If you want an average life; copy the masses. If you want an extraordinary life; zig when others zag.
Understanding the Law of Opposites
The Law of Opposites states that the path to success requires going against the norm. It requires doing the unpopular, the unreasonable, and the unorthodox. Moreover, it requires being the exception to the rule and not following standard and accepted practices, traditions, and rituals.
The Law of Opposites suggests that the only way you will ever achieve the success you desire to create in your life is to walk a different path to the masses. In other words, it means to do the opposite to the average person — to zig when others zag.
The Law of Opposites challenges you to consistently ask yourself:
What does the majority typically do in this situation?
What results do these people normally get in this situation?
If the answer is less than desirable, then the choice is simple: Choose to do the opposite and possibly you will get the desired results that many fail to realize.
The Law of Opposites is of course just a guideline. It can work in many instances, however it may not work in all situations. As such, common sense must be used in order to properly put this law into practice in your own life.
For the remainder of this article let’s explore the typical choices people make and the behaviors that they normally indulge in that get them very average results in life.
The idea here is that once you become aware of how the average person thinks and lives their life, you can then make a different set of choices using the Law of Opposites to help you live a more optimal, successful and rewarding existence.
Most People Choose Laziness Over Effort
The average person is downright lazy. Wherever possible they will take the easiest road with the least amount of resistance. As a result they don’t grow, they don’t change, and they don’t challenge themselves in new ways.
Whenever we face resistance we grow, which subsequently shapes our character. Moreover, we strengthen our emotional resilience and literally become a better version of ourselves. However, the average person simply doesn’t care enough. Yes, they desire change and the best things that life has to offer, but unfortunately they simply won’t discipline and commit themselves to make the necessary changes. And change of course requires consistent effort, which the average person is simply not willing to give.
- Do the Opposite: Commit yourself toward taking consistent daily actions to change your life. Moreover, challenge yourself to go the extra mile to get things done.
Most People Choose to Press the Snooze Button
Laziness for most people begins first thing in the morning when they choose to press that snooze button.
The average person will choose to press the snooze button to get an extra few minutes of broken sleep that does next to nothing for them. It just delays the inevitable and holds them back from getting their day started on the right track.
When they do get up, they do so with distaste. Moreover, they absolutely dread their morning routine. However, for other people who are not average their morning routine is empowering and inspiring. These people make an effort to get their day started in the right way with exercise, meditation, goal setting, and visualization.
- Do the Opposite: Get up immediately and jump right into your morning routine with enthusiasm.
Most People Dislike their Job
For the average person getting up first thing in the morning is painful, but it gets worse when they realize it’s not Sunday.
The average person goes to work to make a living, but their career choice does not help them create a life. In fact, they feel like slaves to their job and to their boss. They don’t like going to work and certainly don’t enjoy their morning commute. They will in fact make every excuse in the book to stay at home and make full use of their sick-days. If only everyday was a Sunday. 🙂
- Do the Opposite: Find reasons to love your work, or change your career path and focus on something you’re passionate about.
Most People Have Very Little Focus
The average person lacks direction in life. They simply have no focus, no purpose, and no passionate goals that get them out of bed in the morning. That is one of the main reasons why they have a tendency to make lazy choices throughout the day.
The average person just doesn’t live with enough urgency. And without urgency there is a lack of focus and direction. It just feels easy not to make an effort, not to take a chance, and not to make that tough choice. There is simply no motivation, no self-discipline, and no enthusiasm to make positive improvements and changes that could potentially transform their life for the better.
- Do the Opposite: Commit yourself to staying focused on your main goals and objectives, and challenge yourself to live with more urgency.
Most People Spend their Spare Time on Mindless Activities
With little focus, the average person is constantly distracted by mundane things. As a result they choose to spend their free time on mindless activities such as watching television, reading the news, surfing the web, or gossiping about other people’s problems and the latest celebrity mishaps.
It could be said that the average person simply doesn’t value their time. They have as much time as everyone else, and yet they choose to spend it on activities that provide them with no long-term gain.
- Do the Opposite: Choose to prioritize your time around your most important goals. Then stay focused and productive as you work on them throughout the day.
Most People Live Day-to-Day
The average person lives day-to-day with little regard or thought about the future. Yes, they have hopes and dreams of a better life, someday. However, the choices they make in the present moment are simply not aligned with their long-term vision.
