I changed my middle name to Seneca, as an homage to my stoic master — for helping me find more peace, tranquility, purpose, and strength in my life.
I’ve studied a lot of philosophy, and to me, the only practical philosophies include stoicism and zen. Everything else is too unpractical.
What is Stoicism?
Stoicism: a school of philosophy in which you remove the downside of the pain and fear of life, with unlimited upside (to feel the maximum amount of joy in life).
- Know what your maximum downside is, to have no fear.
- To not fear death.
- To feel peace and tranquility in your life, in order for you to do more meaningful work — like empowering humanity (present humanity, and future generations)
1. Removing fear
We are all slaves to fear. But consider — how much more epic of a life could you live, if you didn’t fear?
For example, I know that I often fear financial bankruptcy, and fear what others think of me. But over the years, I’ve been giving fewer fucks. Which is good — which means I have less fear about going broke and dying on the streets, and I don’t fear if others like me or not.
Do I like me or not? Am I happy with what I’m doing with my life?
Lesson: when you feel afraid or anxious in life, do a vivid imagination of the worst possible scenario, and realize – your biggest fear is probably not that bad.
2. Not fear death
Spoiler alert: we are all gonna die one day.
I’ve learned from stoicism:
We fear the pain related with dying, not death itself.
For example, we see a lot of people suffering in pain before they die. But once we die, it is calm and peaceful.
The pain of death is identical to the pain of not being born.
Therefore, you don’t have to fear death, because once you’re dead nothing will hurt. You won’t feel pain.
Some folks fear hell— thus fear death. But if you get the notion of hell out of your mind, there is truly nothing to fear.
3. Empowering humanity
Once you feel peace and tranquility, the point isn’t to just be peaceful and tranquil for the rest of your life. Or else, what’s the difference between you and a cow?
The purpose of human beings:
To make stuff, empower others, and help humanity.
To me, the survival of the human species is far more important than the individual. Therefore, the less you worry about yourself as an individual — and the more you think about humanity as a collective, the more purpose and meaning you will have in your life.
For me, I want to empower humanity to become more dope and awesome, through using photography as a tool of self empowerment, and by creating information and keeping it open and accessible.
Therefore to find true joy and “happiness” in life — think about the social purpose your life, consequences, and actions have.
After all, no man would consider himself happy, even if he were a billionaire, with all the houses, toys, and gold in the world — if there were no other human beings to appreciate it with.
Books I recommend:
– Letters from a stoic by Seneca
– The meditations by Marcus Aurelius
– The Enchiridion by Epictetus
To simplify stoicism and how to apply it to your life:
Fear less, empower humanity more.
- How to Become Stronger
- How to Conquer Depression With Photography
- What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
- How to Respect Yourself
- How to Believe in Yourself
- How to Steer Fear
- How to Conquer Pessimism
- How to Conquer Anxiety
- How to Overcome Your Fear of People
- How to Be Optimistic
- Why I Don’t Take My Anger Seriously
- HOW TO BECOME MORE POWERFUL
- HOW TO BECOME SUPERHUMAN
- How to Give a Fuck Less
- ALL IN.
- Why I Cut My Dad Out of My Life.
- Your iPhone Only Has 5% Battery Left.
- How not to give a FUCK about your REPUTATION
- WHAT IS A HUMAN?
- The Regret Minimization Framework in Photography and Life
- How to Be a HERO
- Conquer Your Fears by Making Fear Your Slave
- Rule Circumstances; Don’t Let Your Circumstances Rule You
- How to Love Yourself
- How to Turn Shit into Gold
- Your Parents Fuck You Up
- What Kills You Makes You Stronger
- How to Be Patient
- How to Conquer Anger
- How to Bounce Back in Life
- How to Overcome Resistance
- Nothing Unlimited is Good; Nothing Good is Unlimited
- You Have No Limits
- Can 1’s and 0’s Hurt You?
- The Envious Moment is Flying Now
- Tomorrow We’ll Sail the Wide Seas Again
- How to Forgive Others
- Focus on Your Actions, Not the Results
- Everything Will Be Alright
- How to Be a Stoic Street Photographer
- How to Be a Spartan Photographer
- How to Overcome Your Fears in Life
- How to Stop Worrying in Life
- How to Use Photography as Self-Therapy
- How to Free Your Soul From Disturbance
- 3 Stoic Techniques that Can Help You Gain Tranquility
- Can People Weaker than You Hurt You?
- Does a Doctor Get Angry at a Crazy Patient?
- Own Nothing
The Stoic Masters
Learn from the master stoics:
Unleash your creative potential:
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.