Everyone wants to be happy, even our best friend Aristotle said it is the one thing that men seek for the sake of itself.
What what is happiness? I think I got the answer; walking is happiness. Any sort of life, lifestyle, lifestyle approach which allows you to maximize your walking is happiness.
I cannot speak for most people, because I don’t have a “real job“. That is, I don’t have a workplace, an office, or a place I must typically commute to.
However Cindy does.
A simple thought that I had is if you have the option, spend extra money which affords you the privilege to walk. For example, I wonder if in fact, shelling out the extra thousand, 2000, 3000, 4000, $5000, maybe even $10,000 a month would be positively beneficial to give you the privilege of walking.
It seems that the modern-day strategy that people partake in is that they sacrifice time in foolish ways. They decide to live further out, further away from work, in the suburbs, which means that they must spend more time driving in order to get to their workplace, in order to have the privilege of having a bigger house, a cheaper house, a smaller mortgage, cheaper rent etc.
Enemies to happiness?
Being forced to be indoors against your own will, this is cruel.
Also, being forced to be stuck in a car, in a bus, in an Uber, even if you had your own private driver, this is cruel.
For example, I once read an interview with Jony Ive, this is when he was still at Apple, in which he would commute for almost 2 hours a day (one way, so 4 hours every day in total), going from a desirable area of San Francisco to the Apple office in Cupertino, having a private driver chauffeur him in his Bentley,and I suppose Jony would just be in the backseat, doing work on his iPhone, iPad, MacBook laptop, etc. If I was Joni and truly committed, I would not make this foolish decision. I would literally just rent a hotel or an apartment or a house literally right next to Apple campus, or who knows, be like Elon Musk and just sleep in a sleeping bag in the office.
However, if you were forced to be sedentary or sitting, for four hours a day, or five hours a day, even if you were the backseat of a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley, Lamborghini, a McLaren, whatever; would it be worth it? No. Even as a thought experiment, if you had a totally maxed out Tesla model S plaid, or a Tesla model X plaid, with 100% auto pilot, assuming the technology was flawless, and you could do other stuff while being autonomously driven around, would you still want to be forced to be sedentary, for 4-5 hours a day? No.
Can happiness be purchased?
You cannot buy happiness. You can buy insanely great coffee, ERIC KIM OMAKASE COFFEE, 100% fine robusta which physiologically speaking, will give you a marvelous happiness bump and boost, but ultimately, beyond coffee, happiness cannot be bought.
Things that money can do which can assist you and aid you in happiness include,
- Using your money to buy a gym membership, or a yoga, CorePower membership
- Using your money to buy beef and meat, either at Costco or the Costco Business Center. I recommend the beef ribs, or the beef tri-tip!
- Using your money to pay for rent closer to your workplace, which allows you to have a 100% walking pedestrian lifestyle.
- Having a situation which allows you to work outside, outdoors, without having to be stuck indoors or inside an office.
- Buy an iPad Pro, the 11 inch smaller one, no accessories. The ultimate photo viewing device, and productivity device, it has brought me 1000 times more joy than any iPhone.
Physiology for the sake of what?
There’s a strange bias in today’s world that we have to somehow maximize our productivity, in order for the sake to work more, contribute more to society, “make a difference“.
For example, the modern-day notion of going to the gym and working out and exercising, the only thought is this:
It is critical for you to exercise daily, because it will make you healthy and healthier, in order for you to keep working more.
The reason why this line of thinking is so twisted is that it is for the sake of maximizing your work capacity, not your own personal happiness. Man is not permitted to be happy for the sake of being happy.
Happiness is also a flawed end goal
The other day, I was so insanely happy, maybe a 50 out of 10. But at the end of the day, happiness is a bit inconsequential. For me what is more critical is having the opportunity, physiological energy to pursue my creative tasks. Whether it be reviewing my photos, writing and blogging, thinking, producing knowledge, sending out email newsletters, etc.
A cool trend I see is the trend towards philosophy. Why? This is what I think:
“Self development” is just philosophy in (modern day capitalistic) disguise.
