Who Are You Afraid Of?


Hypothetical situation: imagine that you have a twin with the same goals as you. If you want to become the CEO of your company, so does he; if you want to date that cute girl who you always see at the grocery store, so does he; if you want to be the leading blogger on dog sweaters, so does he. You both have the same resources, too. He has a twin bank account, knows all the same people, and lives right next door to you.

Let’s assume, too, that only one person can reach your goal. So if your goal is to run a marathon, and he does it first, you don’t get to run a marathon. This makes him an evil twin.

The one difference between you and your evil twin are your methods. You have a plan, and he has a different one.

Let me ask you this, then: which of his many possible plans scares you the most? If you’re both trying to be the CEO of your company, are you scared of the evil twin who is working 9-5, doing a solid job, or are you scared of the twin who is playing golf with his boss (and maybe even his boss’ boss) every week? If you’re going after that girl, are you afraid of the twin who is going to ask her out today, or the one who is writing in his journal, pining after her? If you want to be the dog sweater blogger, are you nervous about the twin who started his blog five minutes ago and is out at the dog park with his camera right now, or the one who is spending a week trying to pick the perfect domain name?

The thing is, this situation isn’t so hypothetical, and it’s also not as rosy as it sounds. You have a lot of evil twins who not only want your goal, but they also wanted it before you did, and have more resources to get it.

So what do you do? You become the evil twin. You do what your competition is most scared of. What that usually boils down to is: do it NOW, be hardcore, and never forget that you’re not the only one in the race. That’s advice you’ve heard before, but imagining the non-imaginary twins out there helps motivate me. Maybe it will do the same for you.

(By the way, being an evil twin doesn’t mean to abandon your standards. Your goal isn’t to trick the girl into showing up at the same restaurant as you at the same time… it’s to make her actually like you for who you are. In other words, standards are built into the goal; there’s no point in reaching a goal if you didn’t do it by your own personal standards.)

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