The Daily Stoic for June 26th. “Try The Opposite”.
“What assistance can we find in the fight against habit? Try the opposite!”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.27.4
I find today’s Daily Stoic to be quite interesting. During our teenage years, we all want to fit in. We are scared of being different and try to merge with a tribe, do, act, and look like everybody else.
However, as we grow older, we try to differentiate ourselves and be “different”. That, in the modern consumerist culture, means buying an Audi or an iPhone. Why is this relevant to today’s discussion? Because we rarely learn to do things differently. We learn to imitate what others do until we finally stick to what we always do. Routine, habit, and repetition.
Try The Opposite
Hence, we have this tendency of repeating old patterns and do what we are supposed to do. The more I read about people who have managed to do great things, the more I believe that one of the biggest factors of their success is doing things differently. More concretely, doing things “the opposite” way.
Now, this is easier said than done. We all have heard this overused mantra of “getting out of the comfort zone” and all that bullshit. But in reality, if our comfort zone was the white, soft sand of a warm beach, and the cold, black ocean marked its edge, most of us would just approach the waters, dip our feet, and get back to our towel trembling… Feeling like heroes.
Getting out of our comfort zone, for real, is hard. Just like resisting the urge of doing what we’ve always done. So what if, instead, we try the opposite, perhaps today? What if instead of repeating our old patterns we did something completely different?
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Try The Opposite”, suggests that we try the opposite of what we usually do, especially about our bad habits and destructive patterns. I think it’s a great idea, so let’s try it today, shall we?