I am the ultimate anti-nihilist. I believe in infinite optimism, hope, and meaning in life.
The philosophy of ‘nihilism’ comes from Latin:
Nihil means nothing.
Therefore, the philosophy of ‘nihilism’ means that there is no purpose to life, and therefore there is no purpose to live. I think this is a reason why a lot of very intelligent people who are not-religious end up committing suicide, or end up getting very depressed.
The funny thing that I learned from studying Nietzsche: you can be an optimistic nihilist. Which means:
You can realize there is no purpose to ‘life’ — but you can end up creating your own purpose in life!
You can create your own meaning in life, you can create your own ethics in life, and you can create your own code of morals.
I studied the word ‘nihilism’, and the word ‘nihil’ means “nothingness”.
I was wondering– what word is the exact opposite of nothingness? I think it is infiniteness (“infinitus” in Latin).
So obviously we’re all gonna die eventually. Biological metabolism dictates we must die, or else the whole biological mechanism wouldn’t work.
Therefore a good way of thinking about life is learned from my buddy Luke “the frank tank” Warsnake (firstname.lastname@example.org) who says:
How can I best effectively utilize my human metabolism while I’m still alive?
The great thing: you can dictate how you desire to use your human metabolism! Human metabolism as being dictated by your brain-power, your physical body power, your limited-energy, your attention, focus, time, etc.
What is your self-directed purpose in life?
So if you believe that there is no life after death, the only certainty is our life right now — while we are still alive and conscious.
So the question is: What do you wish to do/accomplish/achieve/create while you’re still alive?
My friend Natalie Ma introduced this concept of ‘infinitude’ to me– she is probably one of the most inspirational people I know. She studied her Ph.D. in Biology, and she is currently working to grow food/biological matter in space.
The concept of ‘infinitude’ — we have unlimited potential. Seriously, even from a physics-principle-concept.
From a practical perspective, with the internet, we literally can create infinite stuff. With YouTube, I can upload infinite gigabytes/terabytes of data online. With Dropbox and Google Drive, I can easily share gigabytes of .ZIP files. Because my website is self-hosted (1and1.com), and running on an open-source framework (wordpress.org), I can literally create an infinite amount of blog posts (I’ve written 4,000+ blog posts, but I’m aiming to write a million blog posts before I die).
Anyways, with digital tools, consider: you can create an infinite number of photos, you can create infinite musical tracks, and you can create infinite videos, articles, books, whatever.
Our ability to create infinite things is awesome. But the problem is that our life is finite (we will die).
How can you best effectively create epic unlimited stuff // yet still balance the fact that you’re going to die?
Live everyday like you will die tonight in your sleep
We all hear the saying, ‘live everyday like it were your last’. The basic concept is good, but its a bit too vague.
I prefer this idea:
Live today like you were going to die in your sleep.
Live today like you are going to die in a texting-while driving accident.
Consider that your chance of dying is actually quite high. You can die while driving, and another driver who is drunk or texting-while driving can kill you. Or you can eat dinner or lunch today, and perhaps have an allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction where your throat closes up, you can’t breathe, and you die. This happened to me in 2015, when I ate cashews (I’ve always ate cashews), and then I suddenly had a random allergic reaction, where my throat swelled up 80%, and I couldn’t breathe anymore, and I started to get light-headed. Fortunately my throat opened up, and I lived. I’ve also started to discover I have a quasi-life threatening allergy to shellfish: I get very bad anaphylaxis when I eat shrimp and shellfish.
Anyways, if you’ve never had a “near death” incident, you might think you’re invincible and will never die. Once you see death in the face; holy shit, life becomes so much more clear in terms of what you think is really important to you in your life, and what isn’t important to your life.
I remember when I thought I was about to die; the only thing on my mind was:
I hope I showed/told Cindy how much I loved her, and I hope that the work/writing/photos I’ve produced will inspire future generations of people.
Sorry getting a bit off-track.
One of my biggest inspirations/heroes is Elon Musk. Why? He has an epic mission in life: make humans inter-planetary. He has started a bunch of companies to fund this epic-mission.
He has a lot of nay-sayers and doubters; people who say he will fail.
But if you think about his goal from a ‘first principles‘ perspective (from physics), his goal of making humans inter-planetary on Mars is possible from a physics first-principle perspective. It just will be very very difficult and expensive; but it is still possible!
This is the thing with us as entrepreneurs — realize that technically anything is possible from a physics perspective. However to achieve our goals and dreams in life is often very very hard, very very difficult, and does require a bit of luck. But it is possible — and that is all we need!
Cultivate your own inner-strengths!
Honestly, I think the most important traits for us include:
- Calculated-risk taking
- A spirit of hustle/hard work
- Resourcefulness: Being able to accomplish what we want with fewer resources
- Ingenuity: Figuring out how to ‘hack’ or “McGyver” novel solutions to difficult problems, in a creative way.
- Ability to focus and NOT get distracted
The cool thing is that this doesn’t require a ton of money or external resources. These are all traits we can cultivate within ourselves!
Anyways friend, I’m going to cut this essay a bit short. I still got a lot of ideas and thoughts I want to brew up.
In short, let’s all take a infinite view on life.
You got this shit, steer your own life.
Find more meaning and purpose in your life:
- Never Stop!
- What is Your Self-Directed Purpose in Life?
- Live Today Like it Were Your Last
- Do You Photograph to Live, or Live to Photograph?
- Live Life to the Fullest!
- In Praise of Selfishness
- Why You Must Be a YAY-SAYER to Succeed in Entrepreneurship and Life
- Why I Love Walking
- Live Life Like a Video Game!
- Simple Luxuries in Life
- Treat Your Life Like a Fun Experiment!
- Only Prove it to Yourself
- You Don’t Always Need to Feel Joyful to Live a Fulfilling and Meaningful Life
- Life is Too Short to Be Bored!
- Money Cannot Destroy Boredom
- How to Find Inspiration in Life
- Why You Must Ignore Haters to Succeed and Win in Life
- An Active Life is a Happy Life
- My Simple Joys in Life
- Never Stop Striving
- How to Motivate Yourself in Life
- How to Be Optimistic in Life
- How to Dictate Your Purpose in Life
- In Praise of a Dynamic Life
- How to Enjoy Life
- Photography Therapy
- How to Conquer Regret
- Take Your Play Very Seriously.
- How to Prosper
- Memento Vivere
- Destroy in Order to CREATE
- Trust Your Body More Than Your Mind
- Make Photos to Make Meaning in Your Life
- Seek Knowledge, Not Information
- The Purpose of Human Life
- How to Overcome Impedence
- Why I Love Death
- How to Be Centered in the Eternal Now
- How to Be Happy
- Why Do You Care What Others Think of You?
- Why I’m Happy
- Why I’m So Prolific
- How to Reduce LAG in Life
- How to Be a Stoic Street Photographer
- How to Use Photography as Self-Therapy
- How to Free Your Soul From Disturbance
- How to Be a Zen Street Photographer
- Zen in the Art of Street Photography
- How to Find Tranquility in Your Photography
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