Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite

Time doesn’t stand for anyone. Life moves on, and there are certain cities & certain people that stay with you forever. They change who you are how you view life; and that is exactly what London and its people have done for me.

I was a wreck when I was leaving London. I was dreading not having a job in hand. I was dreading moving countries again. I was dreading to say goodbye to my friends. I was just dreading everything but I knew that I had made the right decision.

As mentioned earlier, I had recently resigned from Citigroup in London and was moving to Dubai in hopes of chasing a new career. I was anxious and was anticipating the inevitable. A new country. A new beginning. A new life. I kept on reminding myself what Noor Rizvi had once said in his blog contribution – which was that “Dubai has hypocrisy running through its veins, and schizophrenia is its terminal illness. You can stroll out of a club at 4 in the morning, with David Guetta still blaring in your ears, only to be confronted by the sound of the ‘Azaan’ reminding you of your eventual fate.” And the more I spoke to people about Dubai, the more cautiously excited I got.

I ended up having a great meal with Misha Lakhani, a close friend & one of my favorite people, who presented a token for my new beginning. She had given me a book and said “here, I know you’re going to love it” and then stated “whatever you think; think the opposite”!

Below, I have written down a few thoughts & quotes that I came across, which have stuck with me throughout my journey. Check them out and I’m sure you’ll find something that may inspire you. I know I did.

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Ask for a slap in the Face

If you show somebody a piece of your work and you ask them ‘What do you think?’ they will probably say it’s okay because they don’t want to offend you.
Next time, instead of asking if it’s right, ask them what’s wrong.
They may not say what you want to hear, but the chances are they will give you truthful criticism.
Truth hurts, but in the long run
it’s better than a pat on the back.

When it’s Right – It just Clicks

In 1881, George Eastman, a junior clerk, left his safe job in a local bank to start a photographic company.
But here is the interesting part.
Seven years later he changed its name to ‘Kodak’, an odd choice since it was meaningless and in those days nobody gave random names to serious products.
Eastman’s reasons for choosing the name were that it was short; that it was not open to mispronunciation; and it could not be associated with anything else.
Even today, corporations cannot think like that.
Only entrepreneurs can.

Trapped

It’s not because you are making the wrong decisions, it’s because you are making the right ones.
We try to make sensible decisions based on the facts in front of us.
The problem with making sensible decisions is that so is everyone else.

I Wish

I wish means: wouldn’t it be nice if …
If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else.
Always wishing life was different.

Imagine

Everyone wants an exciting life, but most people are afraid to take the bull by the horns.
So they take an easy option for an exciting life.
They live their excitement through other people.
By aligning themselves with famous rebels, a little bit of glamour rubs off on them. They imagine they’re like John Lennon, Ernest Hemingway, George Best, Liam Gallaghar, Lenny Bruce, Janis Joplin, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol etc.
The difference being, these people when faced with a decision took the outrageous one, not knowing where it might lead them, but knowing that the safe decision had danger written all over it.

Do it – Then fix it – As you go

Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it.
Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you’ve got, and fix it as you go…

Decisions Decisions Decisions

When you look back there will be things you will regret.
You’ve made the wrong decision.
Wrong.
You made the right decision.
Life is about decisions.

1: Am I going to have a practical car or the fast car?
2: Shall I go to college or get a job?
3: Will I have wine, beer, or water?

Whatever decision you make is the only one you could make.
Otherwise you would make a different one.
Everything we do we chose.
So what is there to regret?
You are the person you chose to be.

I Want

I want means:
if I want it enough…
I will get it.
Getting what you want means making the decisions you need to make to get what you want.
Not the decisions those around you think you should make.
Making the safe decision is dull, predictable, and leads nowhere new.
The unsafe decision causes you to think and respond in a way you hadn’t thought of.
And that thought will lead to other thoughts, which will help you achieve what you want.
Start taking bad decisions and it will take you to a place where others only dream of being.

Take Charge

Be your own worst critic.
When things go wrong it’s tempting to shift the blame.
Don’t.
Accept responsibility.
People will appreciate it, and you will find out what you’re capable of.

Beat This

A young man worked as a runner in an advertising firm.
One day, he said to his manager, ‘I’m leaving. I’m going to be a drummer.’
The manager said, ‘I didn’t know you played the drums.’
He replied, ‘I don’t, but I’m going to.’
A few years later that young man played in a band with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, and it was called Cream, and the young man’s name was Ginger Baker.
He became what he wanted to become before he knew he could do it.
He had a goal.

No One But No

It is fashionable for so-called thinking people to try to lose their ego.
Well, they should think a bit harder.
Presumably, we were given egos for a reason.
Great people have great egos; maybe that’s what makes them great.
So let us put it to good use rather than try to deny it.
Life’s all about ‘me’ anyway.

It’s not always Good to have Ideas

Some people have a gift for coming up with ideas. But for those that don’t it is a real struggle.
Oddly, the people who struggle most are often the ones who become the most successful.
Having too many ideas is not always a good thing.
It’s too easy to move on to the next one, and the next one.
If you don’t have many ideas, you have to make those you do have work for you.

Astonish Me

The best piece of advice ever given was by the art director of Harper’s Bazaar, Alexey Brodovitch, to the young Richard Avedon, destined to become one of the world’s great photographers.
The advice was simple:
‘Astonish me!’
Bear these words in mind, and whatever you do will be creative.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you for this. I’m searching for the book, and your post does encourage me to read this book. I’m a lazy reader. :) !

  2. Absolutely love this post and the excerpts you’ve shared. My favorite is “Do it – Then fix it – As you go” I am not one to get inspired easily but this post has made me want to read this book after I’m done with my current read. Thank you for sharing this !!

  3. Reblogged this on Buckle up. Close your eyes, empty your mind, and take in a new perspective. and commented:
    I came across this book today at my school’s book fair. The cover just caught my eye, and I pretty much ended up buying it after I flipped through a few pages. On the bus ride home, I read the book exactly three times; I never closed it, just went back to page 1 right after I finished. This book has honestly everything I have ever wanted to write, only more interesting, and Paul Arden delivers the concepts flawlessly. “This book explains the benefits of making bad decisions, shows how risk is your security in life, and why unreason is better than reason. It’s about having the confidence to roll the dice.” This book is also officially my inspiration and I plan to read it every time I feel stressed out or trapped in my own world. This is certainly a great book for anyone who thinks.

  4. This is my first comment ever on any blog. I do read stuff on the blogs but don’t leave comments, but this post is just awesome & inspirational.

    Thanks for writing such a brilliant article

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