Me too isn’t ALL bad

Introduction: Are you familiar with the “me too” movement? If you live in Sweden I know you are. Outside the Nordics, you may have been spared. As with many popular phenomena, it’s both silly and annoying at the same time, while also holding a kernel of truth as well as an opportunity to reflect and learn. The most important lessons here I think are to:

1) Notice your own reactions: are you just running with the herd, getting caught up in group psychology and attacking straw men, or are you actually thinking?

2) Take the chance to consider the difference between, on the one hand, groups taking sides, groups yelling at each other, individuals in groups being accused of what other individuals in the same perceived group have said or done; and on the other hand, relevant individuals calmly and logically discussing their personal experiences in the matter at hand and what to do about it instead of pitting groups against groups.


Summary: Individuals on both sides of the “me too” campaign have made mistakes, but worst of all is that actual rape victims are compared with female colleagues overhearing a bad joke that was thought to be told in private

Length: very short, 1-2 minutes


They too

A few short thoughts on the me-too campaign that has its epicenter in Sweden this fall (October-November 2017):

Let me start by saying that the campaign isn’t all bad.

If anything, that’s what I want you to take with you from this article. No matter what you thought before, at least consider the possibility that there are some facets of the phenomenon worth considering.

Second, try to recognize that there are bad seeds in both camps. Yes, some men have it wrong. As do some women. Not all men are despicable swine, and not all women are lying b***… *ehum* persons.

Again, some are truly evil, others are unfathomably narrow minded. But most are just trying to lead lives where they and their loved ones, men and female, can feel good about themselves. They are not actively trying to ruin other people’s lives, they might even actively be trying not too, but are ignorant or misunderstood — often because we are so quick to want to misunderstand and build straw men just to get to set them on fire.

Some make occasional mistakes despite trying their best. Some are just lazy and/or stuck in their ways. Many are frustrated that the other side just doesn’t seem to understand their perspective.


I’ve definitely made mistakes, some more publicly than others (I’m sorry, Emma), some despite thinking things through, sometimes actually thinking that I was a bit clever. I am what many would call a librarian, travelling the world, hunting for lost treasures, messing with magical artifacts of immense value. Wait, no, that doesn’t feel right… No, I’m a libertarian — i.e., above all I treasure individual rights and freedom. As a libertarian I hold all people as equals: men, women, elderly, children, no matter when or where or how you were conceived.

However, despite being acutely aware of all living persons’ equal worth, misdirected humor, ignorance and crowd psychology (locker talk) makes me as guilty as the next person when it comes to “soft” me-too transgressions. In other words, I ‘ve said things that have hurt women. Well I’ve hurt a lot of other people too, but right now it’s about women.


The good thing with the me-too hysteria is that every man, from the comedian, via cat callers to misogynists and rapists get to think through their actions an extra round. Maybe just one employer will be pushed slightly toward gender neutral hiring procedures, maybe one music producer will reconsider the old ways of casting female lead roles, maybe many women dare step up and take what’s theirs if they are more confident men will be a little more conscious about how they react to that.

We don’t have to dwell on everything that’s bad with the me-too movement since that could fill books… Men are being sentenced without evidence. Disproportionate power is given to liars who just regretted their decisions when waking up. There will be less flirting, less social fluidity. Women that want to fit in with the herd try extra hard to find or fabricate me-too situations.

Most important though, is that the me-too movement tends to label every man a rapist, even if he just happened to recite a bad joke that was overheard by a female employee. With every man a “rapist” some may be pushed over the actual line, most however will cower in asexuality and a robot-like attitude toward women.

Worst of all is that actual rape victims will be banalized and marginalized, simply put on par with plastically enhanced women who got cat called or ogled.


OK, these are my three take-aways regarding the me-too movement:

  1. There are good things, with the me-too campaign, albeit few and far between,
  2. Both sides have bad seeds and have done dirty deeds. Not all men are guilty and not all women are innocent
  3. Think about the actual rape-victims; they need healing, not being compared to the butt end of private jokes

If you insist on being goal-oriented you risk just reaching your goals

Topic: Focus on goals, and that’s all you’ll get (if your goal is to become a billionaire, you risk becoming one — and nothing more)

Conclusion: Avoid goals. self-esteem, happiness, experiences and knowing yourself are paramount to second hander “success”


Child psychology for adults with the wrong priorities

The famous Danish child psychologist, Jesper Juul, has advocated witnessing your children’s upbringing, as well as being a true role model, rather than trying to shape and raise them with praise and bans.

Juul builds on observations of children’s willingness to mimic and assist; being helpful. Children try to do the same things you do, and they try to assist you in whatever you’re doing — regardless of what you’re trying to teach them. Children are very competent in this regard, i.e., in doing what you do, rather than what you say.

Juul also discusses self esteem vs. confidence. Self-esteem comes from being seen, loved and cared for, which produces a sense of intrinsic human value. Confidence on the other hand is associated with actual ability, such as being good at running, building things or doing math.

According to Juul, or at least what I remember from his book “Your Competent Child”, you should refrain from overly praising your child, telling them they are “good at drawing”, “good at running” etc., or for that matter issue orders like “get down from there!”, “you are not allowed to…” and so on. Instead, by saying things like “that’s look fun!”, or “do you like to paint?”, a parent encourages children to do things for themselves, to find their own center.

In addition, expressing love unconditionally builds long term self-esteem and a sense of inner worth, whereas praise tends to lead to “only” confidence, which can be ruined by a single poor execution. Nothing can ruin a solid self-esteem, while if your worth is based on ability, any little accident or setback can ruin you.

