Conquer Yourself

Amsterdam, 2015
Amsterdam, 2015

I feel the ultimate power is conquering yourself— not in conquering others.

Seek self-liberation

If you conquer yourself, you can truly liberate yourself. You can strive to conquer your greed, your fears, your regrets, your anxieties, and your mental shortcomings.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in studying philosophy is this — there is no ultimate “truth” out there. There is no universal “right” and “wrong.”

But the truth of philosophy comes from knowing yourself.

Your preferences, what works for you, and your life is different, unique, and special. So the pursuit of wisdom is pursuit of self-knowledge.

In photography, you can study the philosophy of others. But you need to figure out what kind of photos make you happy. What kind of aesthetics in photography you prefer. What personal goals you have for your photography.

We can’t look at others for guidance. We need to simply look within.

What are your goals?

Some of us want to publish photo books. Some of us want to teach photography. Some of us want to exhibit our work. Some of us just want to publish to social media.

There is no “right” and “wrong” — there is simply what works for you, and what doesn’t work for you.

What I want to conquer

To gain inner-wisdom, the first step is to conquer yourself.

What are your faults, vices, and shortcomings you want to conquer? Here are some of my personal downsides I wanted to conquer:

  1. My envy: Envy of photographers with more followers than me, better cameras than me, more fancy lifestyles than me, and more creativity than me.
  2. My sense of regret: Regretting what I did in the past, and what I failed to do.
  3. My fears: My fear of working on creative projects that others might judge me in a negative way. My fear of failure. My fear of the future.
  4. My hesitations: Hesitating taking photos that I worried that others would find boring. Hesitating publishing posts that I thought others would find too controversial. My hesitation of moving forward, and taking action in my life.
  5. My rashness: My propensity to talk before thinking. To say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

I have no idea what you want to conquer in your life, but above are some of the things I daily try to work on. I know I will never be perfect, but by becoming a slightly better person everyday, I’ve been able to be less negative, more productive, and more useful.

What can you overcome?

Climbing a mountain isn’t conquering nature — it is conquering your sense of self-doubt.

Spending less time on social media is conquering your fear of being forgotten.

Spending less time worrying about your money is conquering your fear of death and survival.

Spending less time looking at gear websites is conquering your fear that you’re not creative or good enough.

Seek to conquer yourself, and everything in life will follow.


Learn more: Philosophy >

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