• Wiehann de Klerk

Opposites Attract

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

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?


Complain. Pawns love to complain - some even complain about the fact that there is so much to complain about. What? Summer is too hot, and winter is too cold, the TV is too small, and the TV is too big. The reality is there is no too anything - it's a matter of perception. In my opinion, the weather is always perfect because we have these cool things called heaters and air conditioners that are very useful. Some even complain about their parents - you can't choose your parents, you can't change the weather, so move out and put a warm jacket on. The complaints list keeps going - government, church etc. Many pawns don't realise that they can change their environment, reality and life, so, they instead decide to complain. When you complain, you are essentially telling the world that your life is the way it is and nothing you say or do will change it. I met this guy called Tom who hated the church he was going to. He called it everything under the sun - he even called it a cult. He kept complaining. I looked him straight in the eyes and told him to stop complaining and leave the church he was going to. He still goes there today. Many people complain about situations that they can control. If you don't feel at home at the church, you visit on Sundays, then go somewhere else. People complain about the government - "the government needs to take care of me." No, they don't - the government is an institution, run by humans which means that they will not take care of you and will naturally, take care of themselves. Some even complain about high taxes - in this instance, I recommend moving overseas; ten countries in the world do not tax their residents. You read that right! Ten! Successful people don't complain - when something bothers them, they do something about it - if they hate being taxed too much, they will move countries or adopt a legal strategy that enables them to pay zero tax based on residency. Why complain when you can do something about it?


"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do." Dale Carnegie

Watch 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."

Talk too much, listen too little. A person that talks too much is a person that is uneducated. Unsuccessful people don't understand that listening provides them with opportunities. The act of listening provides us with the words to speak, the right words. For example, if you are talking to someone and truly listening, you are aware of every detail behind their emotions; you are able to understand what words to use. You won't talk about how much you love your daughter to someone that just lost their daughter, would you? Talking is not a talent, but listening is. Everyone can talk, but not everyone can listen. Successful people talk less and listen more, enabling them to say the right things at the right times.


"You can never listen too much, but you can talk too much."

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 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.

Hold grudges. I went on a wine tour recently, and this guy called Luke was angry at me. I had no idea why! Apparently, I owed him a beer from the year back because he bought me a beer. Firstly, I very rarely have an alcoholic beverage – I prefer a health beverage. Secondly, I haven't seen him for over a year, and he remembered something so minuscule. Also, since when does giving someone something mean that you must give them something back? To give means to provide voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone. If I asked him for a beer and didn't pay him back, that's different. Initially, I thought he was a great guy that bought me a beer, but no, he was an unsuccessful player in the game of life. To remember something like that, you must have a small pawn brain. It's just a beer. I bought him two beers, and he was still angry, probably because he held a grudge for over a year. Successful people cannot get offended. I say cannot because the ability to take offence is not part of their DNA - years of self-development makes it clear that offence is, for lack of a better word, stupid. I pride myself on being a person that cannot get offended. Successful people are too busy doing great things, they don't have time to get offended, and they don't care about the opinions others have of them. Successful people know that being offended doesn't mean they are right, it means they are weak. The reality is that we can't be offended by something that doesn't apply to us, so the question is, what sort of things do we want to apply to our lives? Beers and the lack thereof, or success?


"We should be too big to take offence and too noble to give it." Abraham Lincoln

Lack of purpose. Every day, we have a choice - to be successful or not to be. Unsuccessful people have no idea what they want to be, have no goals and lack purpose. They have chosen not to be, instead of to be. If you don't have a purpose, you can't be successful - having a purpose enables a person to find their success. Everyone has a different definition of success in their heart. When you choose to be your purpose and align your goals with your purpose, you choose to be on a path of success. Success is not necessarily wealth. Success is finding your purpose and then living it. For more on purpose, read the blog, Living With Purpose.


