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June 09, 2008

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Dorian Wales @ The Personal Financier

Great post. I can't help but think of the entire process as deterministic.

Do those of us who struggle through corporate lives, waiting for weekends and vacations only to retire and find we completely missed out on life really have a choice?

Can we really ignore social conventions and happiness in consumption?

Isn't our upbringing and social conditioning too powerful to ignore? Did our parents have a choice, at all, too raise us the way they did?

I believe it's evolutionary, bringing up the young to conform with society, whatever it may be.

Those of us who are able to ignore it will probably be diagnosed as "suffering" from a chemical imbalance or light autism of some sort...

The Financial Philosopher

Dorian:

I absolutely agree with you that the natural progression for us is to learn and later teach to our young the skills necessary to "survive" in the world that we live in now.

This "survival" includes the indoctrination of social convention into our young.

Perhaps a broader point we could make is that we must go through this indoctrination and make the kind of mistakes that are necessary to make our own discoveries and grow accordingly.

The crucial factor that remains, though, is that we reach a level of self-awareness during our life time (hopefully sooner rather than later) where we feel confident enough to choose our own path.

As a parent, I will not necessarily tell my child that "the world is wrong" and that they should "resist the temptation" of social convention. I will, however, promote a kind of self-awareness that will hopefully aid them in finding their own way and actually learning from those inevitable mistakes...

That way, eventually, they will discover who they are by eliminating who they are not...

Thanks for the thought-provoking comment...

Kent

Dorian Wales @ The Personal Financier

Always a pleasure. My comments are a mere reaction to thought provoking posts.
I definitely agree with the self-awareness line of thought. I myself postponed my MBA in order to complete a BA in Philosophy first for precisely that reason.
I always hear people making plans for retirement when they’ll supposedly have time to complete that history or arts education they always longed for. They won’t go through with it today since it won’t get translated to cash flow and that’s a waste of time in their day and age…
I believe unlearning or deconstruction require challenges or system shocks. Those, in turn, require stepping outside of our little world (be it finances, technology etc.) and introducing ourselves to different schools of thought.
I’m anxiously waiting your next post.
Regards,
Dorian

The Financial Philosopher

Once again, Dorian, I agree...

My observations also reveal that unlearning or deconstruction often require "challenges or shocks" to some degree.

This may border on sadistic, but I believe that the greatest gift we could receive is a "near-death experience." This is the kind of shock that provides the kind of complete shift in perspective required to live a meaningful life...

Kent

BW

I have read every post on this blog but never commented until now. This is easily your best work yet. Ken Fisher, who manages $30+ billion, advises investors to question everything they know and look at the world with new eyes. Your post expressed this sentiment in a beautiful way.

The Financial Philosopher

BW:

I appreciate your generous comment and am humbled by your interest in TFP blog posts...

It is interesting that you mention Ken Fisher's philosophy to "question everything." Over the course of the past few years of studying philosophy and writing in this blog, I have learned that success in investing, personal finance or any other personal endeavor has little to do with the subject matter itself and everything to do with our self-awareness.

Since you have followed this blog, I imagine you have seen a progression from investing and personal finance topics toward self-awareness topics.

The deconstruction or unlearning process, I believe, is the foundation of self-awareness and this post may be a good base to build upon...

Thanks again for your thoughtful comment...

Kent

Next Gen Politics

That article was amazing. I never looked at it that way, but it's true so far. I'm 31 and as of now I completely seperate work and play, and have given up on many of my youthful dreams in pursuit of stability and social norms. Let the unlearning begin, indeed!

The Financial Philosopher

Next Gen:

Thanks for the kind words...

I believe ideas, such as those presented in this blog post, are already known to us all. We simply need to "uncover" them.

I hope to hear from you again...

Kent

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Every cloud has a silver lining.*

leslie

The timing of this post is uncanny. Thank you for reinforcing what has been present in my heart and in my head.

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