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The Key to Photographic Motivation

Something which has been on my mind ever since I was 18 years old:

What is the secret and key to photographic ‘success’, motivation, and thriving?

For example, I always found myself lacking motivation to go out and shoot new photos, thus the pursuit of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome)– as a means to finding new motivation for photography.

So what is it that we *really* want? Photographic motivation. And what is photographic motivation? It is having the energy, impetus, and the strong desire to go out and make *NEW* photos, or the motivation to take the pre-existing photos we already got to make new types of artwork (PDF E-BOOKS, slideshows, print books, etc).

Some thoughts:

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What is lacking in today’s world and society?

Obedience & discipline.

In which regards?

  1. Obedience to your partner/and/or spouse
  2. Obedience to your elders (your parent(s) [if they are good])/grand parents, or your parents-in-law
  3. Obedience to yourself– to your own will, your own desires.

And discipline:

  1. Disciplining your children, the youth.
  2. Self-discipline (not towards some ‘virtuous’ end… but your own personal self-dictated ends)
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The only type of productivity which is good and spontaneous productivity. This happens from having overwhelming physiological energy and strength. For example, the energy you had after a really great night sleep. And perhaps a good caffeine buzz.

In other words when you are weak or exhausted, don’t force yourself to be “productive”. When you’re feeling weak and exhausted the most “productive” thing you could do is take a nap or try to go to sleep early, and abstain from further coffee or caffeine intake. Then wait for your energy to regain until you will spontaneously burst into some sort of virtuous creative activity.

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Can Money Make You Healthier?

Assuming that health is the ultimate wealth, and that health is more important than money, then begs the question: can money buy health? And if so, how can you use money to become more healthy?

Some thoughts — money for physical and physiological strengthening. For example, buy a chin-up bar, kettlebells, or use money for a gym membership. Also money on highly nutritious foods — more red fatty meat, steak, beef.

Also the best part of being self employed and having “financial independence”— being able to take a nap whenever you want to during the day, sleeping however early you want (6:30pm, 7:30pm) and waking up however late you want without the agency of an alarm clock.

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Something I have discovered when it comes to art, design and creations:

Did the creator put their soul into it, or did they just do it to please the masses or to make a quick buck?

Certainly there is nothing bad about making money. Perhaps seeking to please others is a vice. The most virtuous thing we can do as artists and creators is to create and put our stamp of authenticity, our soul into it (Nassim Taleb calls putting ‘soul in the game’).

Hard to tell or determine on whether others or other agencies or corporations are truly putting their soul on the line. So best to ignore others, and to simply strive to put your own soul in the game, no matter what you do.

And a thought — perhaps corporations, collectives, agencies and anything more than 1 (individual) *cannot* have soul in the game. For example, Apple as the soul of Steve Jobs x Jony Ive (neither who are with Apple anymore). But certain exceptions– Tesla as the soul of Elon Musk. Yeezy as the soul of Kanye West.

Then perhaps the goal and our goal:

Strive to breed and create and mould more interesting and epic individuals … away from the ‘collective good’.


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The Ephemerality of Photography is What Makes It So Beautiful

A thought:

We seem (philosophically at least) to desire an eternity for everything.

This is why we don’t like the idea of death. Nobody likes to think that their life will (one day) come to an end.

But perhaps what makes life and photography so beautiful is the fact that it *IS* ephemeral. Without ephemerality, life, photography and art would not be so beautiful.

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Our hunger and desire for different — to do or attempt new and different things, or to have new and different experiences. Why does this motivate us?

Is it perhaps that our hunger for new and novel things is embedded within our DNA? Rather than seeing this as a bad thing, perhaps we should see it as a great virtue!

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Our personal ambition: to become simpler and stronger. This could pertain to our lifestyle, or bodily physiological strength, or aesthetics, and the way we approach life.

If you’re a designer, strive to design things which are simpler and stronger. For example even the iPhone, the best iPhone is the one that is simpler, which means smaller like the iPhone mini, and stronger, which means it has faster processing power.

Even with Tesla cars, think about the Tesla model S, a car which is very very simple in terms of design and approach, yet increasingly powerful, think about the epic Plaid Tri motor.

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It isn’t fashion, cars, watches or things we desire… but aesthetics.

And if you think about it, aesthetics are quite ‘useless’ (most aesthetics don’t have a practical or pragmatic utility).

So let us think:

It isn’t the *thing* we want, but the *aesthetic* associated with it.

And whether you grant yourself this luxury or not is up to you!


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What do we tire and bore of? What *don’t* we tire and bore of?

I think this is the great secret to life:

As artists, what do we tire of, and what *don’t* we tire of?

First thought:

We quickly bore and tire of aesthetics.

We bore and tire of fashions, car design, phone design, and certain aesthetic trends. Any consumerist or materialist thing or trend … we tire of so quickly and easily. Even when I imagined getting a black-paint Leica M9 (later sold it and traded it for a film Leica MP) and a Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron Lens … how quickly I got tired of the design and the concept. I can also imagine one would quickly tire of owning a Lamborghini (even if you had the black on black Aventador, matted/murdered out with the Lambo/Billionaire/scissor doors).

What *don’t* we tire of? Art. Specifically, the act and process of creating our own artwork. This means creating digital art (Procreate/Zen Brush on iPad/iPhone) or photographs (in praise of street photography and photography in general).

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Our Hunger for New Experiences

What is it that we *really* want in life and out of life?

The hunger and desire for new experiences to test us, challenge us, provoke us and awaken us.

An indoor and “safe” life as the worst life. The best life being outdoors, in public, on the streets, at the gymnasium, with other people.

So it’s not the thing we want, but what the thing *promises* us. For example we desire a certain car to become more “adventurous” (go hiking more often, explore and test the outdoors) or the sports car to live a more “extreme”lifestyle — stunting in front of other humans or driving fast to get your adrenaline up.

So let’s not get suckered by things — let us pursue these new epic embodied expediences to build ourselves, develop ourselves and become more of ourselves.

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