I am excited to announce that I finally put together my free ebook: “Letters from a Street Photographer“. This book is much more philosophical in nature– and combines the philosophy of stoicism and street photography. If you seek more purpose, happiness, and meaning in your photography, this book is for you.
Here is a breakdown of the chapters:
Chapter 1: How to shoot and live without regrets
Chapter 2: How to deal with negative critics
Chapter 3: How to focus on your life’s work
Chapter 4: Fuck fame
Chapter 5: How to be happy
Chapter 6: How to live a purposeful life
This book is “open source” — meaning it is free to download, share, and remix. I hope you enjoy this fruit of my love:
I’ll admit it. I’m incredibly jealous. Whenever I see my close friends, other photographers, family, or anyone else doing “successful” things– I feel a tinge of jealousy. In the back of my head– I might think negative thoughts like, “That person didn’t deserve that recognition or success” – self-doubt myself “Why am I not as successful as that person?” and I start to sink into a hole of despair.
There are so many distractions out there. We live in an age where it is almost impossible not to be distracted.
Our phones are constantly buzzing. We see thousands of advertisements a day that are vying for our attention. We are bombarded with emails from spammers, we are bombarded with notifications, we are bombarded by new technologies that promise to make our lives more “efficient” and “optimized.”
I read something online that the average office worker is interrupted every 20 minutes– and it takes an average of 20 minutes for a worker to re-focus on work.
Many of my friends who work in the corporate world complain of constantly being texted, IM’d, emailed, and sucked into meetings at work– which prevents them from getting any “real” work done. (As a side note– Paul Graham has an excellent essay on managers versus creative time schedules which I highly recommend).
I think focusing is easy– only if we have no distractions. But how do we escape distractions and focus on the work which is truly meaningful to us?
For this chapter in my on-going “Letters from a Street Photographer” book, I wanted to write a topic that I am very familiar with– how to deal with negative criticism (and thrive and benefit from it).
For those of you who have followed me and my blog for a while– you will know that I have a fair amount of negative critics and negative criticism. Here are a list of things I have been critiqued (or criticized, hated for) – and a list of (sort of similar to real-life) comments I’ve gotten:
I think I can speak on behalf of all of us that we all want to be happy. In some shape, way, or form.
Over the years I have thought a lot about happiness. How to “optimize” my life to become “happier.” How to avoid unhappiness in my work, relationships, and my sense of purpose in the world.
There are countless books written on the topic of happiness, and trust me– I have read almost all of them. I am quite addicted to “self-help” books, and always looking to better improve myself. And of course one thing I wanted to increase was my own personal “happiness.”
One book that has deeply influenced me the last few months is: “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy.” The book is a great introduction to the philosophy of Stoicism: which can be summed up as being undisturbed by negative emotions and gaining tranquility and a peace of mind.
I have applied the philosophy of Stoicism to many parts of my personal and work life– as well to my street photography. While I am still new to the concepts of Stoicism, much of its concepts have helped me I hope this post can also help you. To illustrate the points in this article, I have included some photographs from my ongoing “Suits” project.