I remember taking AP statistics in high school, and learning about the notion of the “outlier”. That when you had a certain data point and there was a certain data point which was not according to the chart or the graft, you could just low-key erase it or ignore it.
Yet, society, the world, everything can only grow and thrive on the outliers.
For example, you cannot change society in the world by having a bunch of the same same South Korean students, all doing the same thing. You need the radical Elon Musk, the radical Kanye West, the radical Steve Jobs.
The reason why America is the center of innovation is our culture of cultivating, breeding, and also glorifying the outlier. For example, even in South Korea, not how all of the famous K-pop groups are all groups. There is not one really really spectacular individual K-pop star. If you think about BTS, it is a conglomerate of random pretty looking boys, Even black pink is about the group.
However in America, let’s consider the success of an individual Jay Z, an individual Eminem, a Snoop Dogg, etc.
You are not basic
The easiest way I think about this is this:
Don’t be basic.
What does it mean to be basic? It means to be like everybody else. To be medium, mediocre, etc.
For example, what does it mean to be mediocre? To drive a Honda accord or Toyota Camry, to seek to buy a house, to seek a nice job, to seek “stability“, etc.
What does it mean to be an outlier? To distain the norm, and also to distain what is popular.
For example, extreme and true differentiation is thinking of yourself and knowing yourself as vastly different, a new species of human. Certainly genetically we are about 99.9% similar to everybody else, but we have the audacity and the chutzpah to breed ourselves into something new.
Optimize yourself to be an outlier
Do you seek to be understood, or, do you seek to become more of an enigma?
- Hate and distain when you see other people who look like you, or when you look like other people. Even in terms of fashion, the best strategy is to choose clothes or wear clothes which no one else has. Or to wear the clothes in such a style or a way that differentiates you.
- No car. Cars are for suckers. Better to be a Tyler Durden from FIGHT CLUB with no car, then another same same person, who all drove the same car. Like Jay Z said, I can’t tell who is who, “we all wear the same watch.” it doesn’t matter if you’re rich enough to wear a Richard Millie watch, or an 8P, everyone has one. The same thing goes with Lamborghinis, everyone has one. What is the best way to differentiate yourself and be an outlier is through what you decide to not on, or to disown.
- Don’t talk like other people; you have extreme pride in your own language, your own lingua. Better to know ancient Greek then to speak like the millennials.
Why be an outlier?
A simple question; why be an outlier?
First of all, you probably are. This means that recognize that every single human being is different. Also each of us should glorify him or herself on being unique.
Second, our desire to move and change the world.
What does it mean to be self reliant? Simply put, your ego, self-esteem, and your power is within yourself. You are not a slave to the opinions of others. For example, if you are reliant on peer review for anything, you are not free.
For example, if you have some philosophical thoughts, know that you do not require peer review, or an editor to review, critique, or acknowledge your ideas. The philosopher thinks first principles, and is not dependent on any external authority besides him or herself. The philosopher doesn’t need to base his or her theories on statistics, the opinions of others, etc. The philosopher bases their thoughts based on what they believe in.
Do things in a different way
Don’t just do things the same as others. Think carte blanche, and do things differently.
For example, when it comes to squat, no need to squat all the way to the floor. Instead, just being able to unrack the weight a little bit is enough. Even trying to go “parallel” or “below parallel”— is this truly necessary?
Cross pollinating new concepts
For example, my passion for Zen, and being able to cross pollinate it to other notions. For example, zen capitalism, zen photography, zen street photography, the Zen of hypelifting, or zenlifting.
Refuse to be constrained within narrow and reductive category. Instead, know that instead, a better goal is to extend all of your different passions and interests into wide ranging areas.
For example, am I the first to have figured out that the stronger I become at the gym, the stronger I become as a writer, thinker, photographer, entrepreneur, and thinker?
Pride in being an outlier
You must have pride in being an outlier, and it seems that a noble goal is to strive to become more of an outlier. To refuse to have the same desires as others, and the same language and notions of others.
To be out. To be outside of the basic simple categories.
Where everyone else is… get really far away from them. Go beyond, think beyond, become beyond.
Create yourself as an outlier
It seems that in today’s consumers capitalist world, the way that people seek differentiation is through consumerism. By having a different car, different clothes, even other superficial things like listening to different types of music, movies, etc. This type of differentiation is superficial at best. Nay, not even superficial.
