Whatever you think, think the opposite

I recently watched a quick 6 minute video story on ted.com that gave me  i-n-s-p-i-r-a-t-i-o-n in a major way.

Let’s jump straight into action :

A Japanese is in the US and approaches an American.
“Excuse me, sir, what is the name of that block ?” The American “Well, the street name is Warren street.” “Ok, ok, but what’s the name of the block?”
“We don’t name blocks; they are just the spaces between streets”.
The Japanese leaves puzzled and a little bit disappointed.

Now let’s do a quick teleport to Japan.
An American approaches a Japanese and asks for the street name. The Japanese answers: “Well, that is block number 16 and that is block 17”. “OK”, the American says,”… but what is the name of the street ?”
“We don’t have names for streets…” the Japanese reassures,
“… they are just the spaces between blocks.”

Interesting, eh?

And it’s not just a quick & funny story; it provides real value.

When you’re diving deeply into the blogging scene you’ll find millions of tips on how to blog the “right” way. Tips that sound like these:

  • Strengthen your reader community by encouraging comments. Comment on other blogs to promote yourself and attract new readers.
  • Be everywhere – use every social media service that’s fashionable and be permanently present – 24/7 preferable.

Sounds fairly reasonable. But then you find elite bloggers like Steve Pavlina who won’t even allow blog comments (and never EVER comments on other blogs) and Seth Godin who simply refuses to use Twitter, contrary to what “common blogger sense”dictates.

What does this mean ?

Well, nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong – anything goes.

Whatever you think, think about the opposite as well.

It might just be the right thing to do.


  • http://www.diary4life.com Paul


    A very interesting concept; I like your use of the metaphor linked to the two popular bloggers. It sort of kicks the other theories into touch!



  • http://twitter.com/bluepop13 Eric

    I LOVE this post.

    This really made me think in terms of what's right is wrong and what's wrong is right. All because we're all different and have different value to give to others as they give back to us.

    It also made me think of how there's always two sides to every story. You have to look at both sides to get the full big picture and really understand what's going on.

    Amazing idea here and yet very simple and over looked.

  • http://getyourbizsavvy.com/ Alex

    Nice article Mars. People start doing things one way and think another way is not the right way. Glad you pointed out the opposite effect working. I've always gone about things differently and I think its so important to look beyond the right or wrong because like you said, its important to think about the opposite. Like the idea and will think about how I can go opposite on some things.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com MarsDorian

      I made it my daily ritual to think the opposite.
      Especially when I read a blog post and someone claims that it’s the only way to do it, then I hold still for moment and imagine the opposite.

  • http://www.pinkishblue.com/ Victor

    I definitely “think the opposite” when it comes to buying stocks on the stock market. Seems to have worked well for me recently!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Congrats !
      Although I don't know any-thing about stocks :)

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  • Jennifer Barthe

    Danielle over at White Hot Truth stopped taking comments too. She said she wanted to focus more on writing and speaking. It makes sense for her, she's gotta do what she gotta do.

    I learning that it's more important to follow your gut than do what everyone else is doing. Nathan Hangen decided to stop blogging, even though people loved his blog. He had to listen to his intuition.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Yeah, sometimes you have to against the mainstream !
      I luved reading Nathan's blog, but he's got a reason for his change.
      Too bad for his readers !

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