It’s one of my all-time favourite episodes of Seinfeld: in ‘The Opposite’, George Costanza is examining his career, relationship status, lifestyle and social circle when he quickly comes to the conclusion that all of his previous decisions have left him unfulfilled, uninspired and BITTERLY unhappy.
After lamenting his progress and gloomily mulling over the subject with Jerry, a true ‘lightbulb’ moment occurs, and he realizes that in order to change his circumstances and prevent future disappointments from arising, he must act differently!
He immediately vows to do the opposite of everything that he would usually do, testing his epiphany by ordering the opposite dish on the menu at his favourite cafe` that he would traditionally select (only to discover that he loves it!), exchanging his usual ‘no’ responses with a ‘yes’, and monitoring his daily behaviours, interactions and conversations with the outside world to complete the very actions that he would ordinarily never consider.
Within a few days, his luck changes drastically: he finds a girlfriend, scores a PHENOMENALLY coveted position with the New York Yankees and moves out of his parents’ house to enjoy incredible bliss! While it was a fictional experience, it raised an interesting question and introduced audiences to a unique perspective: what would manifest if their lives were magically rearranged by a simple substitute of words, actions and gestures?
It’s a concept that I’m trying to incorporate into my own daily adventure, and perhaps you could envisage it too: what would shift in your environment if you resisted your familiar routines, and instead embraced the unknown? If you travelled an alternative route to work, would you stumble across a $5 note on the street? If you fashioned your hair in an unusual style, would you attract an army of compliments? If your standard communications with a potential love interest were amended, would the situation be improved? What would exploring “the opposite” lead YOU to discover?!