Do the Opposite #79

How to Read More, Beat Procrastination with Stoicism, Poisoned Just Enough, Less Is Now, Comparison Makes You Miserable

Good News Everyone!

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Happy New Year!

Finally 2020 is over! Hope 2021 treats us better!

My biggest resolution for this year is: to grow my YouTube channel. It was something I wanted to do last year but I kept procrastinating and putting it off. Now I am all in.

I want to share with you the first video in the updated channel. I know there’s a lot to work on, but it’s a start!

I am committing to 2 videos per week. If you like this newsletter, you’re going to love the DTO YouTube channel: it will cover similar topics but will be way more in-depth. In the newsletter I share some original content in the form of short essays on top of the recommendations, but YouTube will allow me to share more of my own thoughts and experiments with you.

If you’re in and want to support me in this new adventure, watch this video and subscribe to the channel for more! Click on the notification bell not to miss new videos! 🙌

Link: Do the Opposite YouTube Channel

Here’s the video:

How to Read More | Become a Constant Reader Without Sacrificing Commitments | Finding Time to Read | Do the Opposite


“Do You Really Need It — or Only Want It? Here’s How To Tell the Difference” by Oliver Burkeman

Often we work hard towards getting the things and outcomes we desire, only to find that after we get them we are not any happier. How can we determine if something we’re striving for will bring us real happiness and value? Read this short article to find out!

“Poisoned Just Enough: Why I’m so Optimistic About 2021” by Mr. Money Mustache (Pete Adeney)

2020 has been difficult for all of us. I love the stoic perspective Mr. Money Mustache takes in this article: we’ve been set back enough to re-eavaluate a lot in our lives. There’s no denying that things have changed dramatically, but what we should do now is to extract lessons on how to come back even stronger!

“How and Why I Stopped Buying New Laptops” by Kris De Decker

The truth of the matter is that the laptops are not changing as much as they used to year over year. We’ve reached a point when Moore’s law (the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years) started failing.

This means that we might get away with using 5 year old and even 8 year old laptops and the basics tasks like watching movies, web browsing, writing and more will probably still be possible on those. Older laptops are also usually way more upgradable.

It’s a better deal for almost everyone: we get cheaper laptops, ecology of the planet is not harmed as much if we consume fewer new devices and replace them less frequently. The only losers in this situation are electronics manufacturers: they’ve set up production in a way that forces us to update more frequently. They solder parts like RAM and storage (and even glue batteries to the chassis - looking at you Apple!!) so that in order to upgrade we need to get a new device.

There’s hope. As companies realize that people can’t justify getting a new device for marginal improvements and that causes the demand to shift, I hope some of them understand that there’s money to be made in making devices that are user-upgradable and user-repairable.

Another cool thing about this website - it’s solar powered so sometimes (rarely) it can be offline. You can see the server battery percentage indicator when you open the page.


Comparison is Slowly Making You Miserable... | Daniel Titchener

We are unhappy when we compare ourselves to others because there’s always someone who is better at this or that skill, always someone taller, shorter, younger, more beautiful, wiser, more successful etc. Social networks like Twitter and Instagram exploit this: we might be able to resist drawing comparisons for some time, but the feed is infinite and sooner or later there’s a post that triggers us again.

In this video Daniel focuses more on the material possession comparisons that we make, but the issue is broader. It’s the lifestyle, opportunity and successful living comparisons that are the most poisonous for our spirit.

This is one of the reasons I try to be as transparent as possible here at Do the Opposite about all the failures and issues I experience as I am working on bringing my ideas and projects into the world. I want the newsletter to be as raw as possible so you know that all this self-improvement stuff is hard, and it doesn’t always work the way we wanted, and there’s a lot of mess that comes up as we’re dealing with our psychological issues and mental blocks.

How I Beat Procrastination With Stoicism | Ryan Holiday

I struggle with procrastination a lot. It’s very difficult to sit down and work on the projects I really care about. Over the years I’ve become aware of many tactics I use to NOT do the work. That’s the reason I am able to conquer the inner Resistance more often these days than before. However there’s still so much room to grow in that department; as Steven Pressfield would say “to stop being an amateur and turn pro”.

From my personal experiences I can tell that this video Ryan made about the procrastination problem can help many of us (me included) get better at doing.

The Minimalists: Less Is Now | Official Trailer | Netflix

We own too much. With each passing year we accumulate more things, mementos, furniture, tools, equipment for the hobbies we’ve tried out and quit, electronic gadgets, and more. It feels overwhelming, stressful and there’s no place to hide from all the stuff. It gets worse because we have easy access to credit which allows us to buy things even if we don’t have money to pay for them.

I find that I go through the process of decluttering every half a year or so. Every time I go deeper and get rid of more of the things I thought I needed. The reason is as I get more experienced in letting things go, the easier it gets to do it. Another reason is that stuff just keeps accumulating.

The Minimalists bring us a New Year’s gift -> a new documentary called “Less Is Now”. The timing is just right - let’s start this year off by getting rid of some of the stuff that drags us down.

Solo Overnight Camping In Blizzard 70 Subscriber Special | Nickolas Green Outdoors

This little guy is amazing. His channel is about being outdoors and 2 years ago he filmed a video on how he camped overnight by himself (!) in blizzard. The video was a “70 Subscriber Special” and intended for his followers at the time. And people absolutely loved the dedication Nickolas put into that video for less than a hundred subscribers, rewarding him with millions of views. It’s amazing what can happen when we follow our passion.

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This newsletter issue was written listening to the official “High Fidelity” OST playlist on Spotify. Check out the show (it’s amazing!) as well as the music that plays there.


“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
— George Bernard Shaw

“At some point, something or someone somewhere is going to disrupt your entire life. Shouldn't it be you?”
— Nicky Verd

“There's no need to wait for the bad things and bullshit to be over. Change now. Love now. Live now. Don't wait for people to give you permission to live, because they won't.”
— Kris Carr

“Time is not the great teacher. Experience is. A man may live a whole life, but if he never leaves his home to experience that life, he dies knowing nothing. A mere child who has suffered and lived can be the wiser of the two.”
— Lynsay Sands


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 new videos coming out twice a week 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