In praise of an ascetic lifestyle:

Ascetic over frugality

I never liked the notion of being ‘frugal’. It seemed too much self-abnegation (self-denial, to somehow ‘punish’ yourself).

I would say instead, let us go EXTREME: better to pursue an ascetic lifestyle (for the benefits), instead of self-denial as a form of self-flagellation (whipping yourself, to ‘repent’ for your sins).


What is ‘ascetic’?

Asceticism gets a bad reputation. We think of all these sickly monks, refusing themselves all worldly pleasures, in order to reach ‘enlightenment’ or perhaps ‘deliverance from sin’.

If we really think about the word ‘ascetic’, it comes from the Greek word, ‘askesis’ (training, exercise).

Thus to live an ascetic lifestyle (to me) means:

To train yourself to become stronger, to need less, and to become less dependent on fate and external things.

And the self-training to become stronger is to refuse things which distract you, and take away your power. It ain’t about making yourself weaker and more sickly; it is about making you stronger, bigger, and more magnanimous.

Why live an ascetic lifestyle?

Benefits of an ascetic lifestyle:

  1. Easier to become self-employed (if you reduce your living expenses to the bare minimum, you don’t need to earn as much income to support yourself. Easier to pay rent, food, etc).
  2. Creative Constraint: Even though you can afford more expensive things, by opting to take the cheaper option is a ‘creative constraint’. We learn how to be more creative with having ‘shittier’ stuff. It is a more interesting challenge to make more with less, rather than having the ‘best’ expensive tool to do something.
  3. Ultimate freedom: If you own fewer possessions, fewer things own you. We free spirits desire freedom and control over our lives more than ‘happiness’ or pleasure. Thus, by living a more ascetic lifestyle, by not needing to buy shit for happiness, we can be more joyful in our lives, by being in more control over ourselves, our time, and our lifestyle.

No virtue signaling via an ascetic lifestyle

To live an ascetic lifestyle doesn’t mean to NOT buy anything. It doesn’t mean renouncing all your worldly goods.

What it means is this:

Not getting suckered into thinking that buying MORE things, and constantly upgrading your stuff will make you happier.

You can still buy shit; it just means that you prefer NOT to get suckered into buying things which you don’t really think are ‘worth it’.

It means we prefer things with a higher dynamic range of ‘value’ (getting more for less), rather than things which are expensive for fashion reasons.

Ignore others

Furthermore, we don’t ‘look down’ on others who decide that living a life buying a bunch of shit is good for them. We just ignore them. If they like to buy expensive stuff, if they like to go into debt, whatever– fine for them!

We ignore the lifestyles of others; we focus on only ourselves, and how we decide we wish to live our own life, according to our own standards.

No evangelism

Furthermore, we don’t assume that our lifestyle is the best, and others “should” live their lives how we decide to live our lives.

In your everyday affairs, you don’t tell others that you are frugal, or that you live an ascetic lifestyle. You just let your actions speak for themselves, and if others find your lifestyle interesting, THEN you tell them about the benefits of living an ascetic lifestyle.

If anything, we wish to be more hidden with our virtues, rather than trying to outwardly signal our virtues to others. We don’t want others to applaud us and say:

“Wow, ERIC is such a great person, because he lives an ascetic lifestyle!”

No. We stay mostly to ourselves.


Create your own values for yourself

Ignore the values and virtues of others. Seek to create your own table of values and virtues for yourself. What is a virtue for others isn’t your virtue. What is a vice for someone else ain’t a vice for you.

Producerism

I believe that we are happiest when we are creating and producing, not when we are just consuming and purchasing.

Ascetic is Sexy

Let us strive to live a more frugal lifestyle, by really considering:

It is genuinely preferable, and beneficial, and empowering for me to live an ascetic lifestyle — it is good and sexy. It ain’t about self-punishment.

You don’t need to make a vow or a pledge to live more ascetically. It is your life! If you wanna go out and buy a bunch of shit, feel free to do so! You’re not sinning or gonna go to hell. The only downside is that you have fewer stacks in the bank.

Thus, let us take on an ascetic lifestyle because it is sexier, better, and superior than living a ‘baller’ lifestyle (constantly living in debt, and fronting).

ASCETIC IS SEXY.

ERIC


Photography Entrepreneurship 101

eric kim melbourne benjamin thompson
ERIC KIM x LEICA MP + 35mm Summicron ASPH + SF 20 flash + HENRI NECK STRAP
Enroll in my Udemy Course: ‘Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Photography Entrepreneurship’: Create Your Own Future >

Entrepreneurship Lifestyle

Entrepreneurship Mindset

umbrella red Eric kim

Photography Entrepreneurship 101

Life and Productivity Hacks

How to Make a Living from Your Passion

Put a Dent in the Universe.

How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

entrepreneurship overview eric kim course

The Modern Photographer: Tips, Strategies, and Tactics to Thrive as a Visual Artist in the Digital Age

THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER by HAPTICPRESS Marketing, Branding, Entrepreneurship Principles For Success MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER is your new philosophical and practical primer to succeed as a modern photographer in today’s digital world.

Business Mental Models

ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP
ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP

How to Monetize Your Photography

EURO CAMERA MONEY by ANNETTE KIM

Why Become a Photography Entrepreneur?

Take control of your own photographic destiny:
  1. Photography Startup Manual
  2. PHOTOGRAPHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANUAL
  3. On Risk Taking and Entrepreneurship

THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER


Photography Entrepreneurship Articles

Google advance up arrow

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101

CAMERA MONEY GBP by ANNETTE KIM

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Table of Contents

Learn how to make a living from your passion:

Photography Business 101

How to Make Money with Photography

CAMERA MONEY USD by ANNETTE KIM
CAMERA MONEY USD by ANNETTE KIM

Photography Marketing 101


SELLOUT ERIC KIM

How to Hustle.

Entrepreneurial Principles

How to be a Full-time Photographer

Photography Blogging

How to Teach Photography

Social Media

How to Save Money

START HERE >
ERIC KIM workshops red hand

Unleash your creative potential:

2020:

2021:

Be notified of when new workshops are live here.


ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER

Free Motivation for You >






Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Photography
Master Photography >
Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Photography Entrepreneurship - ERIC KIM Udemy
Seize Your Destiny >
ARS First Double Blind Photography Feedback Platform
Get Real Feedback on Your Photos >
Zen of ERIC KIM why app. Orange logo with y and cloud thinking bubble
Never Stop Asking Why?