Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite

Paul Arden was a former executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, and a legend of British advertising. He had a unique way of thinking outside the box and then communicating in both an interesting and activating manner – using both words and visual images.

Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite

Two powerful books that I have enjoyed reading are: – It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: The World’s Best-Selling Book & Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite.

Following are just a few of his mind adjusting quotes drawn from these two books. Enjoy – and if you like them – buy the books. You won’t be disappointed.

“If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else.”

“The world is what you think of it, so think of it differently and your life will change.”

“Great people have great egos; maybe that’s what makes them great.”

“Being right is based upon knowledge and experience and is often provable. Knowledge comes from the past, so it’s safe. It is also out of date. It’s the opposite of originality. Experience is built from solutions to old situations and problems. The old situations are probably different from the present ones, so that old solutions will have to be bent to fit new problems (and possibly fit badly). Also the likelihood is that, if you’ve got the experience, you’ll probably use it. This is lazy. Experience is the opposite of being creative. If you can prove you’re right you’re set in concrete. You cannot move with the times or with other people. Being right is also being boring. Your mind is closed. You are not open to new ideas. You are rooted in your own rightness, which is arrogant. Arrogance is a valuable tool, but only if used very sparingly. Worst of all, being right has a tone of morality about it. To be anything else sounds weak or fallible, and people who are right would hate to be thought fallible. So: it’s wrong to be right, because people who are right are rooted in the past, rigid-minded, dull and smug. There’s no talking to them.”

“Be your own worst critic. When things go wrong it’s tempting to shift the blame. Don’t. Accept responsibility. People will appreciate it, and you will find out what you’re capable of.”

“It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.”

“Do it, then fix it as you go.”

“It’s wrong to be right; It’s right to be wrong.”

“Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you’ve got, and fix it along the way…”

“Risks are a measure of people. People who won’t take them are trying to preserve what they have. People who do take them often end up having more.”

“Some risks have a future, and some people call them wrong. But being right may be like walking backwards proving where you’ve been.”

“Being wrong isn’t in the future, or in the past. Being wrong isn’t anywhere but being here. Best place to be, eh?”

“Be unfashionable. Take risks.”

“Life’s all about ‘me’ anyway.”

“Having too many ideas is not always a good thing.”

“I wish means: would it be nice if. I want means: if I want it enough I will get it.”

“If you can’t solve a problem, it’s because you’re playing by the rules.”

“We are always waiting for the perfect brief from the perfect client. It almost never happens […] whatever is on your desk right now, that’s the one. Make it the best you possibly can.”

“Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.”

“Everything we do we choose. So what is there to regret? You are the person you chose to be.”

“Start taking bad decisions and it will take you to a place where others only dream of being.”

“For a creative person starting out on a career, try not thinking about film or media or whatever. Think about money.”

“Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have.”

“Even when we want to be timid and play it safe, we should pause for a moment to imagine what we might be missing.”