When I was a teenager, I thought girls liked nice guys. I believed the news were impartial and objective. I thought my teachers were always right. And I had faith in the government to protect me and my interests.
Ten years later, I found out that none of this was true. Worse, most of what we were taught about the world is just fantasy.
I started my quest for truth when I struggled dating girls despite applying conventional societal advice.
Since it wasn’t working, I went online to get more resources. I found out that not only what I was doing was wrong, but that I had to do the exact opposite if I hoped to succeed.
So I did.
After I experienced some success dating, I went on a quest to seek and expose all of the other mainstream lies I had been fed and believed.
This journey profoundly transformed me.
I went from:
- trusting others to trusting myself.
- listening to others to listening to myself.
- doing what others told me to do to doing what I wanted to do.
- being invested in others and other things (cinema, rich people, hot girls) to being invested in myself (the gym, building a business, eating healthy, reading books…).
You won’t get to this point by merely reading this article. You need to go on your own quest and find the lies you believe, and the truth that exists behind them.
Without any further ado, let’s get into it.
1. Entrepreneurship is safer than getting a job
The mainstream idea is that entrepreneurship is “dangerous”, “unreliable”, and that you have to get “lucky” to succeed.
The truth is that entrepreneurs fail on average 3.8 times. Once they succeed, they get a company they can control, manage, grow, and sell how they want for a big enough paycheck to never have to work again in their lives.
A job won’t get you that kind of life. It’s also a horrible thing to do.
Jordan Peterson defines a job as “an activity you get paid to practice because you wouldn’t do it voluntarily”.
When you think deeply about it, a job is merely helping someone else be successful.
Jeff Bezos is rich not because of his job. He’s rich because he has 150 000 people working at making him richer.
Jobs, on top of that, can’t be controlled by the employees. You don’t control the work that you do, nor your hiring or your firing.
More than one has dedicated 30 years of their life to a company before getting fired at 55 years old, without a thank you note.
Talk about “job security”.
Entrepreneurship is much safer.
2. Money is infinite. Time isn’t.
In 2008, the worldwide supply of money (M1, all of the money that exists) was US $21 trillion.
In 2021, it is US $40 trillion.
From where has all this money appeared?
From the money printer.
Money is printed by central banks, then lent to commercial banks which lend it to people and the government. Sometimes people don’t refund their loans, and so the money is not refunded. Over time, the supply of money increases as well as prices – this is called “inflation”.
Since money is printed, money is infinite. Or close to be. Yet, the government doesn’t tell you it is. Instead, it tells you that time is infinite.
But is it, really?
Of course not. We all die at some point.
And yet most people on this planet sell their time for money.
Or worse: they waste it (camping out in front of the Apple store for two days store to be the first one to buy an iPhone).
3. The best investors invest huge sums into a tiny number of investments, not small sums in a huge number of investments.
In finance, the efficient portfolio theory says that one should spread their investment over a high number of assets with maximum return and low risks. That’s the theory, and that’s what many conventional banks and investors follow.
Not the best of them.
The best investors research the best opportunities, and invest all of their money into them.
This is how they can win big.
Spreading your eggs in different baskets is dumb.
Put them all in one basket, and watch the basket very carefully.
This is the same thing in life. Find 1-3 goals, and invest all you have in these goals.
That’s how you win big.
4. We don’t live in a capitalist society.
Most people, including the elite, do not understand what capitalism truly is. They believe we live in a capitalist society and find the system unfair – which it is – and become as a result so-called “anti-capitalist”.
Merriam-Webster defines capitalism as such: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.
The two keywords in the definition are “private” and “free”. In a real capitalist system, the state does not meddle, monopolies are forbidden, and people enjoy the freedom to do and live how they want to.
This isn’t the system in which we live. We live in a system where the political elite and the corporate elite get each other’s back and feast on the work achieved by the people at the bottom – you and I – using the honest taxpayer as their insurance policy.
States do not save banks in a capitalist system. They let them sink.
States do not distribute grants and financial helps to companies in a capitalist system. They let them develop by themselves.