And what do I mean by this? Ultimately any sort of business, self development book is centered around a certain philosophy. And the book typically preaches some sort of strategy and technique in order to achieve that philosophical end.
Don’t be a dummy.
In life, there is no such thing as virtue, or sin, vice. To me, it is all about wisdom, knowledge, becoming less foolish, and “not being a dummy.”
I like the word dummy, because it is not so serious. For example, we joke around with kids to not be a dummy. Maybe this is a better path for us.
You should start your own philosophy blog
Oh and today’s world of ChatGPT, AI assisted writing, the question,
How do you know if something was written by ChatGPT, or a real human being?
For the most part you can’t. However, anything written by ERIC KIM passes the Turing test. Why? The way I talk is non-standard, the way I write is genuine, and ultimately I think the future of writing and thinking is predicated around philosophy. That is, there is already enough information and wisdom on the Internet on how to do anything. But not much information on why do XYZ. Or, should we do XYZ.
For example, I firmly believe that if your goal is to become superhuman, eating beef and meat is critical. But I philosophical question is should we eat beef and meat? Even if it is bad for the planet?
For example, if someone tells me, “Eric, you shouldn’t eat meat because it is bad for the planet“. But what if I say, “I know that eating meat is bad for the planet, but eating beef is best for me. So I don’t care.” Is one permitted to talk like this? This is the task and role of philosophy and ethics.
The etymology of hygiene, in ancient Greek is the art of health.
In modern day times, hygiene as a concept has fallen out of vogue. Why? In the states, a lot of the modernized westernized world, we take it for granted. There is regular trash pick ups, we have clean albeit not too tasty running tapwater, and mostly clean air. And also, most foods we buy or eat, whether it be at the grocery store or a restaurant will not cause us food poisoning.
Food hygiene is very underrated as a concept. We moderns prefer tasty or good tasting food, we don’t really care much for hygiene anymore.
Hygiene as a metaphorical or philosophical concept
Here is where I find hygiene critical; some people, mentally, physically or unwell, their mental hygiene is poor, and their physical physiological bodily hygiene is also probably poor. Used as a metaphor.
If you see weird homeless people on the street, cracked out, smelling bad, do you distain the way they act? No. You just keep your distance, and run away.
In the zone?
Another thing that I’ve discovered is when I’m in the zone, I get so focused on the task at hand that when other people say random maybe possibly demeaning stuff to you, I don’t even have to forcibly ignore them, I just literally can’t hear them, I hear them literally, but because I’m so focused at the task at hand, what they said or intended doesn’t upset me.
What does it even mean to be happy?
I was doing some research on the etymology of happy, and no one is really quite certain where that word comes from. There are certain theories, like “happen”— fortunate, happen chance, hap— chance, luck, fortune, hampa— good luck, chance, from Proto indo European *kob— which means good fortune, prophecy, to bend, bow, fit in, work, succeed.
So why does this matter?
It seems that nowadays, English is the dominant world language. And if we operate in a certain linguistic manner, perhaps the common day words we use should be used with more precision and clarity.
For example, John Stuart Mill, a lot of the early American developers preach notions of the “pursuit of happiness“. But the issue is, if you can’t even define happiness, or if the notion of happiness is a modern day one, then perhaps this is not a good goal or path.
I say instead of seeking to be “happy“, maybe it is better to seek to be strong, well, powerful, and in a great mood. It seems that also, one of my passions being thinking, having the opportunity and clarity of thought is supreme to me.
I still think certainly at the end of the day, it is fine to use every day words colloquially. So for example, what contributes a great life to me?
First, artistic and creative productivity. To me this pertains to photography, both shooting and making photos, reviewing photos, enjoying my photos, sharing my photos, thinking about photos, and the aesthetic joy that I get from looking at my own photos.
Second, philosophical and thinking power; this means, I have a passion for thinking, and thinking interesting thoughts. A life without thoughts is not a life worth having.