"The secret of success is focus of purpose." Thomas A. Edison

Waste valuable resources. Pawns waste time and energy like it's in endless supply. On average, we spend two years and three months in the cinema and over nine years watching TV. Nine years! Who's got time for that? The reality is, when you stop moving and watch a movie, or sit and do nothing, time keeps moving. Time moves when you don’t, and time moves when you do. No matter what you do, time will pass, success will distance itself, and someone else will be out there somewhere in the world owning it and doing great things. You, on the other, will sit on your behind and get behind. The only way to get ahead is to move forward and to move forward fast, not slowly like a pawn, one step now and then, but fast. Time moves fast, way faster than one step now and then, more like 60 steps every minute. So start moving. Move fast like a queen, and be strategic like a king. Instead of wasting valuable resources, waste worthless resources like couch time and other sluggard activities.


"However you do it, you better move it."

Underestimate their ability. Pawns underestimate themselves and the hard work required to be successful. They underestimate everything. Some even underestimate what is required to make a relationship work, to start a family or even to love a friend. When you underestimate the requirement, you underperform, and when you underperform, you under-achieve. If you don't believe in your ability, then who will? A company you wish to work for will not believe that your ability is greater than what you believe your ability is. A few years out of university, I went in for an interview and let me tell you, I sold myself. I believed in myself so much that the company called me a month later to say that I was too good for the job I applied for, and instead, I was offered a better position. Unfortunately for the company (how's that for self-belief?), I turned down the offer because a greater opportunity showed up weeks beforehand. Opportunity meets your self-belief; the self-belief you have determines the opportunity that comes your way. I had this friend at University who lacked self-belief. I won't mention his name, in case he reads this blog one day. He couldn't find an opportunity for work or a business idea for over two years out of University. I know it was because he lacked self-belief. Assume that a bird doesn't believe that it is a bird and therefore, doesn't believe that it can fly. My question is, would it jump off a cliff and try? No, it won't! If you don't believe that you can fly, you certainly won't try because you will probably die. Whatever you believe is possible is possible, and whatever you believe is impossible is indeed impossible. So, instead of underestimating your ability, overestimate your capacity.


"You can never achieve too much, but you can always achieve too little."

Lack a can-do attitude and say no to opportunity. Henry Ford once said, "whatever you think you can or can't, you're right." Can is more positive so lean towards it. Have a can-do attitude. I love people with a can-do attitude. They say yes even when they have no idea how to do something. They know they can, and so they say yes. If they knew they couldn't, they would have said yes, however, people without a can-do attitude would have said no, they can’t. A no cuts off branches from a fig tree; a yes waters the fig tree and picks the fruit. A yes provides a sweet aroma, a no provides a soft, yet evident displeasure. No one likes the sound of no, yet many people use it. A no, when you ask a woman to marry you or a no when you ask an employee to step out of their comfort zone, or a no due to a lack of self-belief is a no that should be said no to. Whenever you say no, very rarely is it good to say it. Of course, there are times to say no - like those moments where you are forced to say no because if you say yes to another activity, you will not sleep and fall dead on the floor from working too hard. That moment is the only moment you should say no to opportunities. However, until that time, do not say no. Yes, yes, yes! These should be the three words you say when you wake up out of bed. I scream yes out three times every morning. Might sound crazy but it is my way of saying yes to the day. "I'm here" is what I scream out to the world. I'm here - bring me what you've got because I AM READY. Instead of saying I can't and saying no to opportunity, embrace yourself as being the ultimate champion and say yes, because you are the ultimate champion.

"When you can, say yes, and when you can’t, say yes. Just say yes."

