Roger Harty: Do The Opposite

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IF there is one thing for sure it is this – our world is constantly changing. The population of the world at the beginning of the nineteenth century was 1 billion people, now it is heading rapidly towards 8 billion. The mind boggles.

In this ever changing world certain truths will always stand to us and one of these truths that I have found useful is to always explore the opposite. In fact I believe there is a whole psychology around this and it is called Gestalt therapy.

I first came aware of this about 30 years ago when I learned the basics of how to ski. I was in the most glorious settings of the Austrian mountains when the ski instructor gave me the order to lean my body down the steep slope into the valley below. (At the time it felt like a gorge!!).

My immediate reaction was “You must be joking; if I lean down that valley on my skis I’ll break my neck”. That was honestly what my mind was telling me at the time and also what made complete sense to me.

However the truth was the complete opposite to what I thought. If I leaned back I would immediately lose balance, lose control and then perhaps break my neck !!

The lesson here is; Listen to the words of the wise instructor and apply them even if you think the opposite. You will find the truth when you discover that it works.

How do you recognise truth; Simple, it works!

There are many examples of this type of thinking in our lives and here are just a few.

Apply heat to an injury — Apply cold therapy

Eat more — Fast more

Stay indoors — Go outdoors

Stay in bed — Be an early riser

Don’t pray — Take time to pray more.

Eat quickly — Eat slower and chew your food.

Stay using your smartphone — Put the phone away.

Spread hatred and anger — Spread love and peace

Stay on the couch — Exercise more

Breath quickly — Breathe slowly

Rush everywhere — Slow down and smell the roses

Ignore the children — Listen to the children

Desecrate our environment  — Cherish our environment 

The only suggestion here is to explore the opposite first and if it gives you a feeling of good energy then do the opposite.

• Next week I am going to write about ‘Do the opposite (ll)’


  1. Ann Gannon says:

    Very true

  2. Ann Gannon says:

    Food for thought Roderick especially during lent