I want you to be a strong spiritual warrior. A conqueror. But to conquer who? Only you.
Ain’t nobody the enemy, but the man in the mirror.
If you want to conquer, seek to conquer yourself.
To be a true warrior ain’t about wrecking havoc on the lives of others. Rather, it is about building yourself. Building your mind, building your muscles, and building your personal virtue.
For me, I used to think of life as a battle between myself and my peers.
Modern games make it like this: we are always competing.
- We compete against our peers in school, to become #1 valedictorian in school.
- We compete against our co workers to get that promotion or raise.
- We compete against other Instagram folks to get more followers and likes than them.
To be frank, that is all bullshit. Why compete with others? Waste of time. Just compete against yourself.
When I was younger, I was bullied. I hated it. I got called gay, faggot, and was punked around.
One day I was like “Fuck this shit” I ain’t gonna be bullied no more.
I started (at age of 12) to lift dumbbells. I started with 15 pounds to 30 pounds. Then by the time I hit middle school, it was around 50 pounds.
I started to run, and lose body fat. I stopped letting kids punk me around.
I learned the fact:
I control my fate. I can’t blame nobody else but myself.
And for me to become more powerful and more self-confident didn’t mean pulling down the confidence of others (this is what bullies do). I learned to build my self esteem and ego from the ground up.
Four. I love having a BIG EGO.
For a while, I felt bad for having a BIG EGO. Now I’m like fuck it, I love my ego.
My ego is me. But I don’t take my ego too seriously either. I am like a big ass kid, playing around, joking, tickling my friends, dancing, and writing freestyle poetry.
I’m a very stubborn person, but I’m like bamboo– I know when to be flexible. How do I know? I just follow my gut.
For example, I write and publish whatever is on my mind. But I have no problems with editors changing my text.
I love making photos, but I don’t care to “own” them. This is why I open source everything. I love to share.
I’m never afraid of my own livelihood. I grew up poor, and I thrived. Being poor was a benefit, it helped me become more resourceful, it taught me to hustle, and to tinker. I’m so grateful I wasn’t raised with a silver spoon.
Five. TAKE CONTROL
OK, no more excuses.
You control your own fate. Make your own future. Do it today, do it now. Sow your own seed, and let that shit bloom.
No more doom and gloom. No more self talking down on yourself. Fuck that self-conscious thing.
Build your EGO by giving fewer fucks about what others think of you. Rather, think to yourself:
What do I think of myself?
This is the only ruler you should measure yourself with. A self-imposed ruler.
Six. MAKE SHIT
To me, “happiness” is overrated. Happiness is just seen as pleasure. If I wanted to feel pleasure and be “happy”, I would just be high on heroin all day, watching porn and perhaps playing video games.
I rather see “happiness” as “human flourishing.” Specifically, I think only feelings of “joy” (true elation of your soul) is from creating shit. Making shit. Making art.
If you’re a human, and you make shit, you’re an artist. Don’t let nobody talk down on you.
If someone tries to talk down on you, or not call you an artist, tell them “Fuck off”, or just mute them on social media, or just walk away.
Suggestion: either be really fucking mean to your haters, or just ignore them.
Most of the time, I choose to just ignore. They ain’t worth my mental energy.
Seven. What should I make?
Make poems, make clothes, make music, freestyle rap, make photos, make blog posts, make videos. Just use your phone, tablet, laptop, or digital camera, or film camera (buy FILM NOTES).
For inspiration, buy PHOTO JOURNAL and STREET NOTES. Honestly, it is all the advice I wish someone gave me when I was starting off in photography and street photography.
I’m only joyful when I’m in a state of “flow” or “in the zone.” This is when I am in the process of creating shit. Once I’m done with something, I’m bored, and then I’m “onto the next one.”
The crux of this essay is to encourage you, conquer your self doubt, and self imposed prison.
Make more art. Share it. If you don’t have an outlet, share on [ERIC KIM FORUM].