Acquiring a conviction for something can be quite powerful because it is something from within oneself. By definition, conviction is “a firmly held belief or opinion” and therefore distances itself from being truthful or factual. But when one believes strongly in their own conviction, just for it then to be dismissed or ruled simply as an opinion, it can be hard for people to accept. That’s why in any case, especially conviction in an investment, one must go about it in a methodical process. I intend to go through this process using my own conviction in Bitcoin as an example.
It goes without saying that in order to have conviction in something, you need to first identify it and have some allegiance to it in some way. Once that is done, you will naturally gain knowledge as you seek to understand more about it. For instance, in my own experience, as I looked for investment opportunities, I identified Bitcoin as an interesting proposition. After subsequent research, I made a small investment, yet never truly attained real conviction. It is from this point that one should deeply invest their own time into researching further and reading as much as possible to reinforce knowledge on your topic. Only once you have done this will you start to feel as though you are building conviction in something. I had this after reading the seminal book ‘The Bitcoin Standard’ by Saifedean Ammous. This was my lightbulb moment.
As distinguished in the introduction, conviction is an opinion and as much as other people may agree with your opinions, others will not. Therefore, instead of becoming one-sided, disillusioned, and frustrated with the opposing viewpoint, you should embrace it. You will never truly build conviction if you don’t take the time to understand the other side. I continually question Bitcoin as a store of value or digital property by listening to antagonists such as Peter Schiff. Whilst listening to his views only strengthens my own personal conviction of Bitcoin, it does at least provide me with both sides of the argument. It is worth remembering things change fast and what may be great today, could easily be brushed aside tomorrow, and for that reason, one should repeatedly challenge their own convictions.
This point ties in a lot with the first paragraph on becoming knowledgeable on your chosen topic because, naturally, the longer the time frame you have, the greater your conviction will be. This is because you will have spent years of researching and questioning, researching and questioning, and so on. If you build conviction over 20 years, the chances are it is strong otherwise you would have disregarded it a long time ago. I view Bitcoin as a savings account and view it as a minimum 10-year hold. As a result, what the price does in a day, week or month is insignificant. Malcolm Gladwell stated it takes 10,000 hours or roughly 10 years of practice to become an expert in your field. Therefore, if your conviction is short-term, the probability of it coming to fruition is less likely.
Finally, if you believe in something, there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about it. Some convictions can be extremely beneficial to society. In addition, constantly challenging the status quo is what has seen us develop so much as a civilisation. The reason Bitcoin has seen such a meteoric rise since its inception is because of the community’s strong views on self-sovereignty and decentralisation. I share this belief and provide my own viewpoint, which in turn strengthens my own conviction. Having said that, self-reflection is crucial, and just like what was mentioned earlier with questioning your convictions, you should always be open to criticism and look to avoid an unhealthy cult-like mentality. Otherwise, you lose the all-important reasons why you built a conviction in the first place.
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