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The Best Way to Do Anything is Counterintuitive

Counterintuitive methods, as a means to achievement is a pattern I began to see as I gained different experiences in my life. Below is my best attempt to articulate this theory.

When it comes to money, sports, life, or any skill for that matter, there is always another level that can’t be reached solely by repetition. Surely, there is a higher level or a better way to do what we do. Don’t become the person who has a lifetime of experience practicing their skill the wrong way. There a few things sadder than seeing someone put so much time into something and realize they had missed out on a better angle or approach. Find out the hidden force of success in anything you’re doing. Seek out the best mentor/teacher in that world and invest in yourself, there is no better investment.

What do a top salesman, a couple who retired early, and the pioneers of mixed martial arts have in common? They all employed their skills just a little differently than the rest. They didn’t follow the conventional wisdom of the crowd.

“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before” – Albert Einstein

I remember one of the moments I started to realize this pattern of being counterintuitive as a means to success. I overheard a guy talking about bowling. He mentioned that he missed bowling a 300 the previous day because he “missed the oil slick” on his last roll. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about until I looked it up. Apparently, with each roll down the lane, these high level bowlers were manipulating the thin film of oil left over the wood lane. If you can consistently hit the same spot on the floor, your ball will travel the same path more easily through the deterioration of the film. In essence, you’re creating your own pattern to gain an advantage. Its tips and angles like these that are present in anything you’re doing. Who’d of known?

At the beginning of 2015, I had a goal of learning how to speed read. Now, I’m not saying I wanted to be those weird guys you see on TV at 2 am blowing through Moby Dick in 8 minutes. I was only looking to double or maybe triple my reading speed. I love to learn but I’d fall asleep or stop because I was uncomfortable with the way I was holding the book or by what position my neck was in. After hearing Jim Kwik talk about his online speed reading course on a podcast, I decided to give him a try. His information seemed to be the best out there. By identifying some bad reading habits, I went from reading 3-4 books a year to being on pace for 20 in 2016. The ROI on that $400 will be immeasurable.

“I went from reading 3-4 books a year to being on pace for 20 in 2016”

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is another great example of success through being counterintuitive. The art is designed for smaller people to defend themselves against larger opponents. It’s principles were made famous by the success of Helio Gracie, a 140 lb man with no special athletic ability in a no rules, no time limit fight setting. While it is natural for us all to match a push with a shove, or a punch with a punch, this beautiful art employs one of those most powerful concepts in the world, leverage. Instead of using strength and muscle, we use patience and technique to overcome our natural disadvantages. I have no regret of the thousands of dollars I’ve spent for access to the best Jiu-Jitsu minds in the world, as I’ve been able to apply its principles of success on and off the mats. Only by going against conventional wisdom did Helio make is possible for David to beat Goliath (consistently!).

For the readers who want to retire early, the most powerful concept in finance is compound interest. Unless taught at the home, many people will never be exposed to this. As Einstein said, compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world (yes, that’s two Einstein quotes in one blog). Those hypothetical neighbors, who retired early, are a very realistic example when employing this method. Another term for this concept is “reinvestment of earnings.” It’s common for new business owners not to do so. It’s no surprise 96% of businesses fail within 10 years. I have no doubt many entrepreneurs are not privy to this information, it can be their downfall.

Great salesman are using NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming), baseball players are picking the spin of the ball out of a pitchers hand, the list goes on and on. Find the hidden force in what you’re doing, business or pleasure. The only way to find these is to find a way to access to the best minds and practitioners in your world, whatever it may be. Through social media, it’s never been easier. You might only be one tweet away.

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Eric Estevez
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