laptop, our phones, and upgrade our home. We seek to upgrade our furniture, our backyards, and our wardrobe. We think that buying that new Louis Vuitton purse will bring us joy. We think that buying that new Leica will bring us joy.

But when we finally get the shit we want, we find out it isn’t that great. Then we feel empty, and purposeless in life.

II. Only if…

Imma tell you about me. My dreams in life included owning a digital Leica, traveling the world, making a bunch of money, saving up a bunch of money, finding the perfect wife, owning Nike shoes, and a white Prius.

From 2011-2017, I achieved all these dreams. I own all the material possessions I want. Yet, I still not satisfied.

I think if I got a Tesla, I’d be happy. If I got that new MacBook Pro, Beats headphones, a medium format digital camera, the new iPad Pro, the new iPhone, I’d (finally) be happy.

III. Epiphany

I got my teeth fixed at the dentist today, and while getting my cavity filled, I realized.

Modern society tells us to never settle. But we should settle, at least for our material things. To settle with the stuff we own, and rather not settle on the meaningful work we do to empower humanity.

So this is my simple philosophy:

  1. Settle with your tools (camera, laptop, phone, car, home, etc)
  2. Never settle with your work (creative work to empower other human beings).

Everyday, I try it treat it like it is my last day on earth. I imagine my life as a phone battery, and I’m in the red at 5% charge. And there is no charger.

This gives me a sense of urgency. That I need to fucking hustle harder, drink more espresso (preferably single origin), make fewer excuses, waste less time looking for new tools and apps, and just to create. Create things. To make stuff. To make stuff that I hope will empower others– like books, articles, letters, poems, videos, or anything of assistance of my fellow humans.

IV. Helping others

Steve Jobs is my hero because he seeks to empower humanity with creative tools, that combine the humanities and technology. He wanted everyone to discover their inner artist and genius.

Kanye West inspires me, because he seeks to make dope shit to empower humanity. To make the 12 year old to feel like the best version of himself, with empowering music, and hopefully one day where everyone can afford to buy a pair of his Yeezy sneakers. Kanye wants to fight racism, classicism, and to create more opportunities for other.

Kendrick Lamar inspires me, because he moved back to his hometown, Compton, and seeks to empower the local community, and all of humanity with his music. He makes music for the people.

I want to follow in the footsteps of these titans.

Elon Musk opensourced all of the patents to Tesla, to improve the entire industry of electric cars. He wants humanity to have access to clean cars, clean technology, for the masses. His vision with the Model 3 is to make all (for now, Americans), to afford a $30,000 cool, clean, electric car. Hopefully he can help fix global warming, and prevent humans from destroying the environment and planet.

My simple goal is to empower humanity through photography and art. I think street photography is great because it helps us build our personal confidence in life. I love how everyone is a photographer, and can use their iPhone or phone to make beautiful photos. I love VSCO– bringing beautiful aesthetics to the masses.

I want to help humanity.

V. Empower others.

So friend, the simple message I’m trying to put through here is this:

Settle with your material goods, and tools. Know you’re gonna die. Don’t waste a single day on lusting and desiring shit you don’t need. Because trust me, I’ve got all the toys I wanted and I sill feel empty and lust for more.

Enough is never enough.

Rather, settle with the stuff you own, but never settle in helping others.

To find more happiness and purpose in life is to help other humans. To help empower others. To spend less time looking at your phone and more time listening to your mom. To write words of advice to friends via text messages, social media, or through blogging. To keep your information open, free, and open source, to help that twelve year old kid have access to knowledge that can empower them.

To be a little more selfless.

I do believe we need to be selfish before we can be selfless. To be honest, you don’t need more than forty thousand dollars a year in income, in most of America. Seek to find the minimum amount of money necessary to provide the basics, and devote the rest of your life to create art, to hopefully help others.

Be strong,
Eric

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