An excerpt from the book Money, Meaning & Beyond by Andrea J. Lee and Tina Forsyth.
You’re probably familiar with a television sitcom called ‘Seinfeld.’ Whether you’ve watched the show once or too many times, you probably remember that one of Jerry Seinfeld’s friends was a character named George Costanza.
George was one of those people who couldn’t do anything right. In his thirties, he still lived at home, had no job, no relationship and was losing the rest of his hair. Oh and yes, he was short and generally thought of as unattractive.
He put it something like this:
George: It’s not working, Jerry. It’s just not working.
Jerry: What’s not working?
George: Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but … I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, be it something to wear, something to eat … it’s all been wrong.
Sound familiar? We all have our ‘George’ days, when we feel like we’re getting nowhere, and we don’t know what to do about it. We feel miserable and unworthy, useless and helpless.
We feel like George.
But one day, in one of the ‘Seinfeld’ episodes that takes place in their neighborhood diner, George has an epiphany. In all his frustration, he decides on a lark to do the ‘opposite’.
Waitress: Okay and how about you? What’ll you have?
George: The usual…tuna on toast…
Waitress: Tuna on toast, coleslaw, cup of coffee.
George: Yeah. No, no, no, wait a minute. I always have tuna on toast. Nothing’s ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of tuna on toast. Chicken salad on rye, un-toasted, with a side of potato salad and a cup of tea.
Elaine: Well, there’s no telling what can happen from this.
At that moment, the camera shows a beautiful woman at the diner turning around and looking George right in the face from across the room. Eyes glowing, she says, “That’s exactly what I ordered.”
When you’re stuck, spinning your wheels, or just generally feeling thwarted by life, stop pushing your energy in the same stuck direction.
Instead, try the opposite. Close your eyes for just one moment and visualize yourself turning around. Now, open your eyes.
You might be surprised at what looks you in the face.