I was randomly surfing the web, and randomly came across the work of George Bernard Shaw, and I am super-inspired. George Bernard Shaw is probably one of the wisest, most badass, and empowering philosophers/writers/aphorists that I have come across.
For more info, read his book: “Maxims for Revolutionists”
Here are practical words of wisdom which inspired me from George Bernard Shaw:
0. Why not?
I hear you say “Why?” Always “Why?” You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”
By asking “Why not?” you give yourself the opportunity to dream of things which have not yet been created.
Also, to say “Why not?” gives you a spirit of experimentation, and is one of the best phrases to counter-act nay-saying.
Assignment: Try it out, whenever you’re having a conversation with someone else or yourself, ask: “Why not?”
1. Be unreasonable
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
In modern society, we are told to be ‘reasonable’. But I like this idea of being unreasonable. Why? If we are ‘unreasonable’ in life– we are more likely to make new stuff, to innovate, and to pave new paths in life!
Lesson: Being stubborn is a virtue. Be stubborn to your own inner-truth and vision; but be flexible with small details in life (Jeff Bezos has said something similar).
Realize that by your trying to be unreadable is make progress in society. For myself, I see my own stubbornness as a virtue, because my ultimate desire is to help progress humanity! Therefore consider your stubbornness in a positive way: don’t be stubborn to be an asshole, but be stubborn for the greater good of humanity!
For more inspiration on people who have put a ‘dent in the universe’, study Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Kanye West.
2. In praise of production
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
To me, happiness comes through production//making stuff. Don’t think that just buying stuff or consuming stuff we will be ‘happy’. It is my belief that happiness is an ACTIVE action; we must create happiness for ourselves by making photos, making poems, writing stuff, and making anything your heart desires!
The same goes with wealth: you can’t just expect to be happy by spending money/wealth. Instead, seek to create/add value to society in order to create new sources of wealth!
3. Make your own circumstances!
People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.
Never blame circumstances, others, or the external world. Let us instead create our own positive circumstances in life.
For example, you can make your own job by being persistent, resourceful, and by spending less money/lowering your lifestyle. This is what has helped me make a living from street photography; something that others in the past told me was impossible.
Learn more: Entrepreneurship 101 >
4. Prefer art
If you leave your art, the world will beat you back to it. The world has not an ambition worth sharing, or a prize worth handling. Corrupt successes, disgraceful failures, or sheeplike vegetation are all it has to offer. I prefer Art, which gives me a sixth sense of beauty, with self-respect: perhaps also an immortal reputation in return for honest endeavour in a labour of love.
Art is awesome. And if you’re reading this, I consider you an artist.
Make art by making photos or anything. By making art, you will feel more joy in your life. You will perceive more beauty in the world, and also find more motivation to live!
5. Don’t fit the measurements of others
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.
“Not every shoe fits every foot” is a saying said by Publilus Syrus around 2,000 years ago. The morale is this:
Don’t let others measure you; measure yourself.
You are unique; don’t let others try to force you into some sort of box or category. Avoid the bed of procrustes (the story that an inn-keeper would chop the limbs of his guests to fit his boxes).
6. Dictate your own purpose in life
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
To me true joy is dictating your own purpose in life, and devoting all of your energy to pursue that purpose. Also to know that your own self-directed purpose in life is important.
Lesson: Dictate your own purpose in life; and pursue it until you die!
7. Make the most out of life!
Economy is the art of making the most of life. The love of economy is the root of all virtue.
You’re going to die. What do you wish to do, achieve, or create while you’re still alive?
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
Learn more: Start Here >