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Questioning Societal Dogmas for Entertainment, Education, and Inspiration

MTF

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There are many unwritten rules people follow, never questioning if they really make sense. Questioning these dogmas is a great way to expand your comfort zone, have fun, learn something new, and challenge the beliefs of other people, perhaps inspiring some of them to explore alternative perspectives, too. I believe that this is essential to developing an unscripted mind and living the life on your own terms.

As an eccentric/nonconformist by nature, it's kind of a hobby of mine to go against the tide and question traditions, "that's how it's always been done" type of things, etc. For example, here are some dogmas I've broken (in addition to what most of us here are doing, choosing entrepreneurship over a "traditional" career):
  • walking barefoot - in some places this is completely normal or pretty common (Australia, New Zealand), while in some people will look at you as if you're crazy despite the fact that it's actually crazy to wear shoes all day long and destroy your feet (there's a lot of evidence showing many negative health effects of modern footwear). When you think about it, it's absurd that some people are so shocked or even take offense at people who are barefoot. If the weather permits it, I usually don't wear shoes anywhere out in the nature and sometimes skip them in public, too.
  • coming up with weird date ideas or doing weird things with friends - I can hang out with my friends or go on a date to a "normal" place like a restaurant, but I like to come up with weird ideas to spend time in a more memorable way. Examples include testing our survival skills with a friend in the woods at night (we survived), taking my girlfriend on a date to a goat farm (she loved it), and traveling to exotic places. I discussed some similar things in my other thread. From my point of view, if someone (a date, a potential friend) is always reluctant to do something out of the ordinary, I don't want such a person in my life (note that I said: "always reluctant", I understand that not every weird idea has to appeal to everyone).
  • going to a nudist beach - yeah, this is pretty uncomfortable and most people would probably consider me crazy for trying this, but when you think about it logically, what's the big deal about non-creepy non-sexual nudity? Obviously I'm not talking about going around naked in public lol.
  • wearing suits and/or formal clothes despite not needing to - for a period of time I enjoyed wearing suits on a daily basis, everywhere I went. Some friends considered it silly, but I enjoyed it, and it was a pretty cool experiment to compare the reactions you get when wearing casual clothes vs wearing formal clothes (people are more polite).
  • willingly introducing more discomfort in my life - most people are the opposite, always seeking what's easy and comfortable and avoiding any kind of pain, even if it leads to personal growth. This is largely how the world is today: everything should be easy, painless, and convenient. Some people don't understand that I wake up early even though I don't have to. Some don't get why I take cold showers if I can take hot ones. Some are perplexed that I exercise up to a few times a day.
  • employing strategic laziness whenever I can - I have an entire thread about it. The conventional approach is to (pretend to) work as hard as you can and boast that you're busy. The contrarian approach (and one employed by many entrepreneurs and investors) is to identify what's most important, do the most critical tasks well, and don't waste time on what's insignificant. It's silly that people feel more important when they tell everyone around them how busy they are, yet then again, the unfortunate fact of life for those working a 9 to 5 job is that often what counts more is the illusion of work than actually getting results.
What societal dogmas have you questioned? What were your most interesting lessons, funniest reactions, big discoveries?
 

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Charnell

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This is a super minor one, but I just moved into a new apartment and instead of getting a sofa I put a (2nd) bed in the living room. So many people are perplexed by it, but I just explain to them that I spend 70% of my time at home sitting at my computer desk working or otherwise so when it's time to relax I'd rather lay than sit.

My friends don't come over just to hang out, so no problem there. If they do need to sit for a moment while I finish getting ready or something, there's ample space. If a girl comes over to watch a movie or something, it's straight to laying down anyway by the time she learns my address.

And it was about 1/4 the cost of a comfortable sofa, but that DEFINITELY didn't play a role in the decision.
 

Kevin88660

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Good thread.

The dogmas I want to question is mainly the guru dogma that has been spreading in the self help community. I will begin with a dogma and refute it with my own perceptive.