Third, the health, strength, growth, and muscles of my family. This pertains to my son, and also my wife. And of course certainly myself. Other day I took Seneca to the jungle gym, and at two years seven months old, the pure undiluted joy that he gets from running across the suspension bridge and the jungle gym is pure bliss to me.
Also, witnessing his muscular development, and how much pride and joy that I get watching him eat 100% grass fed ground beef, in super mini burger patties for him, and also him eating while you thinly sliced meat that we buy from H Mart. Seeing Seneca consume beef, and building his muscles brings me great joy.
As a tangent, I think a lot of this modern-day notions of child development are skewed. Rather than trying to educate your kids, make them brain smart, I think a better goal and path is instead, to develop their muscles.
Seeking happiness towards what ends?
First and foremost, as biological beings, I think perhaps it is critical for us to first seek to be physically, physiologically strong and well. An optimization towards physiological well-being is a good one.
Why? It is the necessary path. Without physiological strength and well-being, you can’t do anything. For example, it doesn’t matter if you have $100 billion in the bank, if you are physically or physiologically unwell, if you only sleep two hours a night, if you have no muscles or hotspots in your body, Nothing can be done.
Willpower is not real. Muscle power is real.
Society living is the best living
What is the point of money? Having the privilege of being around other human beings. This, paying rent, and buying beef as well. But beyond this, the additional utility of money is slim; once you have your digital camera, your Internet Wi-Fi connection, your iPad Pro etc., what else do you need? Not much.
Think more with KIM
If you’re hungry to think more, deeper and further, think with me at one of my upcoming workshops:
- CONQUER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN PHILLY OCTOBER 14th
- Discover your creative mission in life — DOWNTOWN LA, NOVEMBER 4th
Also incoming SUPER STOIC DOWNTOWN LA WORKSHOP— stay posted.
- EK NECK STRAP MARK II: Conquer the unknown
- HENRI NECK STRAP MARK IV: LEGENDS NEVER DIE.
- HENRI WRIST STRAP PRO: The mark of pros.
How about for now, let us just make our own personal happiness our priority?
If you’re having a hard time sleeping, my simple suggestion; start going to the gym at least once every single day, and use a hot sauna at least once a day, or really severe cases, go to the hot sauna twice a day.
One thing I found really interesting being in Japan, being at those random Japanese businessman hotels, or the wonderful Ryokans in Kyoto Uji, is at least in Japanese culture, the hot baths, are an integral part of their life and culture. That is, before they sleep, doing a really really hot bath is critical.
The same thing is in Korean culture, the jjim jjil bbang. Apparently in northern Scandinavian and Swedish countries, the really really hot sauna, whether it be dry or humid and steamy is also a critical part of their health.
According to the biological phenomenon hormesis, port duration of extreme heat and humidity is positively good for our physiological health and well-being.
All I need?
House hunting thoughts
I never really knew, but I suppose I have very strong opinions on homes and living quarters and situations. That means for the most part I hate ugly. I hate old and ugly danky dark, dim, and ghetto apartments, especially here in LA.
I have a theory:
Perhaps ugly aesthetics actually causes our physiological happiness and well being to go down.
What is ugliness? Anything which causes our physiological well being to go downwards.
For example, I think the reason why old and danky and ghetto apartments have such an adverse reaction to us is because they scream “hygenically dangerous”. Hygiene as “the art of health”.
For example, the dark and danky typically means moldy. Mold is a poison.
Thus, the simplest thing with homes, houses, condos, duplexes, town houses, flats, hotels, airbnbs, motels sleeping or living quarters etc:
- Ensure there is no mold
- No poor air circulation (good air circulation is nett we for our health)
- Not dark and dim and danky (sunlight, the sun as the best disinfectant, and mold killer)
- Not loud
- Not dirty
- Not old
After my Ricoh GR IIIX died, I’ve just been using my LUMIX G9 and Leica LUMIX 12mm f1.4 Lens and it produces insanely beautiful photos! Downsides — insanely big and heavy, which is bad.