You Can Craft Your Ideal Lifestyle

Life is infinitely too short to live it boring:

Humans aren’t born risk-averse

I don’t think anyone likes to live a boring life. And to be honest, I think most of us as children are risk-loving.

The problem is this:

As we get older, we get scared by our parents and society. They train us to take the safer options in life.

But living a safe life is boring. Far more interesting to live dangerously — a life with more randomness, chaos, and adventure.

When I think about the times I’ve been happiest in life, it is when I lived a life that was the most uncommon, uncertain, and adventurous. Generally speaking, this life is more exciting, interesting, and fun.

Are humans born to be nomadic?

Hanoi, 2016 #cindyproject
Hanoi, 2016 #cindyproject

This is my thought:

I believe that it is in our human DNA to prefer a more uncertain, nomadic-lifestyle.

Consider– most people like traveling, seeing new things, and experiencing new things. Most people enjoy being pushed outside of their comfort zones.

When am I the happiest?

For myself, I don’t really care for money too much. For myself, I am happiest when:

  1. I am living uncomfortably — with fewer possessions and fewer distractions.
  2. When I have freedom of movement during the day, and have the opportunity to experience new coffee shops, streets, restaurants, places, people.
  3. I am making art (photos, blogging, writing, etc).

The thing I love most about looking at my old photos while traveling or living abroad is this:

It re-evokes the feeling of danger, adventure, and excitement in my life!

Some photos from Hanoi — when Cindy and I lived there for around 8 months:

Can I live a happy life being ‘settled’?

Berkeley, 2013 #cindyproject (when we first moved in)
Berkeley, 2013 #cindyproject (when we first moved in)

This is a question:

Assuming that I could never travel or live nomadically, can I still live a happy life ‘settled’ / in the suburbs?

I think it is possible! But I don’t think that you can have the MAXIMAL ‘happiest’ life when you’re settled.

I think these are the downsides of being settled:

  1. You tend to become more complacent, and spend too much time inside the home. I think we’re the most engaged when we are OUTSIDE the house, exploring new places, and having new experiences.
  2. When you are settled, you end up getting fatter. Food is too abundant. Infact, the way I prevent getting fat while spending some time settled in the suburbs is through extreme intermittent fasting (no eating breakfast or lunch), and through extreme powerlifting at the gym (deadlift, squat, dumbbell press).
  3. You start to buy stuff you don’t need (consumerism creeps in).

How to live happier when you’re settled

Our bedroom. Little Saigon, 2019
Our bedroom. Little Saigon, 2019

But to be honest, I think it takes far more skill to live a good life while living a settled life (as it is ‘unnatural’ in my eyes). I will always prefer a nomadic lifestyle over a settled lifestyle — but when I am living a settled lifestyle, here are things that has helped me be more productive, energized, and creative:

  1. Go to the gym at least once a day (or yoga with Cindy)
  2. Spend as much time out of the house possible (at coffee shops, or at restaurants)
  3. Producing more videos for my YouTube Channel (vlogging— as the house is quiet, and I can use it as my studio).
  4. Appreciation of the extreme abundance of food, and just how cheap it is (yet, still focusing on fasting during the day — to stay creatively sharp and productive during the day).
  5. Enjoying going to the mall (actually one of my favorite things– mall street photography is quite fascinating for me to study consumerist culture in America).

But I will always prefer to live more nomadically when I have the option. But if I don’t have the option, then it means:

Make the best of wherever you are, or whatever your life situation is.

Should we accept our life circumstances, or should we MOULD it into something different?

SEARS, 2018
SEARS, 2018

I think to simply accept your circumstances (if you have the option of changing it) is the worse option. Whenever you have the option of living more dangerously or adventurously, ALWAYS choose the more risky life option!

Marseille, 2013 #cindyproject
Marseille, 2013 #cindyproject

For example, if you have the option to travel — travel! If you have the option of having a new job in a new location, city, or country– do it! If you have the opportunity to start your own business, go for it!

When in doubt, always take the more dangerous option in life.

Yes, you do have the power to change your life circumstances. I think from need and desire comes ingenuity.

For example, I was able to figure out how to make a living from street photography because I wanted to be self-employed so bad. Of course, hustling hard also will increase your likelihood of success.

Downtown LA, 2019
Downtown LA, 2019

And once again — I want to really really really encourage you:

YES, you can craft your own ideal lifestyle!!!

What do you want out of life?

First of all, you must dictate for yourself what YOU want out of your life! Also consider your end-game (how do you want to end your life?) then work your way backwards.

Disregard modern notions of success, or what society tells you is ‘success’. You must define your own personal success for yourself.

Determine what you DON’T want in your life

To live a better life, do LESS of what you DON’T want to do (via negativa living).

Ideally, don’t do anything you don’t want to do.

Make a list of stuff you DON’T want to do on a daily basis, which can include:

  1. No commuting
  2. No dealing with petty people
  3. No worrying about finances (financial independence)
  4. Not being constrained to one geographical location (the freedom to move around if you want– ie; ‘location independence‘)
  5. Not having to do work you don’t want to do (having the freedom to create whatever you want to do/having freedom to DO and CREATE what YOU want to create!)


Busan, 2014 #grandfather


It is 100% certain that you will die one day. When you will die is uncertain.

I think life is the ultimate putty — you can mould it however you desire.

Hollywood, 2011
Hollywood, 2011

Think of yourself as a creator, a moulder, and a transformer. You can transform your life however you desire, and live whatever lifestyle you desire.

Work towards turning your ideal lifestyle into a reality.

And this is the simple idea:

Love a dangerous lifestyle!