9 Unusual Things That Will Give You A Significant Unfair Advantage In Life

Small tips to help you rise above the masses.

Woman ruthlessly focusing Getty Images | Unsplash

Life isn’t fair, but it isn’t unfair either. Life just is. There are ways we can get ahead of most people and other creative ways many of us choose to fall behind. I’m a sucker for seeing curious ways people are gaining advantages and edges. Edges are what we want and there are ways to get them. Here are some ideas to shift perspectives and get the juices flowing.

Here are 9 unusual things that will give you a significant unfair advantage in life:

1. Practice ‘radical honesty’

One of the hardest things a human can do is speak the real truth. Honesty is tough for many because going there might risk upsetting others, so your own perceived safety and happiness are at risk. What might more honesty in all your communications do for your life? I guarantee you much will change for the good. How so? Because so few people dare to lean into the truth. As long as you steer clear of saying things that invite more trouble into your life, you will likely find much opens up for you. More than anything, your confidence will rise because you are speaking your mind. Take this one step at a time.


RELATED: How To Be More Honest, Even When It's Hard

2. Practice ‘inversion thinking’

This is an approach to problem-solving made popular by investor Charlie Munger. This involves looking at a problem or situation from the opposite perspective. So, instead of figuring out how to achieve a particular goal, inversion thinking prompts you to consider avoiding the mistakes that could appear in pursuing that goal. This is about regularly asking questions that help you uncover potential pitfalls and obstacles. When you do this, you’ll see things that trap most people, leading them to quit — and you to win.


3. Create a personal ‘luck journal’

This sounds a bit over the top, I know. A luck journal may sound like something your fifteen-year-old self might have written for three weeks before quitting. But there’s power here. They say luck isn’t a thing. But it won’t be a thing if you don’t even notice it. Your journal helps your peripheral brain hone in on lucky things, creating more of them. Trust me, this works. Document all the ways you are seeing luck show up in your life. You might also brainstorm new ways to create more luck. This trains you to see luck and opportunity. Most of us never enjoy opportunities because we simply don’t train our brains to see it. Get the edge by being intentional about the luck you bring in.

9 Unusual Things You Can Do To Gain A Significant 'Unfair' Life AdvantagePhoto: popcorner / Shutterstock

RELATED: Keeping A Journal Isn't Lame, It's Self-Care


4. Smash expectations

Many people mope through life, never challenging the assumption that life is supposed to be hard. It’s so ‘hard’ for so many because few play the game of challenging expectations. We have expectations, and often those expectations are met. Big deal. But when expectations are exceeded or met in a way no one saw coming… Well then, that’s when things get interesting. It’s like taking the red pill so you can step outside the Matrix. For anything you do where you want to make an impact, ask yourself, ‘What is expected and how can I be unexpected?’ Patterns will be interrupted. People will take notice. And you may just find yourself flying.

5. Ruthlessly say no

Many of us are swayed by the cacophonous array of attractive options competing for attention. And by golly is a lot of it succeeding. But when you say yes to twelve things, you say no to bringing vital attention and time to fewer things. And when you bring more attention to less, you nourish the thing. You become exceptional. You create something remarkable. So think about it this way. When you say no, you are saying a big loud yes to something that requires it.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Say 'No' Without Feeling Guilty, According To A Psychologist


6. Cultivate the skill of extreme focus

Now, you might be thinking such a skill requires years of practice using some clever, complicated system. But Extreme Focus is only ‘extreme’ because it’s so rare these days. We’re all extremely focused by default. It’s just that we allow ourselves to complicate things so much that we make focus seemingly unattainable. But the true focus is merely doing one thing at a time with full enjoyment. This means turning off your phone and Internet, and fully throwing your attention into the highest priority task. Dare to be simple. Dare to have fun.

7. Learn the art of persuasion

You have all these cool things you’re making, but you might have trouble grabbing anyone’s interest. It’s tough, but what’s tougher is having something the world needs and not knowing how to get it into the hands of these people. Persuasion is getting people to listen to you, buy your products, and read your words. Learning persuasion might not be high on your priorities, especially if you associate it with manipulation. This is why, besides learning how to persuade, you must let go of any negative connotations you have that put you off it. This very article is an exercise in persuasion. I hope it worked.

8. Be a solutions alchemist

Every crack in the road is a doorway to a happy place. I’m sorry, come again? I’m talking about seeing the solution to every problem. It’s a mindset thing, and it will change your life and make you more resilient than most people. Being able to bounce back quickly after a setback is one of the most underrated skills. Learn it. You do this by bringing awareness to all your challenges and creatively opening the door to a solution. That’s you doing that. You create your reality. See the opportunity in all your problems, and you’ll never see a ‘problem’ in the same way again.

9. Make sexy time with your ideas

One idea sitting alone at home twiddling its thumbs may make a small dent working from home. But take two ideas and let them get hot and steamy together, and you may find yourself with an idea hybrid that’s almost too hot to handle. The real innovators continually bring seemingly disparate ideas together, finding unique takes that change the world. One way to make this more concrete for you each day is to do as James Altucher does: write down ten ideas every day and let them all smash into one another. I dare you to bring one of these into your life with a bit of extra intention. You can, of course, come back to this regularly and bring in other points. 


RELATED: 9 Little Tricks To Create An Insanely Unfair Advantage In Your Life

Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.