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How to Think Like a Fool in 60 Ways

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How to Think Like a Fool #27: Do the Opposite

PLAY: Do the Opposite
"The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.”—Niels Bohr

A deceptively simple concept, doing the opposite means that when you usually turn right, go left—up is down, black is white, war is peace...

Your habitual ways of doing things aren't helping you—they're what got you into this mess in the first place. When what you've always done isn't getting you any closer to a solution, taking a contrarian view breaks you out of the block of ice you didn't even realize surrounded you. And if everyone you know is jumping off a cliff, maybe it's time to go jump in a hot air balloon.

Doing the opposite will make you aware of your habits, which gives you a chance to break them, or change them, or even decide to keep them.

This Fool Tool has some wiggle room to be creative. The opposite of standing up could be lying down, sitting down, curling up in a ball, standing on your head, standing down, falling over, or even pu gnidnats. You make the rules and declare today Opposite Day.

Fools hold the toothbrush still and move the body. They skate on banana peels, drink from empty bottles, and ride stationary bikes on bike trails. They write with erasers, eat garlic to hide bad breath, and dance to silence.

Think: What do I always do? What's the opposite that I can do? What's another opposite?

Tomorrow: How to Think Like a Fool #28: Manipulate Time and Space

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