The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. – George Bernard Shaw
I have been called unreasonable, unrealistic, obstinate and been described as living in a dream world more than once. I used to take it as an insult but now I smile and see it more as a “your on the right track” sent from above. In a world of 6,800,000,000 and growing how can you possibly stand out from the masses without being extraordinary? Usually even that won’t cut it, I know many people who are ridiculously bright, talented etc, but they’ve never sought out to challenge the status quo to seem unreasonable to others and chase their dreams so they fade into normalcy (the worst fate for someone like me).
It is actually far easier to succeed, to flourish and to make a name for yourself if you are unrealistic and unreasonable. There are just far fewer fish in the pond to compete with! The saying that it’s lonely on the top is dead on, it’s lonely because there just aren’t that many people up there… meaning there is plenty of room for you and I.
So what must you do to become an unreasonable, unrealistic and AMAZING person in life?
- Set your goals ridiculously high. Don’t even say “I don’t have ridiculous goals”…everyone does, most people are just too scared to share them. So write down 10 goals you’d love to have happen in your lifetime, make them as far out as possible then look at them and go “buddies… I’m gunning for you” and start going after them.
- See everyone as your equal. This is one of the best pieces of advice in the world, if you treat everyone as your equal you will get farther than 95% of the world. Problem is most people treat certain groups of people as “lower” than themselves and other groups (i.e. celebrities, pretty people, the rich) as “higher” than them. Instead treat everyone the same, whether it is the busboy who biffs it and spills wine on your shirt or the Queen herself, just treat them like people – because stripped away from titles and wealth that is what we all are.
- Break the unreasonable down into little reasonable chunks. This is the concept of baby steps and it works well, instead of saying “I’m going to start X corp and make $500,000 in five years” say “I’m going to make $273.97 every day for 5 years…” that is NOT that hard. You could build up a solid affiliate network through several mini blogs, you could create a small product and sell it to a VERY niche crowd and get that easy breezy. Another example: “I want to create an organization that helps 10,000 woman over my lifetime” instead say if you are 35 you plan on living till 85 you have fifty years give or take… so your plan breaks down to “I want to help at least one woman every 2 days”.
- Make reality your enemy. Who wants to lead a realistic life? Children are murdered in reality, horrible people get away with awful deeds, good people lead lives of misery… reality sucks, only a mental shift into an unreasonable thinking pattern will yield a life worth living… fight against reality, focus on unrealistic goals like curing cancer, feeding the millions of starving babies in the world, fixing the clean water problems in Africa, stopping the spread of AIDS, building up a massive corporation that is socially and ecologically responsible and provides thousands of jobs to well meaning people. These are goals worth pursuing, these are lives worth living.
It is harder to make $10,000 a month than it is to make $100,000, its more difficult to set your goal for mid level manager of a mid sized corporation than founder of a Fortune 500 tech start up. Why? Because EVERYONE and there mother aims at the mediocre in life…. no one says it but everyone does it. So there is fierce competition within the rungs of the average than there is for the “best” things in life. Try it for yourself, regardless of your age, education or background… in the next 60 days attempt two separate paths A. apply at every $10 an hour job you can find B. Start a side business with a goal of bringing in only 1,600 a month (p.s. this is what the $10 an hour job will make BEFORE taxes) – which do you think you can reach first? I bet you dollars to donuts you make the $1600 a month in a side business than get a job paying ten bucks an hour.
On a final note, and I hope you take this seriously, I think the phrase “be realistic” is one of the most depressing, draining and dream killing cliches in the world. Those who say it to you should be distanced, when you feel it you should shake yourself and remind yourself of the $10 an hour job that in our economy are now the HARDEST to get. Please, DON’T BE REALISTIC. Be brazenly unrealistic and unashamedly unreasonable!