States do not save companies when they close in a capitalist system. They let them go bankrupt.
States do not buy shares of companies or back them up with loans in a capitalist system. They let the banks take the risks.
In a real capitalist system, the taxpayer doesn’t act as collateral for companies. In the system we’re living in, it does.
In a real capitalist system, the state does not protect criminals. It prosecutes them.
As such, you can be as anti-capitalist as you wish, you’re just fighting against something that doesn’t exist because the society we’re living in isn’t a capitalist society.
In a capitalist society, the market would have the final word – not the state.
Psychology and Relationships
5. You get respect when you stand for yourself, not by being “nice” to people.
Being too nice is a sign that one is too weak. The assh*les of the world only prey on the weak.
Don’t be too nice. People will abuse you.
Stand out for yourself. People will respect you.
6. You become stronger as you “hurt yourself”, not by staying in your comfort zone.
The key to growing muscle is to shred the muscle slightly so that it grows back stronger.
This is true in any area of life. It is by going through hardships and overcoming obstacles that one becomes strong.
Most people tend to avoid hardships not to get hurt.
As a result, they stay weak.
7. Pleasure isn’t happiness, and happiness isn’t pleasure.
Pleasure is an instant feeling obtained through the consumption of goods, services, or substances. It ultimately leads to a long-term negative feeling.
Eg: taking drugs, eating sugar, smoking cigarettes, having one-night stands, buying sh*t you don’t need with money you don’t have.
Happiness is the consequence of tough work to overcome obstacles undertaken in the context of achieving a meaningful purpose.
Eg: working out consistently, building a business, climbing a mountain.
Long-term happiness starts with tough emotions and feelings. Long-term misery starts with pleasure.
Which one will you choose?
8. Being happy isn’t the meaning of life.
From a psychological perspective, the meaning of life is struggling to pursue and attain something meaningful.
From a biological perspective, the meaning of life is to have kids.
Choose whichever you want, but being happy isn’t the meaning of life.
It is what is felt when one pursues their own meaning.
Happiness is a byproduct of going after something meaningful. It is not a purpose in itself.
9. What people expect out of others is the opposite of what they practice themselves.
The loudest people expect silence.
The rudest people expect politeness.
The most crooked people expect honesty.
The most violent expect peace.
The most hypocritical demand goodwill.
The loudest “boo” comes from the cheapest seats.
And it is those that take care of others the most, that let themselves completely go.
Conclusion: leading by example isn’t human. Be careful to speeches. Few practice what they preach.
10. Happiness is found in meaningful work, not in entertainment or laziness.
It is overcoming our struggles that make us happy.
Happiness isn’t free. Difficulty is the price to pay.
11. No one cares about you...
…until your success starts threatening the self-image of those that compare themselves to others.
If you succeed, stay in the shadow.
12. Taking care of others brings more joy than taking care of yourself.
An evolutionary principle.
What matters is the group, not the individual.
Problems arise when this principle is used to procrastinate.
Did evolution forget that a group IS made out of individuals?
Beware that your focus on others’ wellbeing be a distraction to your own.
13. Taking care of others is easier than taking care of yourself.
The stakes aren’t as high.
14. Girls don’t want nice guys.
They love chasing after bad boys that will eventually break their hearts.
Niceness is a huge turn-off.
15. Men are romantic creatures that enjoy looking into the eyes of their girlfriends while holding hands. Girls just want to have fun.
Forget about the Cinderella image.
Girls are inherently sexually driven.
I would argue more so than men.
Society wants you to believe that “men only want one thing and it’s disgusting”. The truth is likely to be the opposite.
16. People are driven to what is alike.
This principle does not apply to everything. Humans remain curious beings.
However, it applies to most things.
In relationships, we are driven to sameness.
In multicultural cities, people live among people that share their identity traits. These can be cultural (Judeo-Christian, Muslim, or in the case of Belgium, Flemish, French-speaking, etc), ethnic (Chinatown, the Italian neighborhood, etc), or racial (Black neighborhoods, White neighborhoods, Arab neighborhoods).
