Kind of sounds like a silly question, but I think very relevant in today’s world:
What is ‘thinking’? What is the value of ‘thinking’?
Do we like to think? Do you like to think? Do you want to think more or less in your life?
What is ‘thinking’?
To think means to ‘suppose, perceive, to know.’
Thus in this regard, thinking can be seen as synonymous to knowledge/wisdom.
Does one ‘think’ actively?
Now this is a question:
Can you actually sit down and force yourself to think? Or do thoughts just naturally (and spontaneously) come to you?
For myself, I don’t actively “think”. Ideas usually come to me totally randomly; seemingly out of nowhere. I typically ‘think’ when I let my mind go empty/fallow.
For example, I am only able to think when I have no distractions or nonsense in my mind. Thus for me, striving for zen is my attempt to rid my mind of superfluous garbage, and let my mind become more perceptive of my own thoughts. This is why I am anti media and social media; I don’t want my own inner-thoughts to be crowded out by random noise and external stimuli from media.
Thinking as deeply pleasurable
For myself, I gain some of the deepest joy in my life when I come up with new ideas. To me, there is nothing more exciting about having a novel thought or idea which I am interested in writing about, deconstructing, and blogging/sharing. Furthermore, I am passionate about philosophy and knowledge, and thinking/contemplating is an essential bridge in order to deepen our knowledge/wisdom and “truthiness” about the world.
A brain is a terrible thing to waste
Why do we have brains?
Technically the purpose of a brain isn’t to “think” for the sake of it. Nor is the purpose of a brain to create artwork or to philosophize.
The brain is for movement
The real purpose of the brain (I think) is to coordinate movement, in order to procure food and nutrition. Much of the brain is needed to coordinate movement. The purpose of the eyes is probably more about coordinating movement and direction. We are bipeds (walk on two legs) in order to walk long distances with little fatigue. If we believe in the notion of ‘hunter gatherer’, our movement is essential to hunt animals and walk to procure food items.
But in today’s modern world, food is easily procurable and movement is seamless. Honestly I think we could probably amputate the legs of 90% of the population and everything would still work fine (we sit at the office, sit in our cars, sit at home)– what do we need legs for? What do we need to move for? (remember the scene in Wall-E with the fat humans on the floating chairs).
We decide what to do with our brains
You didn’t ask to be born, but the fact is you’re alive and you are here. You will die, but you’re not dead (yet). You’re still alive, cognizant, and you got your brain/mind.
I would actually say that our mind is synonymous to our soul and life itself. If I were ‘brain-dead’ (in a coma), I would actually consider myself dead. Or if I had severe Alzheimers and couldn’t remember who I was or my memories, I would consider ‘Eric Kim’ as no longer alive.
Thus in short terms:
If you don’t think or if you don’t have a (functioning) mind, you are not fully alive.
Of course if you’re breathing, you are still “alive”. Life = breath in many philosophical understandings.
What do you desire to direct your mind towards while you’re still alive and cognizant?
But anyways going back to our prior point– you are alive, and you got a mind. So the simple question is this:
While you are still alive and have a functioning mind, what do you desire to do with your mind? What do you desire to do with your life?
This is a decision that you determine, dictate, and choose.
You must think in order to direct your life, or determine what to create
I believe that we are happiest when we are creating. Furthermore if your desire is to become more powerful, focus on becoming a producer rather than (only) a consumer. My basic idea of ‘producerism‘ is this:
Spend 90% of your time producing, and only 10% of your time consuming.
Consume IN ORDER to create/produce. Don’t consume for the sake of consuming.
Like our buddy Socrates once said —
“I eat in order to live. You live in order to eat.”
Eating and consuming isn’t a means to an end, which means— the purpose of your life isn’t to maximize your sensory pleasures. The point of your mind isn’t to direct yourself to eat as many delicious foods. The point of your mind is to procure nutrition, thoughts, and ideas in order to become more powerful.
How to think (more)
I believe the best way to “think” more is to remove more junk from your mind. To stop listening to news, consuming media, consuming social media, etc. The best way to think is to remove external stimuli which prevent your mind from going fallow and relaxing, which gives our mind the chance to create unique thoughts and interesting ideas.
- Think while commuting: During your commute, don’t read, listen to podcasts, or listen to music. Let yourself get “bored”in order to think more. If you drive, drive without music/podcasts/distractions. Get into a zen zone during your commute.
- Delete Instagram, and stop using social media: What is more valuable to you — “keeping in touch” with others, or valuing your own mind, thoughts, and your own personal epicness? Social media is toxic for your brain, self esteem, and your ability to think.
- Go on long walks with no distractions. Walk for fun, and the thinking will come naturally. No music, podcasts, or any other distractions. Let your mind wander!
- Allow yourself to ask yourself ‘heretical’ questions. Challenge everything and social norms. Think about questions which are dangerous, interesting, and curious to you. For myself, a lot of what I’ve been taught always smells like bullshit, and I use my writing/philosophical inquiries to challenge what I’ve been taught/indoctrinated. In other words, be like a child who always asks “WHY?” to everything.
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
- The Eternal Return
- Only Do What is Best for You!
- Why Be Happy?
- Permissionless Living
- In Praise of Unconventional Wisdom
- Become the Change Which You Wish to See in the World
- Beyond Freedom
- Idolize People, Not Stuff
- What Makes You Stronger? What Makes You Weaker?
- Why Hate?
- The Secret of Happiness
- You’re Constantly in a State of Becoming
- Life is about Choices, Not Obligations
- First, Do What is Best for You.
- Live Dynamic
- How to Prosper
- Is the Point of Life to Be Satisfied?
- SUPREME EFFORT OF WILL.
- How to Become more Idealistic
- Thrivival 101
- Create Yourself
- 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 >
Unleash your creative potential:
- November 7th, 2020: ERIC KIM BLOGGING MASTER CLASS (Online, via Zoom). [Register Intent Here]
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
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