The average person will never achieve their vision because they easily fall prey to instant gratification. They choose fleeting moments of pleasure instead of making the necessary sacrifices to help them fulfil their vision.
The average person lives day-to-day trying to make the most of every moment while at the same time disregarding the future impact of the choices and decisions they make. As a result they rarely commit themselves to long-term development and self-improvement. If something doesn’t give them instant results in the moment, then they will most likely end up choosing something else instead.
- Do the Opposite: Develop a plan of action for your life and career success, and commit yourself to becoming a lifelong learner.
Most People Leave Things for the Last Minute
The average person tries to avoid anything and everything that is distasteful for as long as possible. In other words, they procrastinate and draw things out indefinitely, until the pain of not doing something is more hurtful than simply getting the job done.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see how the average person often leaves things for the last minute. They will of course tell you that they thrive under pressure situations, but the real truth is that they get so caught up and sucked into indulging in fleeting pleasures that they completely mismanage their priorities.
Along the same lines, the average person will often ignore their problems until these problems get completely out of hand. They just hoped things would just go away, but the problem just hung around like a bad smell until it became impossible to ignore.
- Do the Opposite: Choose to take massive action to get things done and challenge yourself to tackle your life’s problems early, before they get out of hand.
Most People Shy Away from Responsibility
The average person consistently shies away from responsibility. Responsibility is a burden and requires work. It requires them to commit to something, which obligates them to other people or toward fulfilling certain tasks. And because the average person is lazy, they simply don’t want the burden of extra responsibility on their shoulders.
Beneath the surface though, the average person is petrified of failure and of making mistakes. As such, they tend not to commit to things that are uncertain. With that in mind, they do of course commit at times, but their commitment is weak and filled with hesitation. The moment obstacles arise, they immediately break all their commitments and make a run in the other direction.
- Do the Opposite: Challenge yourself to embrace uncertainty and commit yourself to taking responsibility for everything that matters in your life.
Most People Focus on What’s Not Working
The average person is happy and carefree when things are going their way. In fact, they kind of feel unstoppable when the world is conspiring in their favor. However, the moment things go wrong and the world begins to work against them, that is the moment when they break down emotionally and become very erratic and reactive.
Instead of trying to find a solution to their problem, the average person will choose to focus on the negatives of the situation. They will choose to focus on what’s not working and on what can’t be done, instead of taking responsibility for their problem and working toward a solution.
This vicious cycle of focusing on what’s not working keeps them stuck and unable to successfully move through various life challenges they face.
- Do the Opposite: Challenge yourself to stay positive, calm and mindful when problems arise. Moreover, develop your emotional intelligence to help you handle difficulties in more optimal ways.
Most People Complain About Everything
When things are not working in their favor, and when their problems get too overwhelming and out of control, the average person will attempt to make themselves feel better by complaining about the situation.
They will complain about what didn’t work, about how others have wronged or mistreated them, about not having enough love, time, happiness, money, respect, and a plethora of other problems and inconveniences.
The average person will complain and talk about their problems all day long to anyone who will listen — all in an attempt to win the sympathy of others. All the while, they do absolutely nothing about their problems. They make no attempt to fix things, or to improve the situation in any way. They instead look to others to help provide them with solutions.
They have problems in the first place because they have made mistakes along the way. However, since they take no responsibility, they simply don’t own up to what happened, and therefore don’t feel obliged to rectify things. What’s worse is that they don’t hold themselves accountable for their choices, decisions and actions. As a result they fail to learn from their experiences and tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
- Do the Opposite: Immediately stop complaining and start taking responsibility for your predicament. Also take the time to learn from your experience to help you make better future decisions.
Most People Make Excuses Instead of Progress
If there’s nothing to complain about, then the average person typically indulges in making excuses about why things didn’t go the way they had expected. They will make excuses about their mistakes, results, lack of effort and inability to focus.
Excuses are easy to make. Everyone can make excuses, and as a result most people do. Taking responsibility and making an effort to improve the situation is the path rarely chosen. It’s the path that very few choose to take, and yet it is the path that makes all the difference in the end.
- Do the Opposite: Immediately stop making excuses and start thinking in solution-oriented ways to help you work through your problems far more effectively.