This is how “ghettos” are created. (Originally, ghettos were nothing more than culturally homogenous neighborhoods. The first ghetto was the Jewish ghetto of Venice, and it was a prosperous place. The negative connotation only came later.)
This principle is true across all identity dimensions: geeks hang out with geeks, hot girls hang out with hot girls, leftist artists hang out with leftist artists, and religious conservatives with religious conservatives.
The reason is that humans bond over commonalities. These can be values, ideologies, experiences, culture, language, hobbies, the past… We are inherently attracted to what is alike.
This is why governments must make diversity policies mandatory. People aren’t naturally driven to what is different.
17. Consumption and production is a zero-sum game.
When Henry Ford was asked why he had decreased the six-day workweek to a five-day workweek, he answered:
“It is the influence of leisure on consumption which makes the [five-day] workweek so necessary. The people who consume the bulk of goods are the people who make them. That is a fact we must never forget, that is the secret of our prosperity.”
By getting workers to work less, Ford expected them to consume more. Since consumption would increase, workers would have to work more during their five-day workweek.
This statement outlines our contrarian principle: you whether produce, or you consume.
I encourage you to find examples in your own life. Most people, when busy, eat one or two meals. It is when we have nothing to do that we eat all day long.
When you are not producing, you are consuming. It is a zero-sum game.
As such, the more you will produce, the less you will consume. And the less you will produce, the more you will consume.
This is why Mark Zuckerberg dresses in a $10 t-shirt. He is too busy producing to have the time to consume.
18. Religion has never been more alive than now. It just exists under other forms.
Lifestyle, politics, diets, sports, and hobbies have replaced religions.
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains that humans are profoundly religious creatures. He defines religion as a set of beliefs in which an individual is emotionally invested and that he or she will not challenge for any reason possible.
If you have a Cristiano Ronaldo poster, watch all of his games and believe he is the best player in the world, football is your religion, and Ronaldo, your god.
Telling you that Messi is in fact better (he’s not) won’t change anything. You will not be willing to challenge and reframe your beliefs because these are religious beliefs.
You are, technically speaking, a religious person.
This can be applied to politics, diets (guilty), lifestyle, consumerism, bitcoin…pretty much any type of fandom that exists.
As such, the statement “religion decreased in the West” is not true one bit. It’s just that the church, the cultural institution that used to channel religious beliefs, has been replaced by other institutions.
19. Participation trophies cultivate mediocrity.
Showing up is not enough. Those that win are those that work for it. And they deserve a trophy.
To quote Jack Ma: “Nothing is easy, nothing is free. You have to work hard”.
20. Spending more energy doing sports will give you more energy.
Quite counterintuitive. And yet, it’s real.
21. Hyper-processed vitamine-A fortified foods (Nesquik, cereales) are actually bad for you
It’s mostly sugar.
And sugar kills you.
22. Suncream likely yields more negative effects than positive ones.
There are three reasons.
The first is that many brands put anti-inflammation medicines in their suncream. As such, you end up with a sunburn, but the anti-inflammation hides it from you and you think you are fine.
The second reason is that the skin is an organ. It breathes and absorbs what you put on it.
Suncream is full of dangerous chemicals you are not supposed to have in your body. Some years ago, studies have found these chemicals in breast milk from women that had put on some suncream.
The third reason is that the sun is actually good for you. Wearing suncream may therefore prevent your body to fully experience the benefits of sunshine.
To be fair, we don’t exactly know the consequences of putting on suncream. My take is that we managed to survive 350 000 years without suncream, and I don’t see why we suddenly should have some.
The fragility of the skin in the sun may further be linked to a high-vegetable low-meat diet, as many anecdotes from the carnivore community highlighted how switching to carnivore enable them to be much more resistant to sunlight than they could in the past.
Ultimately, a piece of cloth remains the best way to protect yourself from the sun.
23. Vegetables are bad for you.
That one may be one of the hardest to swallow.
