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  • Writer's pictureWiehann de Klerk

Opposites Attract

A different point of view on the term, “opposites attract."

Chess and Success

The pawn (♙,♟) is the most common piece in the game of chess, and in most circumstances, also the weakest. Choose to be the opposite. Be the king, and surround yourself with high calibre people, or be the queen and improve your skillset.

To be successful, you must do the opposite of those that are not successful. Do the opposite of everything they do. When unsuccessful people watch the Kardashians, watch National Geographic. When they read Harry Potter, read Think and Grow Rich. The results that unsuccessful people obtain is directly related to the actions they take, so, the question that we must ask ourselves daily is, what are unsuccessful people doing and are we doing the opposite? Once we know the habits, traits, mindset and values of unsuccessful people, we can do the opposite and take great leaps toward success. Another option is doing what successful people do. Who in your life right now is successful? Go and speak to them - maybe even go as far as asking them to be your mentor? Not engaging in conversation with unsuccessful people and the actions they take, and getting mentoring from successful people is a sure way to change your life. For a long time, I didn't know this - I was a pawn in the game of life. I was weak because I didn't think the same as the kings and queens in the game of life. Life is similar to a chess game. There are three key players. Firstly, there are the pawns, weak in their efforts; weak because they lack education. Secondly, there are kings, those smart individuals that surround themselves with hard-working people; they have a team. Lastly, there are the queens - individuals that work hard to acquire the knowledge and skills to make it big in the game of life. They fill themselves up to the brim with knowledge, and develop high-income skills; skills that bring in high levels of income, not the burger flipping kind, but the burger franchise kind. The kings and queens of life are those that do the opposite of pawns. Do the opposite of the unsuccessful, and you are bound to reach greater levels of success. The rooks, bishops and knights are those that are in the learning phase; they are educating themselves daily, bound to become a king or a queen in the game of life.

"Actions don't breed success, the right actions do."

Being a pawn is simple, so simple that most of the world population engages in pawn friendly activities. We can't blame them because its human nature to do what is easy. When you drive to work, you take the easy route. You fill your car with fuel at a fuel station most conveniently located. Humans love convenience. However, just because something is easy does not make it right. Pawns engage in the wrong actions without knowing it. They don't realize they are engaging in the wrong actions, because they don't know better - they haven't been reading the right books, educating themselves, or spending time with the right people. I was doing all the things that unsuccessful people do until I started picking up the right books and spending time with the right people. The start of success occurs when you seek knowledge. Only when I realised the impact of my habits and pawn friendly actions, did I stop to think otherwise. This realisation only occurred when I started reading good books, spending time with smart, successful people and embracing change. So, let's run through the habits of unsuccessful people. What are pawns doing that is detrimental to their success, and what can we do to do things better?

Watching TV every day. Instead of reading personal development books, pawns watch TV. How can anyone get entertained by watching TV? There are so many commercials on TV. What a waste of time! A two-hour movie on TV would be 90 minutes in length if you watched it on Netflix or Blu-ray, which means that anyone that watches anything on TV probably spends more 25% of their time watching network and local commercials, promos and news bumps. Over your lifetime, you will spend two years watching commercials. A 3-hour NFL broadcast only has 11 minutes of gameplay - there are so many rules and regulations that players only play for 11 minutes in total, resulting in the viewer wasting 2 hours and 49 minutes of their lives. Yes, I don't watch sport. Who's got time for that? Pawns do, not Kings and Queens! Successful people don't have time to because everything they do is income generating and value-adding - watching TV only adds value to the lives of those that use TV as an advertising medium, not your life. When I see a commercial on a TV, I turn it off. When I'm alone in the gym, I turn all the TV's off, to avoid any distractions. Watching a documentary on Netflix is different. Why not watch documentaries or read a book? These are two things that can add value to your life. Successful people are learners - they find out the ins and outs of the game of life, enabling them to play with strategy, precision and intuition.

"Watching television only adds value to the lives of those that use commercials as a marketing strategy."

Take little actions. Successful people take actions, not action. Success does not come to those who take an action, but to those who take actions continually over time. Doing the thing is greater than saying it. Everyone can verbalise the action of doing something, but not everyone actually does it. Doing it is better than saying it. The life you want is waiting for you to take action. Playing baseball with a golf club is better than not playing baseball at all. Action is better than no action at all. Even if your action is pathetic. At least your doing something. A person that decided not to play baseball is worse off than someone that chose to play baseball with a golf club. My point is that it's better to do something than to do nothing. Get out there and take some action.

