The problem: most thoughts published are depressing than motivational.
My personal ambition: to only share motivational thoughts. Funny enough, even my mom aspired me to become a motivational speaker. Thus for myself, maybe my life goal should just be a motivational blogger? And vlogger? Or person?
Why is so much of modern day media so dismotivational?
First of all, it looks like most modern media is driven on fear, and negative emotions rather than positive ones. For example, what are you more likely to click on? An article about a nice young boy helping a grandma walk across the street, or some new terrorist attack?
Therefore this is the first big problem: perhaps there is a human bias that we are more prone to be attracted to danger and fear, rather than the positive ones.
The concept that I keep going back to, which I learned from Nassim Taleb in his book antifragile is his notion of via negativa. The basic notion is that we gain more from subtraction than addition.
For example, in order to become more motivated, perhaps the best strategy is to get rid of our dismotivators; things that dismotivate us.
For example, I am very critical of weed and marijuana. Why? It makes you lazy. Like Musk said, smoking weed is like the exact opposite of drinking a cup of coffee. Most productive and optimistic people that I know like drinking coffee.
What dismotivates you?
Things that prevent you from leaving the house. For example, COVID-19 was a huge dismotivator for most people; it made us fearful of just leaving the house. However, now that we are all vaccinated, the vaccine is out, etc., yes, you can leave your house now. And, it is also necessary for you to strategically unlearn the fear of being in public.
For example, I say just go out, and live your life, get your necessary booster shots, and just wear a face mask when in doubt.
Stop consuming the news
It is a physiological thing; whenever I see the news, or accidentally read it, it has a physiologically depressing effect on me.
We all agree that McDonald’s is bad for your health, why not social media? Why not the news?
All media is bad, even the good ones
My belief is that all media outlets are bad, even the “woke” and progressive ones. Even Al Jazeera, NPR, the New Yorker, and other “fact checking“ news sources. Whether they like it or not, all of modern news is driven on Google AdSense and mobile advertising, which means there is always some sort of hidden incentive to maximize clicks and views.
Funny enough, everyone always critiques Facebook and social media for spreading disinformation, but Google, and Google AdSense is never accused. Because if you think about it, even much of Facebook‘s profits piggyback off of Google AdSense. Therefore, Google, and Google AdSense is a stronger player than Facebook, who is simply the middleman.
Again, this then nudges writers and platforms to focus on more negative and sensational news, which strikes fear in us and dismotivates us.
The joy of movement
For me, I realize that after much thinking and life experimentation, I prefer to be in public, out and about, exposed to the elements, rather than chambered at home, indoors, and yes even the mall. I found that spending too much time inside an air-conditioned place, or a heated place actually lulls you to sleep. Even being here in Southeast Asia, in Phnom Penh Cambodia, I feel greater physiological energy when I’m outdoors in the hot and humid weather, than indoors in an air-conditioned mall, car, or room. The only nuance is that I prefer to sleep with air conditioning. Otherwise, air conditioning has a more depressing effect on your body, rather than a motivational one.
Having the right clothes
What is the ideal shirt? If it is hot, or humid outside, topless.
For hot and humid weather, no jeans. No long pants. Breathable mesh nylon shorts. I really like the Lululemon license to train shorts, and even the breathable Uniqlo mesh shorts.
If you must wear a shirt, then outlier.nyc merino wool T-shirt. Or just get a nylon tanktop.
For shoes, Vibram five fingers. I really like the EL-X model. Why are shoes important? Because the lighter, more compact, less foam, your shoes, the more you can walk, move, and play with less fatigue. I believe nowadays, shoes are the modern procrustion bed.
For example nowadays, there is a shoe-first approach. That we try to get our feet to fit our shoes, rather than getting shoes that already fit our feet (natural barefoot style, five finger toes).
The only objection that people honestly have about Vibram five fingers shoes is that they look weird. But maybe we should turn it into a new fashion trend.
For example, flip-flops and sandals, and crocs were seen with diadain, and were considered lame or for losers. But now if you look at the new crocs, the Yeezy slides, etc., the new trend is towards slide-type slippers, and crocs. Even note the high-end Balenciaga collaboration with crocs. Also the Hermès flip-flops.
Share your own motivational thoughts
Ironically enough, whenever I share things which motivate me, and I publish them, there is a BOGO (buy one, get one free) effect; first, it motivates me even further, and it also motivate others. This is where I think the blogging and vlogging is so powerful; you can double dip motivation.
