Do the Opposite #77

Discipline Without Expectations, Do More of What Already Works, Why You're Always Tired

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“The Simplicity of Discipline: Thriving Without the Baggage of Expectations” by Leo Babauta

Discipline is a practice. In order to be consistent with our efforts and to move forward, we need to establish routines that we perform regularly no matter what. Too often we get hung up on the results: we put in the effort so we want to see changes. Unfortunately, results we expect seldom come regularly. It’s like we keep buying shares of a company and monitor the market every day to see how we’re doing and stress about it, instead of automating the process and leaving it alone.

The dissonance between our high expectations and the results we’re getting is so uncomfortable, so hard to bear that we end up quitting the habit (practice) we were trying to form. To avoid that, we need to devote ourselves to doing the work, and leave the results alone, be what they may.

“Do More of What Already Works” by James Clear

It’s common for people to disregard the principles and techniques that work because that’s “old information” or “common sense”. For example, we know that the Pomodoro technique (e.g. 50 minutes of work followed by 10 minutes of rest; repeat) is extremely effective and sustainable, but we are rarely use it because we’ve known it for so long.

We are always on the lookout for the new productivity and motivation secrets to be uncovered, forgetting that we already know so much that’s proven to work. These techniques and principles do not work for us not because they are outdated and not relevant anymore, but because we simply don’t use them. As they say, common sense is not common action.


Why You're Always Tired | Better Ideas

Everyone around seems to complain to us about being tired, no matter their age. What’s the solution?

I made an Electric Mandolin for the #ButternutChallenge! | Beauty and the Bolt

There is a reason why I included this seemingly random video (when it comes to DTO themes). The video is about a journey of making an electric mandolin which involves a lot of woodworking.

The lesson that stood out to me is: things will always go wrong (multiple times!) when you are trying to do or build something. The real masters of their skill still make mistakes and have obstacles arise out of thin air when they are doing their work. They just know that it’s part of the process and they need to find a way around the issues in order to move forward.

10 Small Changes That Will Improve Your Life | Matt D’Avella

Matt packed this little video with a bunch of small actionable bits of advice to help us cultivate habits and, more importantly, maintain habits.

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“It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior's life.”
— Telamon of Arcadia, mercenary of the 5th century B.C.

“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
— Somerset Maugham

“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”
— 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