"The life you want is waiting for you to take action."

Fear failure. Ask, and you shall receive - fear and you miss the opportunity of the ask. Two fears stop people from acting; the fear of rejection and the fear of failure. Both of these things are detrimental. Pawns live in fear. They only move one step forward, because they are fearful of the other directions. Kings and queens view failure as stepping stones to success, that's why they love failing. With every failure, there is an opportunity to learn, grow and become wiser. The only time that failure becomes a problem is if you make a habit of it and don't learn from it. Imagine if you failed at delivering a project on time at work; the lesson from this failure will be time management, the need to delegate to others or to ask for advice. If you learn from this failure, you will understand the importance of time management, delegation and willingness to learn, the next time you face a similar situation. You learn from it; you don't make a habit of it. If you kept failing at delivering projects at work, your failure to deliver would result in you getting sacked. Other than this, failure is the best thing that can ever happen to someone. I remember, I dated this beautiful girl during university; she made some mistakes but I was worse - my emotional intelligence at the time was lacking; I was insecure, was uncertain about my future and a whole bunch of other things. The reality is that I failed; I failed at being a good partner. However, I learned a lot of lessons, and from that failure, I became a better man. I understand the mistakes I made and did everything in my power to become better. Failure is a moment where you fall, and success is that moment where you choose to stand up again. Pawns fear failure because they are afraid of falling; kings and queens love failure because they love to stand back up again. Fearing failure means that you don't take chances or risks, and if you don't take chances and risks, you may miss the opportunity of a lifetime. The best example of this is when a man fears failure - fears that, if they ask the girl they like out, she might reject him. Let me tell you this - if you don't try, you will never know if it was a yes, or even a no. The reality is that 10/10, fearing failure is worse than just taking the chance/risk because if she says no, you are in the same position you were in before asking her; you are not worse of, and if she says yes; you are better off, so really, it's a win-win. Take the risk, and stop being a fearful pawn.

"Anyone can deal with victory, only the mighty can bear defeat." Donald Trump.

Quit. If you quit, you can't win, and if you win, it means you didn't quit. Quitters leave the race; participants are in the race and winners finish the race. Quitting is ten times worse than participating. I saw this beautiful video of Derek Redmond, an Olympian who was favored to win a 400m race in 2014 who unfortunately tore his hamstring 150m into the race. Despite this severe hamstring injury, he kept going. His dad came by his side to support him as he finished the race. As soon as he finished the race, he received a standing ovation. The reality is that people love people that do not quit, that continue to run despite the hurdles, pain and challenges they face. Keep running! Never stop running, never quit. When you are at that point of pain, and you're about to quit, those that love you will come and run beside you and support you because no one wants you to quit. There is great appreciation for those that continue to run. Instead of quitting, keep running.

"Quitting is ten times worse than participating."

Surround themselves with the wrong people. Pawns hang out with other pawns; they have pawns on their right and pawns on their left. The king, however, is next to a queen and a rook. There is undisputed evidence in the world today that we are the average of the top five people we spend time. Who are you spending time with? Are you spending time with people that do the majority of the things aforementioned? Look at your friendship circle and stop hanging with unsuccessful people. The first thing I do when I mentor someone is to find out specifically who their best friends are. Do you and your best friends study together or party together? Do you and your best friends give to others or take from others? What do your best friends do for a living, and who do they hang out with? Who are the role models in the lives of your friends - is it Kim Kardashian or Donald Trump? These are very important questions. If the top five people in my life were unsuccessful, I would be too, and you most definitely would not be reading this blog right now. I take it so far as to reduce the time I spend with people that don't speak proper English - have you ever spoken with someone that uses the word, "like" all the time as a filler word - just ridiculous. Imagine if I wrote this blog in this way: Like, I’ve been doing this blog writing thing now, for like, a long time, and this chick asked me to write about success, and I was like “yes, I should so do that!” How ridiculous is that? That's not English. Spend time with people that speak proper English and your literature and vocabulary will improve; fitness freaks, and you will get fitter; scholars, and you will get smarter. You become those people that you spend time with.

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." Albert Einstein

What are some things in your life that you can do to switch around completely?

Start the success journey by doing the opposite of those that are unsuccessful.

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