Do the Opposite #76

Announcing Book Giveaway, How to Turn Pro, Monthly Self-expansion, Inconvenient Principles, Downgrading Your Phone

Good News Everyone!

Welcome to the newest issue of the Do the Opposite newsletter, sent every other Monday!

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DTO Book Giveaway!

I’m doing a book giveaway on Twitter! Anyone can play: new and existing subscribers alike. Here’s the gist of it:

The rules are simple:

  1. Winner will be announced on November 19th

  2. Winner will be determined by best reply (what book they want to get and especially WHY)

  3. The value of the price is up to $40

  4. You can play even if you're already a subscriber (especially so! :)

I hope you play and win - good luck! 🍀


“Habit Creep: The Proven, Reasonable and Totally Unsexy Secret to Success” by James Clear

James shares an unusual perspective on getting to your goals. Instead of setting a goal like “I want to drop 10 pounds” or “I want to get an X salary” and trying to work our way to these specific goals, he suggests we set up our habits and lifestyle in such a way that will help us reach these goals eventually. Thus we can forget about specific result-oriented goals and, instead, focus on the process: building the habits that will enable results we’re looking for.

“Monthly Self-expansion Project” by Derek Sivers

Learning new things is vital to our growth but we often take the path of least resistance by learning only the topics that come easy to us, limiting ourselves by the fields we’ve always been good at. Building on what we already know is a great thing but can also lead to a sort of “tunnel vision”.

Instead we can try learning something we have close to no idea about. There is no need to become a professional in that subject, just gaining familiarity with it will boost our knowledge and expand our worldview.

P.S. I’m currently learning the basics of car maintenance, something I never thought I’d get into.

“Principle Is Inconvenient” by Seth Godin

Going from a short-term vision to a long-term one requires us to have a set of principles. Otherwise we’re thrown around by the circumstances of our life with no direction. Developing principles to live by is the best foundation you can give yourself.


How To Turn Pro | Steven Pressfield | Modern Wisdom Podcast #220

If you’ve been reading DTO for a while you know I admire Steven Pressfield’s work in both fiction and non-fiction. His books (“The War of Art”, “Turning Pro”, “Do the Work”, best read in this order) have changed my life in countless ways. So whenever I see a new interview with Steven, that’s a must watch for me.

This interview stood out to me because the interviewer (Chris Williamson) did an outstanding job. Enjoy!

Why I'm Downgrading to a Flip Phone | Matt D’Avella

Ahem… Guess who did it first? Yours truly, the hipster on the block. Of course in my case, I downgraded to a simpler/cheaper smartphone. I’ve considered a “dumb” phone too, but that didn’t make sense for my use cases: video calls with the family, maps and navigation apps, messaging apps and more.

I agree with Matt in that we spend way too much time on our phones and I’m always looking for ways to decrease that wasted time. I think he went too far on purpose: to generate more hype and make the end result (after the 30 days) more interesting. In this case the change is not sustainable, but it’s a nice experiment to see what it’s like to live without a smartphone in 2020, find out which features one would miss most and which — least.

3 Rules for a Productive Life | Daniel Titchener

Daniel shares a bunch of specific methods and techniques we can use to improve our results and decrease the amount of time we waste. Some of these technique you might have heard about, but it’s always useful to revisit these.

Buying Dumb Things Is The WORST Thing You Can Do | Gary Vaynerchuk

I am not the biggest Gary Vee fan, but I randomly saw this clip of his on YouTube and his thoughts resonated with me. The message is definitely powerful and much needed these days.

Featured Tweet



“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

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”
— Charles Kingsley

“Simplify, simplify, simplify.”
— Henry David Thoreau


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!

Join the Waitlist


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!

Watch DTO on YouTube


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! :)

Join Our Telegram Channel!


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Keep doing the opposite,
Alex Kallaway