It took me more than a year to accept this. Society has hammered so much the fantasy that vegetables are “healthy” that changing this belief was one of the hardest I ever had to change.
Like all of the contrarian statements, a change of mind begins when one decides to look for truth by themselves.
A quick look in science is enough to reverse decades of propaganda.
Plants being incapable to escape or fight back, they developed complex chemicals to avoid being eaten. These are pro-oxidant, anti-nutrient, and various other types of poisons.
As a result, few plants are digestible as such. They must be boiled, cooked, heated, peeled, fermented, or were “evolved” by farmers over 13 000 years ago.
Furthermore, they have low-nutrient density and bio-availability.
Voila. All is left for you to do is google which harmful chemical exists in which plants, and learn that fibers don’t help your stomach (it can’t digest them) and you will be welcomed into the carnivore community!
24. Soap weakens your immune system. Deodorant gives you cancer.
Soap is another of these marketing tricks that was so effective it made you think it’s indispensable to live life.
The truth is that, just like suncream, we did well without soap for thousands of years.
So what does soap do exactly? Soap kills everything that is alive. It does not sort out the good bacteria from the bad ones. The problem is that your skin has a natural layer of bacterias that protect it against harmful agents. By using soap, you kill this first protection and weaken your immune system.
Same goes for deodorant.
When deodorant does not block your body from doing what it is supposed to do (transpiring), it introduces into your body and near important glands some harmful components (whatever chemicals they put inside deodorant).
Few decades later, you get cancer.
The idea that we shouldn’t smell how our bodies actually smell is another one of these society-induced idiocies.
Many studies have confirmed that we appeared more attractive to the other gender when we naturally smelled. Hormones in sweat are charged with powerful olfactive messages that will make guys and gals want to have sex with you.
Ever since I have learned that I stopped wearing deodorant.
And I don’t smell bad.
The alternative, if you really do smell too much, is to use baking soda under your arms.
That won’t cause any problems.
25. Meat is good for you.
I won’t explain in detail where the idea that meat is bad comes from.
I’ll simply state why meat is good for you, and why it should be the base of your diet.
- The digestive system: human stomach is the most acidic of the entire animal kingdom, which means it is mostly suited to digest meat. Vegetables are difficult to digest due to fibers (which humans don’t digest). In herbivores, plants are digested into a big cecum. We have a very small cecum. They also have a big intestine. We have a smaller one. Finally, they have a small big intestine. We have a long big intestine. When you go carnivore, you notice you go to the bathroom once a week. It is because the human stomach was made to absorb meat.
- Evolution: our brain started growing exponentially when we switched our vegetarian diet for a meaty diet. Then at the beginning of the agricultural revolution, the brain stopped growing and started getting smaller. It has continued this downward phase ever since.
- Tribes like the Kenyan Masai, or the Eskimos are much healthier with their meat and dairy diet than we are.
- Allergies: the most common allergies are eggs, fish, peanuts, etc. The least common allergy in the world is red meat.
- Human teeth: our mouth became too small for our number of teeth when we replaced a chewing-intensive meat diet for a dumb easy-to-chew plant-based diet. As a result, the braces and orthodontist industry considerably developed.
- Basic nutrition science. Pretty much all nutrients are found in a higher proportion in meat than in vegetables. Bio-availability is also higher. And no meat has the number of chemicals found in plant foods.
- The results: vegans quit their diet after 3-10 years. Carnivores only grow stronger.
- There is no sugar in meat. It’s the only food, along with fish and eggs where you won’t find a gram of carbs.
Conclusion: meat is good for you.
26. Doctors have no idea what they’re doing.
In his book Zero to One, Peter Thiel highlighted that the way we do science is wrong.
Instead of understanding the underlying causes, reactions, and principles of the body, we merely “test and see”.
This is how most medicine is built.
“The patient feels better when I administer medicine A instead of medicine B, so medicine A must work”.
Then we realize medicine A gets you completely addicted.
The reason why so many medical mistakes are made is that doctors are not trained to understand the body. They are trained to fix problems, not to treat the cause of the problem.
