Life is Beautiful

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Providence, 2019

A thought while waking up today:

I’m so grateful I’m alive. Life is all upside, no downside.

Let me explain:

1. Upside in tragedy

When I contemplate all of my scars and trauma from the past, I’m grateful. Why? It has made my “hero narrative”or “heroes journey”far more interesting, challenging, and fun. I was subjected to massive trauma, yet I thrived as a result. In fact, I feel deep pride from the scars of my past, compared to others who I felt never had to undergo “real suffering”.

Texture
Providence, 2019

I feel all the pain and suffering from the past has helped me gain a more holistic view of the world. I’m glad I was raised in times of financial difficulty, poverty, and pain. Why? I can better understand the poverty mentality, and also I’ve been able to “pull myself up by the bootstraps”to get to where I am now. If I was born rich and privileged, my life narrative would have been a lot more boring for myself.

Selfie providence

2. How do we get stronger?

My goal in life:

Never stop getting stronger.

I haven’t figured out what “stronger”means in a philosophical term, but I know what strength is when it comes to physical strength:

What is the maximum weight you can lift off the ground once?

Physics doesn’t lie — you can either deadlift that weight or not.

To get stronger from a physical perspective, you must:

  1. Push your body’s limits: Continually attempting to lift heavier weights that you’ve never lifted before. Week over week, attempting new “PR’s” (personal records in your lift). My simple idea is this: attempt to add 5 pounds every week to your deadlift, squat, or dumbbell press. Of course you won’t be able to do it every week, but when you fail, take a few days off, eat more meat, recover and recharge your strength, then try again!
  2. Your body rebuilding itself: You don’t become stronger when you lift the weight. Technically if you’ve been able to lift a new PR, your body was already capable of doing it before the fact. Our bodies get stronger during the rebuilding phase — the days when we are NOT lifting weights. When our body synthesizes the meat and protein you consume to build up your muscles, bones, sinews, etc.

I think this logic is already well established in the bodybuilding world. Now what I’m more interested in is this:

How do we get stronger from a mental or philosophical perspective?


3. How to become mentally stronger

Thought:

  1. Attempt something more mentally challenging and difficult
  2. Overcome mental obstacle or block
  3. Allow oneself to recover and rebuild your mental strength. The essential aspect of “downtime”to allow one’s mind to recover, recharge, and become stronger.

In modern times, this is the biggest problem:

We all work insanely hard, yet we don’t allow our minds to go “fallow” (not doing anything). We don’t allow ourselves recovery time.

For example imagine if you did insanely heavy squats at the gym 12 hours a day. Your body wouldn’t have adequate time to get stronger. In fact, doing squats 12 hours a day would probably make you weaker. Perhaps this is also what we’re doing to our minds: by constantly trying to force “productivity”from ourselves, were actually making ourselves mentally weaker.

4. How to maximize the joy of existence

What I like to do:

  1. Make my own art: Photos, videos, music, calligraphy, illustrations, etc.
  2. Challenge my body: The extreme joy of the fun of powerlifting (I treat it like my zen meditation).
  3. The joy of building things with others: Building up arsbeta.com with my friends.
  4. The joy of sharing: The joy of sharing ideas, thoughts, words, art works, etc with others. The joy of knowing that I’m making an empowering impact on the lives of others.
  5. The joy of thinking, philosophizing, discovering inspiration in the works of master painters, photographers, poets, musicians, etc.

Life is beautiful. Extract the maximum juice of living. Fill your chest with the ambrosia of existence, and dance with delight on light feet the beauty of life!

ERIC

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By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher