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My 52 Beliefs

I read a bunch of blogs. Ever since the days of LiveJournal and Google Reader, I’ve loved reading others’ growth stories, technical takeaways and seeing what knowledge people care to share.

It usually takes a while for me to read enough by someone to feel a deep connection with them and develop an understanding of who they are. Some writers do this far better than others – generally ones who are amazing and tie in their own stories with what they write about (Tanja from Our Next Life comes to mind).

Me at the top of Lake Blanche Trail in Salt Lake City

When done right, it feels like you’re getting to know someone, learning their story and developing an understanding of whatever the topic is they focus on all at once.

This post is a bit different. It’s not about my story or my goals. It’s not about what led me to start investing or what led me to retire early.

It’s not any of the many other articles I’ve written in the journal category on this site.

Instead, this is an overview of my personal beliefs. This includes religious views, life views, personal mantras and the way I view the world. I see this as the kind of information you’d take in from reading many many posts by someone, but condensed into a single place.

If you don’t feel like you know who I am, or what motivates me after reading this post, I’d love to hear why (no really, I would!). This will also get rather personal – both on the personal sharing and the opinion side. OK, here goes!

Lifestyle & Goals

I believe in the importance of having plans and goals for what you want to achieve.

I believe in the importance of travel – both domestically and abroad – to build empathy, see how others live, and what problems others face.

I believe that “flow” state, when you’re able to concentrate seriously on something and lose track of time, is amazing and should be cultivated and grown.

I believe that consistently tracking progress in just about anything leads to improvement.

I believe the most important thing to earn is time.

I believe it’s important to have a personal mission.

I believe the advice to “follow your passion” is awful, and you should instead cultivate a skill. Passion follows proficiency.

Money & Finances

I believe kids should be taught much more about finances before making life-changing decisions like taking out student loans.

I believe the easiest, most time-efficient way to build wealth is to invest in low-fee, diversified, tax-efficient index funds.

I don’t believe real estate is worth the effort (for me personally). I’d rather have less stress and use that time to grow in other areas of my life.

I believe in spending money to buy things that will last a long time – even if they cost more than the cheaper alternatives.

I believe if you can lower your taxes (legally) then you should do it and not feel bad.

I believe the gender pay gap is a dangerous trend, and that salaries at more companies should be transparent to avoid it.

I believe Betterment and Wealthfront are great ways to get started investing and are better than doing nothing or investing with an advisor (but still more costly than doing it yourself).

I believe I’ve made a loooot of mistakes investing, but that’s OK.

I believe healthcare should be a basic human need provided by the government.

I believe living in an apartment is fantastic, and have trouble imagining maintaining a house again.

Religion & Politics

I don’t believe in god.

I believe when religion influences politics and education at the cost of science it’s at an extremely high cost to our future as a human race.

I believe stoicism is an amazing framework for how to think about many difficult things in life.

I believe any policies (or lack of policies) which intentionally harm people, animals or the planet so that people can get rich when alternatives are possible are inherently evil.

I believe one of the best barometers of a politician is an ongoing commitment to helping people different from themselves.

I believe religions should pay taxes on anything they don’t use as a societal good: helping others around the community and the world. Spreading a religion shouldn’t be tax-subsidized.

I believe being a “proud American” (or insert your country here) is less important than being a proud Human / Earthling / Parent / Friend / Spouse / Profession / Dog owner.

I believe in our ability to have control over our bodies without government interference.

I believe we need more non-profit news agencies. (I’m looking forward to The Correspondent in English!)

I believe Star Trek is better than Star Wars. (This is the right section for this right?)

Education & Learning

I believe in always having side projects to continue learning – even if they end in failure.

I believe the cumulative effects of learning and effort compound in amazing and unknowable ways.

I don’t believe I need to be a master at anything.

I believe one of the best ways to learn something well is to teach it.

I don’t believe you need to go to college for most programming jobs available today (with boot camps or side projects filling that need).

I believe programming and creating something is one of the most fun things in the world.

I believe meditation can take many forms, and not all of them involve sitting still.

I believe time on social media is in direct conflict with growth. (this doesn’t mean I’m off social media, but I do try to limit my exposure).

I believe college is extremely overpriced and that most people would be better served by a community college or state school than taking out massive student loans.

Family & Relationships

I believe the choice to have no kids is just as valid as the choice to have kids (we’re in the no-kids camp ourselves).

I believe board games with friends are one of the best uses of an evening.

I believe in having time alone to recharge myself after social situations (I’m an INFJ).

I believe dogs should be allowed more places and babies fewer.

I believe people who don’t travel or expose themselves to new ideas in other ways end up close-minded.

I believe one of the best ways to get to know people is to all share stories around the same themes or prompts.

I believe it’s important to have date nights and break out of the usual rhythm in a relationship.

I believe in a discussion/negotiation/argument if you don’t care about others’ feelings, then your facts don’t matter.

Health & Fitness

I believe all (capable) human beings should be able to perform basic human maintenance on themselves.

I believe that when I exercise I am more productive and happy in all other areas of life.

I believe Hawaiian Pizza is amazing. (should this have been in the religion section?)

I believe CrossFit is awesome.

I believe beaches are overrated. (35 years in Florida may have something to do with that).

I believe you choose your emotions and your reactions to every situation.

I believe 7 hours of sleep a night is just the right amount.

I believe one of the easiest and most fun things to do is to put on an audiobook and go for a multi-hour hike alone.

I believe finding a healthy activity that you enjoy and look forward to is essential for health (and something I wish I found much sooner).


I’ll do my best to keep this list updated and add new things to it when I think of them. Does anything on my list rub you the wrong way?

What about you? What are your most identifying beliefs?

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I'm , a full-stack product developer in Salt Lake City, UT. I love enlivening experiences, visualizing data, and making playful websites.

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