10 Non-Obvious Things You’ve Been Sold That You Don’t Actually Need (As Much) & Doing the Opposite to Find the Optimal

Besides all the obvious ones like sugar, negative people, phone notifications, etc. listed below are some that you may have not considered or taken steps to reduce usage.

  1. Toilet paper: bidet is the WAY
  2. Shampoo: try the “no-poo” strategy or much less frequent use. Your hair oil glands and production will adapt instead of being on a constant treadmill of over-production when you strip all the oils away by shampooing. If you research the history of shampoo, only recently did it even exist. It quickly converted from once a week to once a day as the ideal prescribed frequency. Where else has marketing mastered their game of creating a need that didn’t exist and then filling it? Answer: almost everywhere. 
  3. Face wash: similar to shampoo in reasoning. Additionally the less you touch your face the better for acne reduction. 
  4. Chairs: use the floor with pillows to sit on for cross-legged or lie face down with a pillow under your hips to invert the normal hunched over desk position.
  5. Meat: a plant-based diet with the occasional high-quality meat or seafood is far healthier for most people
  6. Dating apps: go do activities you’d normally do or enjoy and develop social skills. I read a whole Medium post on a programmer who hacked the dating apps and created a bot that lined up hundreds of dates for him and he still didn’t prevail. The bottom line is that dating apps are the lowest status way to meet people. Elevate yourself.
  7. People: just kidding…I tried eliminating this one when I started working from home devoid of co-workers and I ended up a lonely mess.
  8. Paper towels: just use a few regular towels and wash them
  9. Brand-name products: for example, I just bought generic version Nutribullet cups for half the price. They work just fine. Search “generic” on Amazon. 
  10. Box springs: get a good mattress foundation bed frame and plop that mattress on. You go girl. Get bed risers if that’s your excuse. 

Consider how much of your life and behavior is actively shaped by your environment, or more specifically, companies and their agendas to increase profit. Now consider how much you are being influenced without your conscious awareness. You’d have to retrace your entire life and everything you’ve done, bought or believed. 

In an amusing revolt to this dilemma, it can be quite insightful to do the opposite of whatever you’ve been doing to test the needs and benefits of your previous habits. You can always return to your old ways or recalibrate to find the optimal balance.

If you’ve been eating heavy paleo and high meat/protein diets, try eating no meat for a month and watch your body rapidly lose pounds of inflammation and bloatedness you never even knew you had. 

If you’ve been overly nice and biting your tongue with friends, coworkers, roommates, or otherwise try being brutally but respectfully honest and watch the dormant or lingering issues get resolved expeditiously. Lean into uncomfortable conversations; your success in life is tied to it. One step backward, two steps forward.  

If you’ve always controlled your day and managed your schedule on an hour-by-hour basis, try letting go and seizing opportunities that present themselves. You just might meet someone you were meant to meet and have the conversation that you would’ve killed to have. Let yourself expand. Control is an illusion ultimately; your most unfortunate events in life won’t be what you’ve been worrying about and your greatest fortunes will come most unexpectedly, so long as you are able to receive them.