Dislike challenges. You do not improve if you do not accept challenges. Pawns are so focused on the challenges in front of them; they get overwhelmed by unexpected challenges - those challenges that come from the left or the right. The more you win in life, the higher your potential will be. Successful people love challenges. They know that to win, they need a challenge. The only way to develop larger muscles is to lift heavier weights. If you lift small weights, you will remain small and might even lose muscle. To build success muscle in life, you must increase the weights. If you don't feel challenged enough at work, ask your boss to give you some difficult tasks. Instead of limiting the challenges in life, challenge the limits in your mind. A challenge is an opportunity, and an opportunity is a pathway to victory. You need opportunity to be victorious, and you need a challenge to have the opportunity. A pretty simple formula, and trust me, it works. When I realised this, I learnt the art of continuous challenges. As soon as life gets easy, I get annoyed and frustrated. Life is not meant to be easy. Break that comfort zone in half with a tonne of C4 and nuclear weaponry! Nothing powerful has ever been achieved in the comfort zone. I went on a date with this beautiful women once - she was stunning. However, halfway through the date, she told me her life goal was to buy a house and have a family and live comfortably in a small town. Honestly, I nearly felt like my whole body was poisoned by those words. I felt sick to my stomach. She can be the most physically attractive women in the world, but with a comfort mentality like that, I'd rather get married to a fish and live in the ocean: at least I will be able to explore a beautiful landscape. Excuse all my sarcasm here, but if we don't challenge ourselves to a point where we want to quit on a weekly basis, we are not growing, and if we are not growing, we are dying. I choose to live! Instead of disliking challenges, love challenges, embrace them and welcome them into your life.

"You need opportunity to be victorious, and you need a challenge to have the opportunity."

Dislike problems. Successful people love problems. The bigger the problem, the bigger the solutions needed and the bigger the solution, the greater the benefit to you and the lives of others. Problems are one of the greatest reasons why we do what we do - anything we buy, we buy it because it solves a problem. There is not one product in the world that you buy, just for the sake of buying it. You don't buy a mop just to look at it; you buy it because it helps you solve the problem of dirty floors. You buy a bottle of water because it solves the problem of dehydration. I say this because problems open up opportunities for businesses to operate, for success to be achieved. Huge successful businesses like KFC would not be in operation if there wasn't a problem that had to be solved. The problem here was the lack of great tasting fried chicken. Success is on the other side of problems. In your workplace, church, family, community group, business, or city, there are problems, and you have a choice, to be the solution or not to be. The greater the problem, the greater the solution required and the greater the success you can achieve. I love problems. I dislike a lack of problems. Imagine going to work and finding there were no problems to solve; you would find yourself just sitting in front of the computer scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Whatever work you are doing, you are being paid to provide a solution to a problem. Whether you are an accountant, a burger flipper at McDonald's or a massage therapist. Whatever you do, you are solving a problem. Here is the good news, or bad news depending on your perspective: whatever you are paid is directly related to the amount or size of the problems you are solving. If you solve small problems, you are paid small amounts, and if you solve big problems, you are paid big amounts. Instead of disliking problems, embrace them because they are directly related to the money you earn and the success you achieve.


"The greater the problem, the greater the solution required and the greater the success you can achieve."

Lack persistance. Successful people are always persistent - they never give up. Some successful people are more persistent than they are talented. You do not need talent to be successful. The reality is that most skills are learned. You can learn to become an actor, public speaker, writer or whatever you want to be. Persistence is the greatest skill you can have. Never stop moving forward towards where you want to be. What you have done to get where you are today will not get you where you want to be, however, engaging in the right activities and engaging in them consistently over time will lead to the success you want to achieve. Confucious said, "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." It's not about speed; it's about persistence. I have to bring up the classic story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare is arrogant, thinking that because he is fast and the tortoise is slow, the tortoise doesn't stand a chance. To the hare's amazement, the tortoise arrived before him. The hare takes naps here and there thinking there is nothing to worry about. Persistent movement is always better than infrequent speed. Working hard here and there isn't the best strategy; however, small actions done consistently over time, is. Instead of lacking persistence, be like the tortoise and move continuously, never giving up.


"Persistant movement is always better than infrequent speed."