If you cheer on and praise competence and ability, you risk creating a feedback loop of: achievement = > praise => confidence => good feeling => search for more praise => achievement … => => tangible success

It might sound good being a catalyst for your children’s success, but what’s missing is self-esteem, being happy in oneself without the need for other people’s appreciation. When you’re constantly trying to prove yourself in the eyes of others, it’s difficult to find yourself and attain true happiness. You risk creating materialistic and successful but ultimately unhappy second handers.

In short, if you instill target-seeking in your children (or pursue targets yourself), they risk merely reaching those goals, and missing life altogether.

 

“If you do not change direction,

you might end up where you’re heading”

— Lao Tzu

 

(read that quote, and fifteen more of my favorite, important and useful quotes here)


Conclusion

You want to become rich? What if that’s all you do? (realizing at the age of 87 that you have no friends, are unhappy, lack memorable experiences, have health problems and so on). Imagine you could trade places with Warren Buffett right now. You’d get 100bn dollars, give or take, and you’d be transferred to his 87-year old body. I trust you would say no (as I wrote about here regarding Time and Money)

You want fame? What if that’s all you get? (no real friends, no riches, harassed by stalkers, never left alone)

You want to go to Mars? What if that’s all you get to do; all alone on a space ship, than all alone on an empty planet?

You want to be the world’s strongest man? You want to be the biggest bodybuilder? The fastest 100m dash sprinter?

All of those things may very well lead to interesting experiences, but if the specific goal is all you attain, your life will most likely be a meaningless one. Even worse so if you miss your one goal as well.

A final word: Be very careful in choosing your goals; update and amend them often according to who you have become in the meantime. Prioritize mid-term goals (months to years) over long-term ones (decades to life-time), and mark and celebrate your short and mid term accomplishments.

Don’t ever feel the need to adhere to a plan or goal that your younger self set up, if present you wouldn’t go back and set it up. Present you is all there is (but you might want to do some investing on behalf of your future you, just not too far off into the future)


Do you want to constantly learn new things, experience new things, get to know new people, hang out with friends and so on, then you can start right away and enjoy the entire journey.

It may be too late for you, but please avoid passing on your misguided goal orientation to your children by constant praise or threats and bans, rather than participatory witnessing as a role model.


My next post will be about the difference in longevity between men and women, and what that implies for your lifestyle if you want to live a long and meaningful life. Bookmark this page and subscribe to my newsletter to stay tuned.

Gauge your T-score trading status for better performance, or risk wrong-sizing

Summary: Cornerstone habits tend to make the other pieces of life  click into place


Gauging your status before trading

Before making any trade on the financial markets each day, I’m sure you calculate your T-score*, i.e., subjectively measuring your cognitive and physical status to get a feeling for how balanced and reliable you are. The T-score can be put together in a multitude of ways and works best if it’s individually tailored. However, the following factors are probably relevant for most investors:

(* actually, I’m quite sure you don’t, but perhaps you should start)

  • How much have you slept, how tired are you?
  • What’s your current relationship status, are you arguing with each other? Are you feeling lonely?
  • How’s your economy, how’s your trading been lately? Are you worried about paying your bills? Do you have a losing trade on that’s eating at you?
  • Are you hungover?
  • Are you rushed, did you have to cut your routines short this morning?

Making a quick check on your T-score every morning could do wonders for your investment performance, using it to make sure you don’t trade at all (or size your trades responsibly) if you’re emotional, tired, stressed or unbalanced in some way.

Remember that the most important thing for great long term investment performance is minimizing your number and size of mistakes. Going over your T-score every morning could in addition have positive knock-on effects on your investments and life in general.

The very act could wake you up, make you more alert and aware, perhaps cause you to do other positive things such as going for a morning walk.

Read on for more on such cornerstone habits.


Cornerstones

I build my days around dog walks and workouts. I take my dog out 3-4 times a day, either taking a walk or throwing balls for about an hour.

My sleep, food, meditation and mobility work follow from that. I get tired around 11 pm and typically fall asleep around midnight. I get up when I’m done sleeping, never using an alarm. I tend to wake up at 7 in the summer and 8 during winter. I rise, go out for a walk, then have breakfast including the day’s single cup of coffee.


Further, exercise (and mobility work) makes me sleep better, which quickens my recovery and increases the quality of my workouts. Both make me naturally crave better food and so on and on in a synergistic cycle. During my walks and workouts I listen to podcasts on science, exercise and finance.


Investing

The same principle of cornerstone habits holds true in investing (not mentioning how important a sound body and mind are for an investor).


Keystones for an investor

If you device a plan, a well thought out strategy, it becomes easier to temper yourself, not trading on emotion, which in turn provides time for doing the warranted research and math, which makes for a solid base to actually both improve on your strategy and actually following it. Whether you start with the plan, with controlling your emotions, with doing the math or with practicing patience isn’t that important. Adhering to just one of the habits tends to strengthen the other. That’s the magic of keystones.

The 12 components of TAOS, or the 4 major themes that the twelve build upon are those cornerstones when it comes to my style of investing:

StrategyPatienceResilienceEnduranceZealZenAgilityTemperatenessUnbiasednessResolutenessAdequateness, and Self-analysis.


Have a plan

Do the math

Wait

Be unemotional


Through this link you’ll find the special artwork that Imcite has crafted based on my ideas, if you are interested in a physical reminder of what I consider the most important cornerstones of investing.


What daily/weekly routines and habits can you think of that would A) fit your life and B) have synergistic effects on the rest of your life, i.e. catalyzing other positive activities that in turn strengthens the original key habits? Check out this post about my keystone habits if you need some inspiration.

  • How about setting aside an hour every Sunday for preparing and scheduling your work for the week?
  • Or, why not walk outside for half an hour every day right after work (perhaps start with 5 minutes and build from there. Aim low to get high)
  • A wild card might be gauging your cognitive and physical status before trading (T-score), and adjusting your sizing and preparations accordingly

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