What Would Happen if you Tried the Opposite?

Michael Weeks
Absolute Zero
Published in
3 min readAug 29, 2019

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What would happen if you saw things from the complete opposite point of view? Often times we get stuck in life, business, and our endeavors. We find out that the same tactics that got us here today, won’t get us where we’re trying to go.

An American diplomat, captured and held hostage in Iran, took control by acknowledging his opponents. Whenever his guards came into his room he would invite them to sit down.

“They became my guests,” explained the diplomat, “and in this small way, I established command of the situation. I created the unmistakable sense that this was my space, my territory, and it did wonders for my well-being.”

Here you have what seems to be a hopeless situation, and by trying the opposite, this man was able to survive and persist.

Consider another story of a salesman needing to meet his quota. Everyone in his organization would call their prospects between 8AM–5PM and they got the same results.

Instead of calling during standard business hours, the salesman called his prospects before 8AM or after 5PM. The gatekeeper wasn’t there to block his access to the decision-maker and he ended up blowing his quota out of the water.

As you can see there’s real power in this concept.

Seeing the Opposite

Most people view life with blinders on. A true test and measure of intelligence is whether or not someone can hold two opposing views in their mind at once.

Anyone can take a side, few can see the bigger picture.

Everyone holds a different view of the world. Few realize that their views are biased and a handful care enough to step outside their lens. So if you gain this perspective that no one else holds, you have a superpower.

If you want to get to a better place in life start rounding out the rough edges. One of the most important acquired skills in life is the ability to put your best work forward and then to be able to take constructive criticism for it.

Apply the feedback you get, rinse and repeat. It’s quite simple.

This is the opposite. We’re designed to defend our egos, our work, and ourselves and we get trapped in a bubble. What would happen if you took the initiative to push yourself outside of this comfort zone each time?

With no feedback loop, your work sits in a vacuum — exempt from improvement.

It feels amazing to put forth your best work (selling, creating, presenting, etc.). But then you’re getting critiqued for your efforts it feels like an attack — until you reframe what’s actually happening.

You’re getting better. It may not be what you expected or wanted to hear but what would happen if you stayed the course and let the results speak for themselves?

This is part of what ‘results-oriented’ means. Mastering management of your emotions and focusing on how to consistently get a little bit better.

Instead of avoiding these situations in life, actively seek them out and crush the ineptitudes. Success is gained with execution, not by passivity. Try the opposite.

“Choose the non-emotional response to any given situation and see how much easier your life becomes.”

-Naval Ravikant

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