Do the Opposite #72

Reinvent Yourself, Permission to Be Creative, Changing Your Identity, Common Myths about Minimalism

Good News Everyone!

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First Do the Opposite Guide is Out!

Last Monday I’ve sent out the first DTO Guide on “How to Become a Morning Person” to the paid subscribers. It gives 11 solid tips to help you acquire a habit of waking up early and stick to it, as well a list of the best resources on the subject that I’ve found over the years and that have worked for me.

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“Procrastination Hack: Change ‘and’ to ‘or’ ” by Derek Sivers

One of the traps of procrastination is the desire to have all conditions perfectly aligned to start on a task. We think we need to get all of the information possible on the subject so we lose ourselves in research and it takes us forever to get back on track. We plan everything to the smallest detail and then cancel our plans as soon as something goes slightly off-track. Derek shares a super-simple, yet very effective technique to evade this trap.

“How to Chase Your Dreams and Reinvent Yourself” by James Clear

It’s never too late to change direction. Multiple times in my life I’ve been told not to make big changes and just stick with whatever I did at the time. When I decided to switch from playing the violin and becoming a professional musician, when I went to Japan to study, when I decided to quit my studies of Japanese language (my University major at the time), when I went to study in Canada, when I wanted to switch from marketing to coding. I’m glad I did all these things ignoring the naysayers (there were of course also people who supported me).

This is your life and you’re the one who can make all the decisions. There are always circumstances that complicate things, but with enough drive and stubbornness, you can keep pushing forward and find ways to make your dreams into your day-to-day reality.

“The Subtle Power of Changing Your Identity” by Leo Babauta

Your identity is not as static as you may think. You might consider yourself an avid reader, an addict, a person who always gets in fights, a person who stays active no matter how busy the schedule gets, and many other labels that make up your identity. These are the facts that you’ve decided on and accepted about yourself and they can be changed.

Consciously changing parts of your identity is the final key to making a habit into part of your life for as long as you live. It’s the difference between playing tug-of-war with yourself every time you see a donut (to eat or not to eat), and not even considering eating it in the first place, because your identity says: “I’m a person who doesn’t eat junk food”. Even if you slip up here and there but your identity has integrated the change, you will “snap back” to it, coming back to the positive change you’ve introduced.


Give Yourself Permission to Be Creative | Ethan Hawke

We are all creative, we just need to allow ourselves to express it. Art helps us understand the things we’re going through in life, to put them in perspective and to heal our past wounds. It teaches us that we are all human and the events and circumstances that happen to us, had already happened to others. I’ll leave you alone with Ethan now so you can have a heart-to-heart.

The 3 Biggest Myths About Minimalism | Matt D’Avella

Minimalism has gained a lot of popularity in the past decade, yet there are still many myths and misconceptions that surround it. Matt helps us clear them up. If you have friends or relatives who just don’t get minimalism, send them this video!

Tweet of the Week

Article mentioned in the tweet



“Every day of our lives, we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference.”
— Mignon McLaughlin

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
— Haruki Murakami

“Our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account. The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”
— Steven Pressfield


I’m building an app called ZERNO to help you build & stick to habits ― if you join the waitlist, you’ll be in the limited few to get early access to the app!

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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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Do the Opposite has a public Telegram channel. The content there is a little different than in the newsletter: faster to consume, a bit more random ― basically anything weird or interesting that catches my eye: articles, tweets, videos, images, etc. Hope to see you there as well! :)

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Keep doing the opposite,
Alex Kallaway