A philosophical epiphany I had:
We need friction in life in order to do or accomplish anything.
Why is this? Let me explain.
Friction is context-dependent
First of all, the problem with modern life is that we try to remove friction (when sometimes, we actually may need friction). For example, a lot of tech talk is about “reducing friction”.
Yet– in many domains in life, we need friction. For example, you cannot make fire without friction. You cannot ejaculate without friction.
But the difficult question is this:
In which domains in life is friction desirable, and which domains in life is friction unwanted?
Less friction in working out
Let me give you an example: the gym.
For a lot of us, the desired activity is to workout. The friction is the mental friction needed to put on your workout clothes, drive to the gym, park, and then workout.
In this situation, it is beneficial to reduce friction of going to the gym. To reduce friction you can either just workout in plain clothes, you can be like me and always wear “workout ready clothes” (I wear merino wool leggings, and minimalist “water shoes” which are great for doing deadlifts and squats), and I have found a gym super close to the house (around 5 minutes drive). Or other times, I just walk to the local park and do some chinups and dips.
Less friction in photography
In photography, the desired activity is to make photos. Yet there is a lot of friction involved– the friction of choosing your “ideal” camera and lens combination (this is why I advocate for ‘one camera, one lens’). The friction of going out to taking pictures (if you like to shoot street photography, you might want to drive to some downtown area). The friction of the ideal settings for your camera (this is why I advocate for ‘set it and forget it’ settings, Program mode, or Intelligent Auto mode).
So if you know you desire to make more photographs, reduce as much friction from your photographic life. For example, just shoot with your phone, just shoot in fully-auto, or just walk around the block and shoot pictures of whatever interests you.
Difficulty is good
In video games, we get bored if there is no challenge. Video games are only fun when we have enough difficulty. Yet the hard thing is this: balancing difficulty with our skill level.
For example, if you’re a newbie player in a video game, you don’t immediately want to go into ‘expert’ mode, or it will be too difficult, and thus no fun. But at the same time, if you’re an intermediate player, you don’t want to play in ‘easy mode’ — even “noob stomps” aren’t that much fun after the few chuckles.
What we want is this:
To be challenged enough — which I think is usually 5% above our pre-conceived ability.
For example, when it comes to powerlifting, I just try to increase my “one rep max” for my deadlift by 5 pounds a week. Or when it comes to intermittent fasting, I try to fast for 30 minutes longer at a time, on a daily basis.
So this is the trick:
Try to increase your difficulty gradually– 5% a day, a week, or according to whatever timespan works for you.
But the thing is this:
You must challenge yourself (more) to become stronger.
Gravity is friction
To increase my squat at the gym, I NEED gravity. Our muscles will atrophy without any gravity (note astronauts whose muscles get weaker when they live in space for too long).
So consider in life– don’t seek to reduce or eliminate all friction from your life. Could you enjoy sex if there was no friction? Of course not. Could you enjoy life if there was 0 difficulty? Of course not. Would you enjoy camping if you didn’t “suffer” a bit, by being outdoors and away from modern conveniences? I think not.
Seek meaningful friction.
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
- Why We Need Friction in Life
- Straight Line Philosophy
- What’s Your End-Game in Life?
- Create Your Own Happiness Today
- Desire Both Pain and Pleasure in Life
- Try the Impossible
- Anti-Social Extrovert
- Never Blame Anybody But Yourself
- Human Flourishing
- Simpler, Not Better.
- How to be Free
- Embrace the Extremes
- Cultivate Your Own Culture
- Inner Power
- How to Live a Purposeful Life
- My Definition of Happiness
- Why Change is Good
- Why Work?
- How to Live the Happiest Possible Life
- The Two-Pronged Approach to Maximize Joy in Your Life
- You Always Have Another Option!
- 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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