It is difficult to say what is worth pursuing in life. It is easier to say what is worth avoiding in life!
Don’t pursue things which are vain. Don’t be fooled– it won’t take away the pain.
The word ‘vain’ comes from the Latin: ‘vanus‘, which literally means “empty”.
In modern society, when we say ‘vain’, we mean to say “self-centered” and thus “evil”.
However, I prefer to think of ‘vain’ as empty.
Why are vain (empty) pursuits in life a waste of time?
I think in order to live the best life, we must pursue what is truly meaningful, massy, and with weight and purpose-substance.
I’ve discovered from my personal experiences in life, here is a list of vain (empty) pursuits in life. Pursuits that you think will make you happy, but once you achieve them and experience them, actually doesn’t fulfill you. Instead, you feel slightly indifferent afterwards– and you still feel “empty” (vain) inside:
- Owning stuff: There is a lot of stuff I wanted to own when I was younger– a digital Leica camera, car, money, etc. But once you get it– it doesn’t fulfill or fill you up. You obtain that thing– then over time, you feel indifferent to it (hedonic adaptation).
- Traveling the world and seeing fancy and exotic places: I always thought I would achieve true happiness once I was able to travel the world, and see all these interesting and exotic places. However after traveled a lot of the world, I don’t feel ‘fulfilled’. In-fact, traveling a lot makes you feel a little more restless, less satisfied with the spot you currently are. We get suckered into thinking that a happier life is in a different place. As my buddy Seneca says, “What you need isn’t a change of place; but a change of soul!”. Morale of the story: we need to change our souls via introspection, thinking, writing, creating– not just by traveling.
- Fame: I’m famous in photography circles. Yet, trust me– fame isn’t as great as people make it seem. Ultimately there are some benefits of fame, but for the most part– it isn’t super-substantial, and doesn’t make you feel “happy” or “fulfilled”.
What is truly fulfilling?
A list of things which actually do make my soul feel fulfilled (filled with purpose):
- Helping empower others
- Making stuff (writing, photos, videos, poems, art, etc)
- Deep and engaging conversation with loved ones
- Coming up with new ideas, and consuming great ideas
- Pursuing things which interest you for the sake of it
What oceans yet remain for us to sail!
There is still a lot of uncharted territory and sea. Don’t get jaded.
Avoid empty and vain pleasures, and seek substance, and fulfillment through doing, creating, and introspecting.
Now put wings on your feet; and turn up the heat!!!
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
- Modern Slavery
- Kill the Leeches
- Wisdom Augmentation
- 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
Learn more: Start Here >
Take your street photography to the next level:
- August 27 (Friday): SEATTLE MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NOW LIVE!]
- September 11 (Saturday): DOWNTOWN LA ADVANCED STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NEW!]
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