I've overcome many obstacles to get to where I am today. Those who know me already know the long of it, so I won't bore you with the details about my chaotic childhood. But do you wanna know a little secret I utilized to get through some of the tougher periods of uncertainty and doubt?
Simple: I did the opposite of what everyone else was doing!
It sounds like a an odd thing to say, right? But somehow it worked! I got through high school, for instance, by taking a look around me and realizing that I didn't want to be like all those other kids I saw because they were obviously headed in a very bad direction. So instead of hanging out, chasing girls, and seeking attention -- I stayed indoors, studied my ass off, and generally avoided people. Getting out of the inner city is really tough when the odds are stacked against you. Even more so if you don't come from a solid nuclear family who's members emphasize working hard to succeed. It's a vicious cycle! I simply did what I had to do to break out.
So, this is when I came up with my "opposite" rule. Do the opposite of what is undesirable, and perhaps you'll achieve that which is desirable.
It worked for me! Well, so far at least.
So, then, here are the 10 most crucial observations I've made about various aspects of this world that should really be obvious to most, but is sometimes not. Generally speaking, doing the complete opposite of these things will make you an all-around better person. These are my "Anti-Asshole" rules, in effect.
1) Those who constantly talk about how smart they are, usually are not. (So don't be like that)
2) If it's easy money, it's illegal money. True financial reward can only come from working hard and smart.
3) The man who talks the loudest usually has the least of interest to say. (So speak softly and carry a big stick!)
4) If your charity needs to be acknowledged by others, then it is not true charity. (The anonymous donation is genuine)
5) If you begin a sentence: "I'm not racist, but . . ." You are most likely racist.
6) If you have to say: "My gay friend is coming to the party." You are most likely a bigot.
7) The popular girl in school has the most admirers, but the least friends. (Cherish your unpopularity)
8) Angry people die young. (Don't worry, be happy)
9) Fervent patriotism is not always a good thing. (Hitler was the ultimate patriot)
10) Pride is the ugliest human emotion. No one's ever donned a hood and bombed a church over "humble" power.
I'm sure I could go on and on, but these 10 are a good start. Thinking like this has prevented me from committing some spectacular failures in my lifetime. It also grants me the occasional immunity to "foot-in-mouth" disease.
If anyone wants to add to the list, feel free to do so in the comments section below.