Some practical thoughts on ‘creating yourself’:
1. Determine your own ideal (for yourself)
Don’t seek to become anyone else. Instead, dictate what your own ideals are (for yourself), and brutally enforce these rules upon yourself.
Figure out what your own ideal is for yourself, and put forth the self-discipline to make this ideal a reality!
Now the fun thing is this — you don’t have to be this one ideal forever. I think our ideals are constantly changing and in a state of flux. Your ideal today might differ from your ideal tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now, or decades+ from now. I think the deepest wisdom is embracing the fact that you’re constantly changing and in a state of flux, and this is a good thing.
And also to realize this:
Your ideals only apply to you, not anyone else.
There isn’t (and shouldn’t be) an ideal “universal” ideal for EVERYONE on planet earth. My personal preferences for living will of course be different from yours, from Cindy’s, my mom’s, or from the grocery store person.
2. Enforcing your own ideal for yourself
Enforcing your own ideal for yourself shouldn’t be self-imposed slavery, nor should it be self-abnegation or self-flagellation (whipping yourself with a spiked whip). Instead, you create strict rules for yourself simply for fun!
For example, I religiously fast from sunrise to sunset. I am very strict with this — no eating until the sun sets (usually 6-8pm). And when it is time to eat, I feast! In the words of Nassim Taleb, breaking a fast is the opposite of a hangover.
Now, I don’t fast because I want to cause injury upon myself, to cause pain upon myself, or to somehow self-mortify myself. No — I fast because I see it as a form of strengthening, and testing my own strength and limits. It is fun and entertaining for me to see how long I can go without eating food during the day — and I see it as an interesting self-experiment on how strong my willpower is.
I am also quite military-like in my discipline on physical exercise. To me, I give equal credence to my brain and my body. I don’t torture myself to go to the gym, I consider it fun! Difficult things can be fun, and also quite enjoyable.
“Fuck trying and not doing– because not doing is what [I’m not] doing.” – Big Sean
Be a person of action. To think ain’t enough; we must do.
“Do or don’t do, there is no try.” – Yoda
Do, even though you might not be the best. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Only judge yourself according to your own ideal of yourself.
4. Be the change
“Be the change which you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
Create, do, make what you desire to see in the world. If there is something you hate about the behavior or actions of others, you be the first to change this action or behavior in others.
For example, it grinds my gears when I see others complain or make excuses. Thus, I have made it a personal rule NOT to complain or make excuses. It is the silver rule of ethics:
Don’t do what you consider to be annoying in others.
For example, I hate it when people act petty. Thus, I train myself NOT to be petty (of course, I don’t always succeed).
5. Don’t give up
And this is part of the game — just because you fail in your own ideal of yourself for one failed action, or one failed ideal — doesn’t mean that you have lost the game! Just dust yourself off, and try again!
If you’re riding a war-horse, and you fall off, get back on the horse and grab the reins again!
If you’re playing a video game and fighting the most difficult boss on the most difficult level, and if you die, restart and try again!
Becoming yourself is difficult, because everyone will tell you that you’re foolish to do so. Ignore all others, because you’re doing this for yourself, by yourself, and according to your own self-ideal.
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
- How to Live a Heroic Life: Dare the Heights!
- Human Augmentation
- Happiness: Do What You Want to Do (And Don’t Do What You Don’t Want to Do)
- Avoid Vain (Empty) Pursuits in Life
- 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!]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.