How to Zig When Everyone Else is Zagging

zigzagThe world is whizzing by and your head’s spinning.Change isn’t just constant. It’s freaking relentless. The information flow’s a gusher. The order of the day? Chaos. Let’s see. What was that plan you made to stay sane?

You could just join the nearest crowd or take your place in the longest line. After all, there’s safety and comfort in numbers.

But here’s something to consider. One cool way to cut through the madness is to forge your own trail. Cutting left when everyone’s heading right can be a great adventure. Alternative wisdom is the backbone of every great breakthrough.

Think Einstein. Think Curie. Think Picasso. Think. Ready to move in your own new direction? Here are: 7 Ways to Zig When Everyone Else is Zagging

1. Steady your pace when everyone else is accelerating.

Faster, faster. It’s the call of the modern age. We have the need for speed, or so we think.

But while you’re pushing the pedal to the metal just to keep up with the Joneses, ask where everybody’s going and why they’re in such a hurry.

A lot of people got behind the wheels of some pretty dumb loans and drove them down the drag strip towards ridiculous homes they couldn’t afford. Everyone was high on the exhaust fumes, until they crashed and burned. The winners, much to our dismay, are the ones who took the slow road, saved their money, and lived within their means. Hmm. Interesting.

It’s an old saying, but it’s still true. Slow and steady wins the race. Find your pace and know where you’re headed. It’s better than getting nowhere fast.

2. Follow your instincts when everyone else is following trends.

When I was in college, I made a dumb move. I tried to be practical. Turns out, I suck at it.

I read the career guide magazines, the ones that blathered on about the hottest industries and the top ten careers for anyone with a brain. Those magazines left out a few things like interests, passion, and strengths.


Following their advice, I ended up banging my head against the work for decades.

Those years are gone, but I still have today and so do you. If the hot trends leave you cold, follow the trend from within. It’s the surest way to a path that keeps you warm.

3. Work on mastering the pieces when everyone else is working on a masterpiece.

Everyone wants to be a master, but mastery takes practice and that just bores some folks to tears.

Some want to write the great American novel, but won’t take the time to craft a great sentence. Others dream of being millionaires, but would never dream of doing all the stuff that millionaires do.

While everyone else has their eyes on the prize, focus your sights on the hundred and one steps it takes to win it, and master them one at a time.

You’ll need to learn to draw a straight line before you can paint the Mona Lisa.

4. Speak softly when everyone else is shouting.

When every thing’s printed in bold red letters, a message written in small italics stands out. When everyone is clamoring for attention, you can’t help but notice the quiet and the calm.

Do what it takes to build a quiet brand of confidence and people will take notice. In the midst of all that noise, some peace and sensibility is precisely what people will be looking for.

5. Decide who you’re going to be when everyone else is deciding what to do next.

A whole lot of people are looking for instructions, a set of blue prints, for the seven steps to everything.

Have you looked at the self-help section of your local book store? Looks like everybody’s got some secrets and they’re selling them for 19.95.

Few, however, take the time to ask, “Who am I?” or “Who do I want to be?” Figure that out, and the doing comes natural. It’s like you have an inner filter. You know what works and what mucks things up. You know what to let in and what to keep out. You know what to do and what not to do.

While others are looking for the secrets of success, take the time to define what success actually means to you. Achieving it will be less of a mystery.

6. Seek to build relationships when everyone else is seeking to build a fortune.

If you really want to feel rich, accept all forms of payment. When it comes to happiness, studies show that beyond a certain point, money’s just added padding.

Love is the real gold standard. Connection, interaction, contribution, and intimacy, believe it or not, are better than a three car garage and a big screen TV.

While the others are counting their assets, be one to the people around you. You’ll get a greater return on investment.

7. Focus on being purposeful while everyone else is focusing on being productive.

It’s great to be productive if your productivity has a purpose, but a lot of people are burning their way through to-do lists like it’s an Olympic sport and they’re going for the gold.

“Look at all the things I got done!” they shout, “Now, what was the mission?” But if you’ve steadied your pace and followed your instincts, practiced the pieces and built that quiet brand of confidence, know precisely who you are and use that knowledge to be an asset to the people you meet, you’ll know what your mission is.


Better than a list of things you’ve done, you’ll have a list of reasons for why you do anything and you can use that to guide you.

So, What Will It Be?

Are you gonna zag, or are you gonna zig?

One thought on “How to Zig When Everyone Else is Zagging

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s