Conventionalism

From capitalistManifesto
“It is not only the hostility of others that may prevent us from questioning the status quo. Our will to doubt can be just as powerfully sapped by an internal sense that societal conventions must have a sound basis, even if we are not sure exactly what this may be, because they have been adhered to by a great many people for a long time. It seems implausible that our society could be gravely mistaken in its beliefs, and at the same time, that we would be alone in noticing the fact. We stifle our doubts, and follow the flock, because we cannot conceive of ourselves as pioneers of hitherto unknown difficult truths. It is for help in overcoming our meekness that we can turn to the philosopher.” - Alain de Botton

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

Conventional wisdom, in short, is a theory or belief that is generally acknowledged or accepted as being true. For instance, conventional wisdom says that, despite people’s belief thousands of years ago, the earth is in fact round, not flat. On an abstract and circumstantial level, conventional wisdom also states that saving and investing money pays off bigger dividends in the long run.

The truth is, just because something is generally accepted as true, it does not mean it applies to everybody. Unfortunately, life does not have a fool-proof path to happiness, no matter how you define that (loving relationships, a good paying job, for instance).

Outside-the-box thinking breeds success? Conventional living is fine so long as it makes you happy, but it definitely can confine one’s ability to manifest into their best self. When I decided to take a leap of faith and start my company, I left the stability of a steady pay check and a consistent nine to five job where my salary, more or less, was a hallmark of comfort and success. Now, my personal prosperity, along with the livelihood of my employees, relies entirely on my willpower, initiative, and ability to come up with timely solutions to every problem that comes our way. This is on top of coming up with a product that people find an actual need for and constantly redesigning and developing it. This type of pressure is intense, no doubt. It can even make some people crumble. But, surprisingly, some people flourish under stress.

When failure is no longer an option, you come up with outside the box solutions to problems you used to pass off to the manager above you. Every success and failure is truly your own. Although successes are great, failures are the most opportune moments for learning valuable lessons.

“I have failed over and over in my life, and that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan
"My outside-the-box idea was to branch off and start a company whose dreams and aspirations were in complete and total alignment with my own. Breaking the rules is beneficial… when done right." - Entrepreneurial axiom

For anyone trying to use this to rationalize their bad intentions, this is not a blanket statement! The fact is that many industry rules are meant to be broken. If some of our generation’s thought leaders, like Steve Jobs, for instance, were to cater to the interests and rules of larger companies who would not work under his terms, technology would not be where it is today. Had the thought leaders of the world played by each and every societal rule and expectation, who knows where we would stand as far as basic human advancement is concerned.

CONVENTIONS OF TRADITION

CONVENTIONS OF CONVENIENCE

CONVENTIONS OF AUTHORITY

CONVENTIONS OF LEGITIMACY

CONVENTIONS OF UNTHINKING

"Convention is so often a mask for injustice. The modern mind is never popular in its own day. People hate being made to think.” - Edith Hamilton