I recommend you to thus start your own blog or YouTube channel, and share your own motivational thoughts with others!
Be driven by enthusiasm and passion
It is difficult to fake enthusiasm and passion. Even harder to fake hate (Nassim Taleb, bed of procrustes).
The radical motivational idea I have is this:
Perhaps the best mode of action is to live a life in which you only do and pursue things you’re insanely passionate about, and have great enthusiasm for, and disregard everything else.
Like Nietzsche says, we must renounce many things.
For example, for me this means renouncing social media, renouncing email, renouncing text messaging, and renouncing other forms of distractions.
Also, not to do things that do you think people will like, but just doing things that you like.
For example, in UI/US design, don’t create an interface which you think people will like. Rather, follow your own gut and design things which you consider beautiful. This is the genius of Steve Jobs; his incredible tenacity to create a device which was absolutely beautiful and perfect for him.
Also, for web designers. Especially YouTube designers:
Create a user interface in which you would not feel ashamed having your kids use.
For example, probably the biggest waste of human potential is YouTube and children. How many kids I see mindlessly clicking through YouTube, and becoming pacified. If you were one of the head designers for user interface for YouTube, I say it is your moral and ethical objective to design it in such a way that you yourself would not feel ashamed having your kids use it. This is why I am so suspicious of Silicon Valley; the rich and elites send their kids to anti-technology schools, yet they sell Google Chrome books and iPads to schools. Even Steve Jobs refused to let his kids iPads. Why? Certainly a hidden downside.
Motivation in photography
Start off by deleting Instagram. And everything you would otherwise share on Instagram, share to your own blog instead. For my true followers, the number one test I have is this:
If you desire to follow me and become my disciple, you first must delete your Instagram.
Otherwise, no faith.
I also don’t trust people in Silicon Valley who use Facebook and or Instagram
Folks from silicon valley should know better. Most intelligent people I know who are photographers and visual artists from Silicon Valley still use Instagram and or Facebook or Reddit. The only people from Silicon Valley I trust are the ones that don’t use Facebook or Instagram. Even more radical, don’t use Reddit.
Also, knowing some of the former head people from Google; who no longer work there, they themselves no longer have a Google account. Why? They probably know something that we don’t.
Motivation in our photography
I like the notion that you can become a “full stack photographer”. That you shoot anything and everything with your heart desires. No more categories, genres, boundaries.
For example, one of the biggest dismotivators in my photography in the past was that I felt like I had to stay within the small genre of street photography. Also, I find it very strange and bizarre that videographers constrain themselves too much in the world of video; they should also delight in shooting still photos! Also, more traditional photographers should also shoot video for fun!
For example, sometimes I see things in which just shooting a still photo is lacking. More fun to shoot a 30 second video clip of it, Snapchat style, for myself. And where to host it? I like to use the videopress.com plug-in for WordPress, or just upload it to youtube.com
Genres constrain our creativity.
Don’t classify yourself
For example, I find there to be too much baggage and weight whenever you try to classify yourself into something, like being a “writer“, photographer, poet, etc. Maybe it’s best to just think of yourself like a big kid, and you like to do stuff and create stuff for fun!
Most of the adults I know are too serious. All of my close friends who I admire are the ones who don’t take themselves too seriously, and they simply live their lives like overgrown children.
Therefore, it seems the number one motivator is to become more childlike. For example, as Seneca is exploring the world, he doesn’t need any external motivators like a pedometer, step counter, or metrics for “success“. Success and failure are not even notions to him yet; he is simply driven by curiosity, desire, and desire to learn more about the world around him. If he could do it his way, he would simply play all day, and not sleep. And he does this all without coffee, caffeine, stimulants, money, or carrots and sticks!
Therefore the number one direction we should go in:
Become more childlike!
Become a photographer
Become the photographer you desire at an upcoming ERIC KIM WORKSHOP:
- DISCOVER YOUR CREATIVE SEOUL (SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA)
- MINIMALISM: DOWNTOWN LA
- STREET PHOTO EXPERIENCE: VANCOUVER, CANADA
MOVE MORE, SHOOT MORE.
Motivate yourself more
- Upload your photos to arsbeta.com
- Ask yourself why?
Share the motivation!
If this sparked any motivational ideas within you, feel free to forward it to a friend!