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If Everyone Is Doing Something, You Should Do The Opposite


This is kind of a scary thought.  We all know there are safety in numbers and power in groups, but this is asking you to do something different.  Shouldn’t you do what everyone else does so that you get the results everyone else gets?  Maybe you should do what everyone else does if you want to get what they have.

Let’s look at a few things following the majority will get you:

  • The majority of people carry credit card debt, paying interest each month.  Balance carrying households average $9,333 in credit card debt according to research done at ValuePenguin.
  • The majority of people work for someone else, building their dreams, instead of their own.

I’m not saying the above three things are bad, especially working for someone else, but ideally, wouldn’t you rather avoid these if you could?  If the above three items do not apply to you, that is most likely because you are not following the majority mindset in those areas.  Good for you!!!  But if they apply to you, imagine doing the opposite.

Struggle To Handle A $1,000 Crisis

Imagine you had $10,000 in the bank in case of an emergency.  Yay!!!  Lucky you!!!  What’s your first instinct?  To spend it?  If that is the case, that is the majority thinking.  Too many people let money burn a hole in their pocket and don’t really believe in saving.  This is why they can’t handle the $1,000 crisis.  The majority of people have a “gotta have it now” mentality.  A mentality that says spend your money on luxuries first and then save what is left.  There is usually not much left.

Too Much Credit Card Debt

The end game is to earn interest on money you have saved or invested.  If you are carrying credit card debt from month to month, you are the one paying interest.  Lots of times, these interest rates are at least 14% or higher.  You have to pay someone else to use their money.  Again, the “gotta have it now” mentality will tell you to buy the new pair of shoes on credit when you don’t have the money.  Then, like the majority, you pay the minimum every month.  You end up paying a lot more money for those pair of shoes.  

I use to think the same way.  My thought was, “I’m good.  As long as I pay the minimum, my credit will be good.”  Yes, that is true, but I was also paying interest every month I carried the balance.  Not only carrying a balance, but adding to it with the same mentality.  This is definitely heading in the wrong direction.

My friends at LendEDU have a great article on How To Pay Credit Card Debt Off Fast. Check it out to get a head start on paying off your credit card debt!!!

Building Someone Else’s Dreams

Let me be clear here.  There is nothing wrong with working for an employer.  That is not what I am saying here, so please don’t take it the wrong way.  I want to help you see something that you may not have saw, because you were trapped in majority thinking.  Most people who work for an employer (we’ll call them “employees”) are not “rich,” money wise, and never will be.  Employees are at the mercy of employers for paychecks, bonuses, raises, employment, and layoffs.  Employees typically have to be at work at a specific time and leave a specific time.  Many people in the U.S. are miserable going to work and are looking forward to retirement.

Use Some Common Sense

My point here is that if you think like the majority, you will get what the majority has.  If you want what the majority has, then think like the majority and you will get it.  But if you want something better, something different, look at what people do and how they think, and do the opposite.  Now, I don’t mean go to the extreme.  Please don’t go out and commit a ruthless crime, because that is the opposite of what the majority does, and then say it didn’t work out well for you.  Believe me, it won’t, so DON’T DO THAT.  You have to apply some common sense here.  Don’t pick a crazy, wild, dangerous extreme and be upset when it doesn’t work out for you.  That is not the goal here.

What’s The Goal?

The goal is to be able to look at situations and opportunities differently from the majority in an attempt to stand out, make a positive change, and improve your life.  I mentioned in my Not So Normal Health Habits post ( some things I do that is not with the majority mindset.  These items are working out for me and most people won’t do them.  That is okay, but why not think different?  Why not see what the majority does and see if doing the opposite could bear fruit?

But I Might Seem Weird

Yes, if you do the opposite of everyone else, you may seem a little weird.  But weird is good.  Why not be the one who stands out for doing things differently?  I would much rather be the one who is ultra successful, and a bit weird, rather than just like everyone else and barely getting by.  Being a bit weird allows you to see things differently.  When you see things differently, new opportunities come up.  These new opportunities could improve your finances, relationships, and overall happiness.  One quote that comes to mind here is, “You can either fit in or stand out.  Not both.”  Well, sign me up for weird and watch me stand out!!!

How Do I Do The Opposite???

You can do the opposite in just about anything, but how and what?  Great question.  Start with something small like a health habit that most people won’t do because it is not easy.  I shared with you my three minute cold shower habit.  You could give that a try.  Or, you could start with your finances.  Maybe instead of spending your money and saving/investing what is left, Pay Yourself First (  You can apply opposite thinking to just about anything.  You just have to be mindful of something you want to change, stop, and think about it.  Start small, keep it safe and legal, and give it a shot!!!

Final Thoughts

Earl Nightingale said, “Look at what the majority of people are doing, and do the exact opposite, and you’ll probably never go wrong for as long as you live.”  I believe in this whole heartedly.  I believe we have to challenge ourselves to think differently from the majority if we want to see radical changes in our lives and have a big impact on our futures.  You can’t be upset if you do what everyone else is doing and get what everyone else has.  If you want things to change, you have to change.  Maybe doing the opposite of the majority is a great way to get that going!!!

If the only effect from reading this post is that your eyes are open to a different way of thinking…then for the 5and2Guy…that’s a win!!!

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