What you must do instead is become more of an outlier through your actions. Through your words, your ideas, to become more wolflike, and less sheeplike.
Just think to yourself: what would a wolf do?
Would a wolf eat kale and quinoa? No. The wolf would consume liver, heart, intestines, and other organ meat high in cholesterol. Would the wolf consume sugar, “vegetables?” No.
Better to be a gay (happy and jovial) monster than to be a sentimental bore. Via Nietzsche — via Galliani.
Another outlier thought; it is actually more uncommon to be happy than to be dark, morose and cynical.
Have you ever met a happy person? I haven’t. The only happy people I know include myself, and kids.
In fact, a funny bias is that in today’s world, one is not permitted to be happy. Why? All of this strange weaklings who say —
How dare you be happy when there is so much pain, suffering, and bad things happening in the world!
It becomes a virtue to bemoan the dark side of the world, while one still enjoys their wine and cheese at their homes. There is this French notion of “caviar Socialism“, in which where it is ironically enough, the rich and privileged people who bemoan most about poverty and injustices, while merrily munching on their cucumber sandwiches, etc. Essentially like a Bill Gates.
I say choose to be happy, choose to be gay. It actually takes more skill and courage to be happy, jovial and gay, than it is to be critical, cynical, and a nay sayer.
Outlier thoughts in the context of photography
One: no Instagram, Facebook, or social media. If you truly want to be an outlier, think to yourself,
It is more interesting to be a photographer without an Instagram, than a photographer with.
In fact, once at a wedding party, when I told this one guy that I was a photographer, and then he asked me what my Instagram was, and I told him that I didn’t have Instagram/deleted it, he was actually very impressed. He said, wow, a photographer without an Instagram, that takes serious balls.
Ironically enough in today’s world, one is best differentiated by what one doesn’t own, or what one doesn’t do, or what one doesn’t consume, eat, drink, watch, listen to, etc.
For example, do you know anyone who doesn’t use email? Who doesn’t own a car? Who doesn’t have any streaming subscriptions, who doesn’t have a Netflix account? Who doesn’t use text messaging, who doesn’t use headphones or AirPods, who doesn’t watch TV or shows, who doesn’t consume carbs, or doesn’t eat breakfast and lunch?
Or a man who doesn’t drink alcohol? No beer, no wine, no whiskey or spirits? Also doesn’t drink anything besides water, or black coffee?
Or a man who doesn’t consume rice, snacks, sugar, fruit, potatoes, pasta, noodles, bread, etc.
Also doesn’t listen to any podcasts, or music besides Kanye West.
Choose what to denounce
In order to become more of an outlier, you must denounce and renounce many things. Just think to yourself;
I am the outlier. I ain’t got no time for any basic things or basic people.
No basic travels, no basic experiences. Only choose the enigmatic:
- March 25th, BOSTON CONQUER FEAR WORKSHOP
- April 15: INSANE INNOVATION BERKELEY WORKSHOP
- June 19-23rd: HADONG SOUTH KOREA ZEN RETREAT
No basic thoughts allowed.
All I want for Christmas is you
What should we seek this holiday season? Some thoughts:
- iPad Pro (small 11 inch one, M2 chip).
- RICOH GR IIIX
- Vibram 5 finger shoes — EL- X Model
- Gym membership
- ERIC KIM EXPERIENCE
- Black down vest
- Lululemon license to train shorts
- Outlier.nyc black merino wool shirt
- HENRI NECK STRAP MARK IV PHANTOM BLACK
- The gift of time: Rather than buying your nieces and nephews gifts or toys, just spend time with them. Leave your phone at home or in the car, just run around with them, play peekaboo with them, throw them in the air, etc.
- The gift of meat: go to the local Costco business Center, and buy four packs of beef ribs, and give it to a friend.
- Gift a Costco membership? Can we do this?
Seek innovation. Innovate yourself, vlog innovation thoughts and just share them to YouTube! Vlog from your iPhone or iPad!
Moar turbo thoughts
- EK PODCAST
- Think hormones
- Walk 30,000 steps in a day?
- Better to get the Apple Watch Titan than to get a Rolex. The new titanium Apple Watch, from an industrial design perspective, looks phenomenal, kind of like a Panerai watch!
Share the joy!
If this sparked any interesting thoughts within you, feel free to forward to a friend!
Become the monster.