“You can’t afford the house of your dreams. That’s why it is the house of your dreams. You either find a way of getting it (you’ll find the means) or be satisfied with dissatisfaction.”
Paul Arden, from Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite
How are you with motivation? How good are you at challenging and encouraging yourself? Most importantly, how good are you at taking advice? I’m usually terrible at taking advice, for instance.
I stand my ground and I don’t really pay attention to anyone whose advice doesn’t fit in with the way I think. And I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing. Because you can only be serious about really listening to someone who you respect- someone who practices what he preaches and preaches what he practices.
And who wouldn’t want a mentor whose advice can help your creative juices flowing in every aspect of life, while telling stories about people who are where they are because they dared to be different?
And when I say different, I’m talking about the people who went their own ways and followed their dreams.
And looking for a mentor like that I finally found mine last year: A wonderfully smart, quirky successful (and unfortunately deceased) man in advertising: Paul Arden.
While I was studying advertising at university, I came across some great names like David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach. And while I was impressed by what they have achieved, I quite hadn’t found the right person whose teachings would go beyond the world of copywriting or advertising in general.
Paul had worked as a creative director for the famous Saatchi and Saatchi advertising agency but I fell in love with his ideas when I stumbled upon a book of his: Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite. Just my kind of book, because I do have a way of thinking differently than almost anyone I know in most areas. And this book was basically telling me to keep it up. It rocks to hear you are on the right track from a very successful man.
I got addicted to Paul’s style and bought his other books: “It Is Not How Good You Are, It Is How Good You Want To Be” and “God Explained in a Taxi Ride”. I would buy whatever else he wrote, but unfortunately Paul Arden passed away in 2008…
Now, on to the book:
Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite tells the fun yet notable success stories of people and firms who challenged the norms and by applying the opposite.
Examples include: photographers, Olympic athletes, bookstores, Kodak, Paul Arden himself, fashion designers, rockers and many more.
This is a book that you can eat up in a couple of hours. It has big fonts, paragraphs that are not too wordy, funny and/or interesting pictures and attention-grabbing page design, usually by being simple. Yep, Paul Arden knew a lot about readability too.
But soon after you finish it, you will want to come back again and again to remind yourself it is a good thing to challenge and even change status quo by being innovative, different, opposite. I love every page and every word of it.
Have you read it yet?
(I did use affiliate links in the post.)