Have little, or no self-confidence. Pawns imply ineptitude. Do you want to be seated in a plane, flown by a Pilot that lacks self-confidence? Of course not, then why would your boss give you a raise if he doesn't believe you have the self-confidence to take action, on a greater level? Self-confidence is essential because a lack of it leads to negative and annoying traits such as jealousy. I'm never jealous because I love myself too much. You may be rich, sexy, incredible and I still won't be jealous. However, if I lacked self-confidence, I would always be jealous. Successful people are not jealous; unsuccessful people are jealous of them. Think of the game of chess in a dynamic and spiritual manner; the pawns are small because they have small confidence, and the queens, kings, bishops etc. are large because they have large confidence. Your confidence expresses itself outwardly. Your self-confidence is visible in your posture, speech and actions.


"The problem is not who you are, the problem is who you think you're not; comparison is a sure way to defeat, self-confidence is a sure way to success."

Are risk-averse. Successful people are willing to take risks and put things on the line to become successful. You can't invest in anything without letting go of something. You can't invest in a relationship without giving away time, love and respect. You can't invest in healthy living without letting go of bad unhealthy habits. Any investment requires you to forego something. Now, the only difference between those who are risk averse and those who are not are the amount that they are willing to forego. Risk takers are not people that do stupid things; these are known as fools. Risk takers are those that are willing to lose on their way to success. Those that see an opportunity and take action, and when they lose, they don't get depressed or cry about it. Naturally, you will fear failure and say no to opportunities if you are risk-averse. So be willing to take risks and try new things. If you don't, you are on the slow lane towards success. Instead of being risk-averse, be risk inclined.


“You can’t invest in anything without letting go of something.”

Do what is reasonable. The definition of reasonable is to not be excessive. However, how can you be successful if you are not excessive? Your actions must be excessive. You must be unreasonable. Any successful person in the world right now did not do what is reasonable; they did what is unreasonable. Reasonable actions will give you reasonable results; unreasonable actions will provide you with unreasonable results. What results do you want in your life? Pawns move one square at a time; they take reasonable actions. Queens move multiple squares at a time; they take unreasonable actions. Be unreasonable. Be excessive.

“Reasonable actions will give you reasonable results; unreasonable actions will provide you with unreasonable results.”

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."

Lack commitment. Commit to your life, goals, purpose, passions, wife, husband, cat and dog! Commit! You must commit every bit of energy, attention and love to the things that matter. When you're asked at work to do something, commit. When you ask your girlfriend to marry you, commit. When you told your husband you love them, commit. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Believe it or not, but commitment is missing these days. People can't commit. One of the biggest staff expenses in business today is the induction phase. Business managers love it when employees are committed to the company, but this is rare. People start jobs, get bored and leave. Pawns do this all the time - it happens because they haven't committed every aspect of their life, especially their purpose - some don't even know what their purpose is. If you're committed to your purpose, you will take a job that you love, and as a result, commit. I have seen many managers employ the "right" person for the job. Right as in, smart, educated, understand the theory behind the job, has experience etc. And then a few months later, you can see that it just doesn't work. That is a bad induction decision. I only employ people that can commit, that I know will commit. Will they love the job? Is the job their reason they are alive? First, I find out what their purpose is, and if their purpose doesn't align with the job, they won't commit, and as a result, won't get hired. It's that simple.


“Commitment comes before results - you can't get results without commitment.”

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

Think small. If you are going to think, then why think small? You may as well think big. It takes the same amount of energy to think small as it does to think big. In both instances, you are engaging in the same activity called thinking. Think big! Thinking of applying for a job, why apply for a basic, easy job that pays the bills? Think big! In everything, think big. When you set goals, think big. Thinking big means keeping the end in mind; keeping in mind what result you want to achieve. Don't date someone for the sake of dating them - if you don't view yourself marrying them and being their partner for life, then don't date them. This is small thinking. Think big.

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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