Do the Opposite #66

How to Stick to a Habit when Life Falls Apart, Depression Hates a Moving Target; Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter; The Reason Our Brains Procrastinate, Decluttering Strategies

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Let’s start with a couple of books I’ve read recently that I want to recommend.

Book: "Depression Hates a Moving Target" by Nita Sweeney

It’s been a while since a book made me cry, especially multiple times. “Depression Hates a Moving Target” is a very honest and personal story. Nita lives with depression and shares what that’s like with us, as well as how she took up running which helped her live a more fulfilling life and enjoy it more. She started from running for 60 seconds with her dog and now she runs half-marathons and marathons. Nita has a talent for immersing the reader into the story and I felt like she took me on that journey with her. Highly recommend this book not only to runners but also to everyone who wants to know what it’s like to live with depression and wants to become more compassionate.

Book: "Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter" by Curtis Jackson (50 Cent)

This book has opened a new side of Curtis to me. Previously I’ve known him as a rapper 50 Cent only. However, after quitting his full time rapper career (he still raps once in a while), he has been hard at work building a career in television. He is a producer of a hit TV show “Power”. It’s amazing how talented Curtis is and how he was able to transition into a totally different field and achieve success there too. There is a lot of wisdom in the book, mostly when it comes to relationships and negotiation. How to choose your associates and friends; how to decide whom you should bring closer and whom you should limit or stop communication with.

The book instills the hustler mentality, motivating you to put more energy into realizing your dreams and plans. I’d say it teaches you to “want it more”. My respect for Curtis has grown even more after reading this.

P.S. Also, it’s simply a lot of fun to read :)


“6 Decluttering Strategies Minimalists Swear By” by Lydia Geisel

There are many articles and videos out there touting the benefits of minimalism, but how can a normal person (a person who doesn’t throw away everything and starts from scratch and doesn’t live with less than 50 items) make steps towards a minimalist life? Lydia shares practical strategies on how to do just that.

“Two Harvard Professors Reveal One Reason Our Brains Love to Procrastinate” by James Clear

A really interesting post examining the difference our brains make between “present us” and “future us”. It’s how we rationalize doing things that bring us immediate pleasure now, and leave it to “future us” to deal with the consequences. We think: “I’ll eat this chocolate today, and go without sweets for 2 days starting tomorrow”. Tomorrow we do the same. This example can then be extrapolated to all areas of our life where immediate gratification outweighs the long term benefits in our decision making, or in other words when we have to do something difficult for a while before we see the results. I myself constantly battle with this. James explains all this as well as gives us strategies that can help us reverse this tendency.

“How to Stick to a Habit When Life Falls Apart” by Leo Babauta

This is definitely something most of us have experienced: when we decide to build new habits, we start out very motivated and energized, but after some time life gets in the way. We might go on vacation, might get sick, might have to deal with unexpected family issues, our boss might give us a tight deadline, etc. What you do in these situations determines whether you’ll succeed in sticking to your new habit long term. Leo provides us solid advice on how to “keep calm and carry on” when we meet these difficulties.


10 Daily Habits That Changed My Life [Habit Building] | Ronald L. Banks

A really well thought-through collection of habits. You might want to pick up some of these.

Your Upgrades Are Making You Miserable | Daniel Titchener

If you’ve been a reader of Do the Opposite newsletter for a while, you know how much I dislike planned obsolescence. In this video, Daniel shares his thoughts on the subject of upgrade frequency: how often should we upgrade our devices? Some people go to the extremes, not getting new laptops and/or phones for 8-10 years, but I like that Daniel goes for a mild approach. He says, instead of upgrading every 1-3 years, do it every 4-5 years. I agree with that.

Jaron Lanier Interview on How Social Media Ruins Your Life

Jaron has a very deep understanding of how tech companies use our data to alter our behaviour without us even knowing it. Think of your Twitter or Instagram feed adapting to your likes and dislikes as you scroll or of seeing ads for things you just talked about. I love how clear he is when he explains how it all works, and how calm he remains despite the outrageous things the host says (I think the host is playing devil’s advocate in this case, allowing Jaron to fully unravel his thoughts).

“Dad, how do I?” YouTube Channel Phenomenon

This is very cool! Rob Kenney, who grew up without a father, decided to share his wisdom with kids all over the world, teaching them (and us) how to do simple things around the house, change a tire, and other tasks dads teach their children. The channel’s popularity sky-rocketed. Below is an example of one of his videos and above is a link to the channel itself.

Japanese Funk and Soul on Vinyl (late 70's, early 80's) | My Analog Journal

Here’s some cool music I’ve recently discovered. I love that the video is recorded live and we can see the DJ play as if we were in the studio or a club. Enjoy!

Tweet of the Week



“Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work. If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how good a cook you are.”
― Tim Ferriss

“Creating demand is hard. Filling demand is easier. Don’t create a product, then seek someone to sell it to. Find a market — define your customers — then find or develop a product for them.”
― Tim Ferriss

“Just imagine for a day that you do not know anything, that what you believe could be completely false. Let go of your preconceptions and even your most cherished beliefs. Experiment. Force yourself to hold the opposite opinion or see the world through your enemy’s eyes. Listen to the people around you with more attentiveness. See everything as a source for education—even the most banal encounters. Imagine that the world is still full of mystery.”
― Robert Greene, “The 50th Law”

“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”
― James Clear, “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”


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There's also a YouTube channel with weekly videos on the same themes that are covered in this newsletter. Take a look at the channel here and let the ideas influence you into an improved and happier life!

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Keep doing the opposite,
Alex Kallaway