23/01/2013

Paul Arden: Whatever you think, think the opposite.

Whatever you think, think the opposite. In that case, I'm not moved at all. Written by the late Paul Arden, commonly referred to as one of the British advertising industry's great talents, I picked this book up yesterday and felt reluctantly inspired. 

I say reluctantly because I usually despise things like this. The idea that wanting something is enough to get you it hasn't done me many favours yet. It's easy enough to say 'be different, think outside the box and you'll be successful', but this kind of advice is just so vague. That said, something about this book won me over. 


I probably know more about Elizabeth Arden than Paul, but I'm guessing he really was a good advertiser. Advertising paints a dream world, a better place where we can exist if only we had the product being advertised. I'm sure that's a very simplistic view to advertisers, but it's my view. And this book paints an ideal world, untouchable and unattainable. And just like advertising, a world that is marketed as easily achievable. 


The book isn't strictly aimed at advertisers - creatives, yes, but I found most of it applicable to my own life. It's full of little snippets, musings, mini stories. Some are inspiring, others are just stupid. Some of the advice could get you locked up. Although, I guess there's a fine line between really ambitious and mentally unstable. 


The majority of the book touches upon different ways of thinking. Growing up accustomed to the brain thinking one way, it is quite a shock to see how easily a different answer is staring us in the face. It says that some people live vicariously through others, rather than taking risks themselves. Which does make a lot of sense. But Arden also says that most people do reasonably well because they only ever act reasonable. His advice is to act unreasonably - which is frustratingly vague. 


The book advises asking what's wrong with your work, not what's right. I like this one. But it also says that if things aren't going your way at work, resign - and they'll either take you back or you'll move onto better things. I'd love to believe that. 

I used to think like that, but then I finished university and the real world swallowed me up. I've developed a mindset that used to seem so alien to me. I was brought up to believe that you can achieve your dreams, as long as you believe in them enough. But now I think a bit more realistically. Or cynically, depending on where you're coming from. 


This is a man who advises people, if they're rejected for a job, to turn up anyway.  Reading this book didn't quite inspire me to go that far, but it made me realise I've lost my naivety. Whatever you think is stupidly optimistic, but I'd rather go along with Arden's  way of thinking and be disappointed. My head is officially back in the clouds. 

5 comments:

  1. I've read that book, and similar ones as well. Great post,You have a lovely blog and it would be great if you could come and check out my blog as well and maybe we could follow each other. I am currently doing a giveaway on my blog and would love it if you would enter.

    Aimee
    www.new-yorkdoll.blogspot.com
    xxx

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  2. Thanks for following! now following you back lovely. please keep checking back to my blog.

    Aimee
    www.new-yorkdoll.blogspot.com
    xxx

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  3. Love your blog, I'm following now :) Feel free to check out mine!

    Laura x
    Bunny Munroe

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  4. I had never heard of this book, but it really sounds interesting. I will check other reviews and see if I read it, I am always looking for a good book! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I'd recommend it! It only takes about 15 minutes to read all of it so you won't waste too much of your life if you don't like it :) thanks for reading :) x

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