27. Your body doesn’t belong to you – it belongs to the government
All countries in the world regulate and punish what they call “substance abuse”. You are not allowed to smoke or take certain substances, even in the privacy of your home.
And if you do, the same group of people may come arrest you and throw you in prison.
Furthermore, in 2021, you still have 23 countries in the world that rules suicide illegal.
Far from encouraging suicide, I just want to outline that your body doesn’t belong to you.
It belongs to your government.
28. You can’t shower under a waterfall.
I tried. The water was freezing, the water jet was too strong, and it was impossible to turn off the tap.
Also, the stones were slippery.
29. Scratching the mosquio bite won’t make the tickling go away.
I am not sure this is a real contrarian truth.
Maybe it is more of a counterintuitive principle.
GENAV is a principle I have always felt intuitively but that I crystallized when I wrote an article on the downfall of Couchsurfing.
This principle is expressed to some extent through the law of averages.
GENAV means Group Extension Negative Added-Value.
It is the idea that as a group grows, its average value diminishes.
It is empirical.
As a group of friends grows, the connection quality in-between the members diminishes.
The more people you have at your party, the more likely you are to get stolen.
Big companies and big countries are much less efficient than small companies and small countries.
This is why I have always preferred meeting my friend in an intimate 1-1 setting, than meeting them in big groups where nothing gets done and where it is impossible to get into a deep conversation.
The more people you have within a group, the lower the average quality will get.
31. Specialization is a trap.
I learned this one when I read the book “Think for yourself” by Vikram Mansharamani.
If you hope to understand or fix a situation, you’ll be more likely to succeed if you have a broad understanding of all of the parts, instead of a concentrated understanding of one part.
Ray Dalio emphasizes this when he advises to “be imprecise”.
This is why experts are more likely to fail, particularly in complex realms like finance and medicine. Their specialization in one topic prevents them from having a broad understanding of the bigger picture.
They are many examples where experts made the situation worse.
From 9/11 to the invasion of Crimea, all of these mistakes happened because focused on their domains, “experts” didn’t see the signs everyone else could see.
“But Aure, I watched a video of Elon Musk and he said I had to be very good at one thing”.
That’s because Elon Musk doesn’t want you to be an entrepreneur. Elon Musk wants you to work for him.
Employees that are generalists are useless. A good employee is specialized. The only person that should be a generalist is the CEO of the company.
If you look at Musk, that’s exactly what he is. A generalist CEO.
It’s a trap.
32. Shortcuts are often longer than the long road.
You can’t cheat your way out of making efforts. The long road and the obstacles you need to overcome compel you to become who you need to be in order to achieve your goals.
33. Anything great happens once only.
“If you copy them, you are not learning from them.”
Facebook will only happen once. Amazon will only happen once. And going to the moon for the first time only happened once.
If you want to do something great, you will have to do what has not happened yet.
34. The best thing you can do is help yourself. The best way to help yourself is to help others. The best way to help others is to help yourself.
Helping yourself is the best thing you can do.
35. Real competition isn’t as big as you think.
You don’t compete against everyone seeking the position you are seeking. You compete against the people that work as much as you do. By working harder than everyone else, you shrink your competition to zero.
36. Experience is irrelevant
The world moves so fast and everything changes so quickly and so often that experience has become irrelevant.
Oh, you have ten years of experience in online marketing? Sorry, no one advertises on MySpace anymore.
Experience has become completely irrelevant. The only thing that matters is your capacity to learn (how to do) new stuff.
Contrarian Truths I Suspect But For Which I Have No Proof
37. God doesn’t exist.
God is a story made up by humans to find meaning, purpose, and explanation to phenomenons that they could not understand.
By studying history, and the story of gods especially, we notice that they all take different shapes and are based on different principles according to different cultures.
God evolved with our understanding of the world. Prior to the invention of language, one could argue that God didn’t even exist.
As such, I am rather persuaded that there aren’t any gods.
The universe is far too big to think that somehow, we’re special.