It seems we are are obsessed with growth. But my questions:
What is “growth”? Why is it so desirable? And how does one actually “grow”?
I think a simple thing to study regarding growth are trees.
A tree grows taller by getting more nutrition from the soil, from photosynthesis, and carbon from the air. The tree grows taller by putting its roots deeper into the soil, and by spreading its branches across the sky.
With humans it is a bit different — we have limited growth in terms of our height. We can continue to grow our muscle mass by challenging our muscles more and by eating more protein and meat.
Of course as children, it is beneficial to grow bigger to become adults. But once we are adults, how does “growth” manifest in ourselves?
1. Muscular growth
Muscle is good. The more muscle we have, the better.
To grow our strength, and grow the size of our muscles is good. It improves our physical strength, and also improves our looks/personal aesthetics.
How do we grow our muscles? Challenging our muscles more, and eating more meat, protein, and nutrition.
2. Artistic growth
This is where things get tricky — I think we all desire artistic growth. But what does this even mean?
Perceiving some augmentative property from Point A -> Point B.
What does it mean to augment your artistic powers?
First, there is building and augmenting your self confidence. Thus growth in self confidence is good.
Secondly, growth in your compositional powers is good. This means more ambitious compositions which are more dynamic, powerful, interesting, but also more simple and elegant at the same time. This means to have less clutter in the frame, and more of a visceral impact on you and the viewer. In short, it means to make photos that surprises even you!
Third, does artistic growth happen as you “grow” more popular? Tricky to say. Horace is certainly one of the best poets of all time, but he might have had contemporaries who were more famous than him. Nietzsche also echoes ancient sentiment by stating, “A popular success is a petty success”.
3. Growing your influence
I know for myself personally, becoming more famous and influential has become a “net positive” for myself. Furthermore, I don’t think the ultimate number of followers matters. I’d rather have “moderate number” of dedicated followers (who are also powerful and influential) than millions of “normal” followers.
So perhaps the formula is this:
Better to have a few hundred or few thousands of very very dedicated and influential followers, than millions of “average” followers.
So perhaps the true aim of fame isn’t a number game — it is getting more powerful and influential people to follow you.
How does one do this? Don’t seek to pander to the masses. Instead, stay true and dedicated to your own particular vision, and do it in an intelligent, thoughtful, meaningful, and deep manner.
4. Growing your impact
My thought is that influence is only a means to enact a stronger impact in the world and in others.
Because once you have power and influence, what do you want to do with that power and influence?
It seems the goal is to IMPACT the world. To impact the lives of others, hopefully in a positive and meaningful way. This can be sharing your personal empowering philosophy with others, impacting others by making them become more self confident into themselves. By spreading powerful ideas which empowers others to take more direct control over their lives.
Do we need to consume more to grow more?
It seems so. You could not grow muscle mass or gain weight without consuming more nutrition (above maintenance levels).
A tree could only grow bigger with more nutrition from the air, water, and soil.
So in some ways, we must consume more to become more, and become stronger.
But what should we consume, during what time of the day, and when should we stop consuming?
My theory is when it comes to food, don’t consume any sugar, simple carbohydrates, or starch. Instead, eat as much meat and eggs as possible. And it also seems the best time to eat is perhaps after working out.
Also, it seems to make sense that to grow artistically, we must consume the artwork and ideas of others who we admire. But perhaps this also requires a great selective property — only consume the ideas and artworks of the best, and those who you consider to strengthen and empower your artistry.
Read more philosophy and ideas from those who you admire, consume more images which you consider great, and consume more music which strengthens you!