Do the Opposite

Unless you think that the majority of people are living successful lives, chances are that at some point you will have to act differently from those around you. Success can take many forms and it is often about standing out from the crowd or being above average, spotting when the crowd moves one way and making sure that you move the other.

Thinking and doing the opposite of what the majority is doing isn’t about being different for the sake of being different. There are lots of times when the well-trodden path is the right one to take. Your challenge is to know when it will be in your interest to do the opposite.

  • Your friends might talk about studying more but not act; you could comment to completing that much-desired part-time degree course.
  • When prices fall, people may panic and sell their shares or houses, you could buck the trend and hold on to them.
  • Few people exercise regularly enough and eat healthily; you can be the one who walks to work, goes to the gym and eats healthy food.
  • Many people only talk about quitting their jobs to follow dreams of self-employment, you could be the one to break out on your own if your own dreams point this way.

Doing the opposite might make you feel uncomfortable. It can be scary and make you feel lonely and exposed. It is never easy to be seen as going against the grain and ignoring the advice of your colleagues, friends or family, but if you are prepared to explain what you are doing and why, they will come round.

Be Emotionally Intelligent

Have you been guilty of reacting without thinking, getting angry too quickly, acting jealously or being too early provoked? Losing your emotions can damage your chances of living a successful life. It can easily be the difference between success and failure.

Examples of poor emotional intelligences (EQ) are all around us – people arguing on the bus, parent shouting at their children on the street or someone swearing at their boss or angrily handing in their resignation.

EQ is an essential ingredient of a balanced and fulfilled life. It is the foundation for being a successful partner, parent and work colleague. Successful careers, marriages, families and business partnerships are destroyed by moments of emotional madness.

It is easy to laugh at someone like celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay who swears and shoutsin his kitchen, but to ensure a successful life you must avoid making others sad, unhappy or fearful. To do this, you have to learn to keep your emotions in check. If you need to get upset or angry with someone, do so in a very conscious way so that you don’t lose control or react without thinking. You cannot spend your life apologizing for having lost control of your emotions.

Being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and see life through someone else’s eyes is a sign of high EQ and empathy. Highly empathic people rarely lose self-control, making them better equipped to deal with what life throws at them.