“You should motivate yourself everyday”

-The problem is motivation itself doesn't do the work. The problem is that watching motivational content causes emotional stress and drains mental energy too. It should be used as a counter cyclical tool. If you are already productive and running fast it is good to take occasional breaks and do meditation to recharge. When you feel that you lose the drive to push through (when you should) then it is good to push yourself to the next mile using motivation. Basically speaking from my own experience, working fast + motivation= weakened immune system.

“Investment should be about owning good business that are fairly valued. Because Buffett is the richest investor in the world and hence it must be the holy grail. Technical analysis is a waste of time and be aware of quants who are geeks bearing formulas...”

-First of all, very very few people got rich through investing their own money. People got rich mainly through business activities. Investing should be viewed as a wealth management tool to enhance your return on existing saved capital.
Warren buffet runs an investment business, not getting rich by investing his own money.

-Second of all study what works now instead of what has worked in the past (Munger, Livermore, PTJ....). Focus on those who are making money now and the academic literatures on current financial market.

Value and dividend play still outperform broad market indexes. Buffetology is still right on that. But advocating inactive trading is out of touch of today's market Reality. In today’s low commission, easy access to global market and fast moving hot money, advocating infrequent trading for a profitable trader is like advocating less table turn over for a profitable restaurant. I am not saying one should look at the screen whole day but checking the market prices once a day it is not much of a chore. Simply accumulating more positions when price go lower (value and yield is in favor) and do the reverse when price go high. Focus on simple market instruments you understand.

Doing business means e-commerce/drop-shipping/freelance consultant...

There are good traditional business opportunities too. A lot of baby boomers are selling their business for a bargain and waiting to find successors.
 
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MTF

MTF

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This is a super minor one, but I just moved into a new apartment and instead of getting a sofa I put a (2nd) bed in the living room. So many people are perplexed by it, but I just explain to them that I spend 70% of my time at home sitting at my computer desk working or otherwise so when it's time to relax I'd rather lay than sit.
Speaking of interior design, I don't have a TV set in my house and have no desire to own one. If I watch something, I prefer to watch it on my laptop. Another little thing that most people probably don't get, but I really prefer the screen of my laptop close to my eyes over a huge TV several feet away.

As for furniture, some people who come and visit say that my house is not entirely furnished. After all, you need at least a few pieces of furniture you don't use so that your house can be considered furnished, right? I prefer minimalism, so for me it's more important to have space than furniture I rarely use.

The problem is that watching motivational content causes emotional stress and drains mental energy too.
And often provides a false sense of accomplishment, driving you deeper and deeper into a vicious cycle of action faking.
 

Kevin88660

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And often provides a false sense of accomplishment, driving you deeper and deeper into a vicious cycle of action faking.
Agree. The only way motivation works is in delivering actions. That is way army officers motivate their men while they are doing the trainings, not watching motivational videos on their bed.

Motivational effects is time specific. Someone cannot watch a motivational content now, store the energy up, go take a nap, and release the energy two hours later. In my opinion it should be only used to facilitate the beginning of a momentum, or used to prevent the disruption of a momentum (feeling down when should be working). That’s way I very skeptical of Tony Robbin’s “pay a thousand buck, go get pumped for three hours, and expect a result lasting for the next few months”.

Motivation consumes emotional and mental energy. If you are not prepare to work after the motivation it is wiser to go take a nap instead.
 

Charnell

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As for furniture, some people who come and visit say that my house is not entirely furnished. After all, you need at least a few pieces of furniture you don't use so that your house can be considered furnished, right? I prefer minimalism, so for me it's more important to have space than furniture I rarely use.
I've been in my place for about a month now and still don't have pots and pans, but I also don't eat out but once or twice a week. Air fryer, rice cooker, and microwave have worked out well so far.

My dining room is no dining room, it's my office. I eat at my desk anyway. It works for me.
 
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