Paul Arden: Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite
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.
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.
You can’t afford the house of your dreams. That’s why it is the house of your dreams. So either find a way of getting it (you'll find the means), or be satisfied with dissatisfaction.
Dreaming and talking about it won't achieve anything. There is only one person who can determine the shape of your life. You.
Who are you going to be?
The older golfer can hit the ball as far as the young one. He chips and putts equally well. And will probably have a better knowledge of the course. So why does he take the extra stroke that denies him victory? Experience. He knows the downside, what happens if it goes wrong, which makes him more cautious. The young player is either ignorant or reckless to caution. That is his edge. It is the same with all of us. Knowledge makes us play safe. The secret is to stay childish.
If you want to know how your life is going to turn out, you just have to know where you’re heading.
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.
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 a truthful criticism. Truth hurts, but in the long run it’s better than a pat on the back.
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.
How you present yourself is how others will value you.
In a meeting you don’t have to worry about how you are coming across to colleagues, because they are busy worrying about how they are coming across to you.
Meetings are for those with not enough to do. A meeting is a performance, an act to convince people of their own importance. The real players don’t need to act out the meeting game. They roll up their sleeves and get on with the job.
There is a conventional or popular point of view. There is a personal point of view. There is a large point of view which the majority share. There is a small point of view which just a few share. But there is no right point of view. You are always right. You are always wrong. It just depends from which pole you are looked at. Advances in any field are built upon people with the small or personal point of view.
People are like sheep: they follow the leader, It is the leader who has a point of view about which way they should go. Having an original point of view or angle is a novelty. Recognising its value is intelligent. Having the courage to stand up for it in tlie face of public opinion is what makes you a winner.