Most People Quit When the Going Gets Tough
The average person doesn’t like problems. In fact, they don’t like any form of resistance. Yes, they will pursue certain goals and objectives, however the moment they face a setback, they will very quickly quit (usually after the first attempt) and move onto something else.
Fear, uncertainty and adversity often gets the better of them. But this is of course great news if you’re not average because it means that there is far less competition to worry about as long as you persist and persevere when the going gets tough. 🙂
- Do the Opposite: Challenge yourself to persist and persevere, to never give up, and to overcome any setbacks that stand in your way.
Most People Have Very Low Personal Standards
The average person usually quits because they have very low standards and expectations of themselves. They simply don’t expect much and don’t have high enough standards that keep them motivated and moving forward. It could even be said that most people sell themselves short.
We all have incredible ability and untapped potential. Few people make the most of their potential, while the vast majority simply waste it away.
The average person doesn’t believe that they are destined for greatness. They don’t believe that they are good enough or able to perform at a high enough level consistently over time. These beliefs lay the foundations for their expectations and set the bar for their personal standards. With low standards and subpar expectations, they have very little fuel that keeps them moving forward. As such, it just makes sense to quit once they hit a roadblock.
- Do the Opposite: For starters take control of your expectations and commit yourself to raising your personal standards. Expect the very best of yourself and discipline yourself to go after what you want most in life.
Most People Struggle Financially
The average person struggles financially. It’s not because they are unlucky or unfortunate to have been brought up in an underprivileged family. It’s simply because they spend more money than they earn. In other words, they live above their means. They make purchases on credit without having a realistic plan for paying this debt back.
The vast majority of their lives is spent trying to work their way out of debt. If only they chose to make a different set of choices and decisions. Then just maybe their financial struggles would be a thing of the past.
- Do the Opposite: Commit yourself to being more savvy with your financial decisions. Learn more about money and about how to manage your finances more effectively.
Most People Don’t Exercise Regularly
The average person dabbles in exercise. They will try to exercise regularly, but life just kind of gets in the way and ruins their 101st attempt. 😉 Yes they will start over and over again, but with no consistency, they gain very little value and almost nothing to show for their efforts.
- Do the Opposite: Self-discipline, commitment and consistency is the key to developing a regular exercise regime that can help you become a healthier version of YOU!
Most People Eat Based on Pleasure Not Health
The average person is very much focused on instant gratification and easily gets drawn into the fleeting pleasures of the moment. As such, they will often choose to eat foods based on the pleasure and satisfaction they gain in the moment rather than on the long-term health benefits of eating that food.
What’s more is that the average person will tend to overindulge on these foods and will often overeat in an attempt to satisfy their tastebuds. And as we know, the average person typically struggles with their weight and as a result finds it more difficult to get into a consistent exercise regime. It’s just a vicious cycle that the average person struggles to break free from.
- Do the Opposite: Make dietary choices based on what’s healthy rather than on what’s simply tasty. You could even have the best of both worlds. 🙂
It All Comes Down to this One Profound Decision…
Everything we have discussed here within this article comes down to one simple yet profound decision that most people make over-and-over again throughout their day. And that decision comes down to whether or not you make decisions based on FEELING or LOGIC.
The average person makes decisions based on how they feel. They make decisions based on what feels comfortable in the moment rather than on what’s most important or best for them in the long-run. In other words, they make decisions purely on satisfying their emotional cravings, rather than using logic to make smarter choices throughout the day.
If there is one thing to take away from the Law of Opposites, it’s that you always have a choice. You can either choose to be average and thereby live an average and unsatisfying life, or you can choose an alternate path for yourself.
You can instead choose to do the opposite of average and begin making decisions based on what’s most important for you in the long-run. Only in this way can we turn an average existence into an extraordinary life. 🙂
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 5 Ways to Stop Being Average Now @ Lifehack
- 7 Ways to Avoid Mediocrity @ Jeet Banerjee
- 20 Things Average People do That Prevent Them from Being Successful @ Lifehack
- Avoiding Mediocrity: Do You Dare to be Different? @ Lifehack
- Good is the Opposite of Great: How to Avoid Being Average @ Elite Daily
- How to Zig When Others Zag @ Frugal Dad
- The Real Value of Zagging, While Others Zig @ Fast Company
- Zig When Others Zag and 9 More Rules for Success @ LinkedIn