The world is better only because some people are willing to follow through and execute an idea they believe in.
Innovation and progress requires testing the rules and assumptions that most people believe are inescapable and unchangeable. And in the process, new perspectives often present new approaches that change the way the rules effect our lives.
For instance, we all know gravity is a very real thing. But while many people thought this meant it would be impossible for humans to fly, there were some Mavericks who decided to challenge that ‘rule.’
Contrary to popular belief, ambitious individuals trying to make a name for themselves don’t suffer from a lack of resources. They suffer mainly from obscurity. And by definition, obscurity always increases at the norm. Why? Because “common” literally means widespread – it’s the peak of the bell curve; the home of the majority.
In a monarch society the ruling faction is determined by bloodline. But beyond the royal palace, success is impartial. The crown of great accomplishments can be claimed by the hardworking, innovative, and resourceful individual — whatever their background or bloodline.
Ah, the bell curve. There are few better mathematical representations of mediocrity. The most obvious message? The majority performs at roughly the same level.
Thus, the norm is the majority. So if you truly want extraordinary results you need to free yourself from ‘the norm.’
It was 2009 and the real estate market crashed. But I smelled opportunity. There was only one problem, however… I didn’t know anything about real estate.
I had two choices: One, wait as I learned all of the tools and information available or two, jump in the deep end, get started and figure it out under the necessity to perform.
Change the question you ask yourself and it immediately changes your subsequent thoughts — as well as your feelings. It’s no surprise then, that the greatest innovators, leaders, teachers, and students are excellent mental shepherds… they have made a habit of asking excellent questions.
To protect ourselves from possible embarrassment, ridicule, or judgement, we often live life with a psychological lampshade. We hide our most audacious, crazy (and often most important) ideas from the world. But ideas can’t materialize when held captive in our minds. In fact, ideas multiply in value when they are freed, shared, talked about, and tested.
Despite the oversimplified beliefs about the necessity of earning a degree from ‘art school,’ a true artist knows that art school does not groom one to become a world-class artist. They understand that such an education may help hone their skills, but not reveal them.
A lot has changed in the workplace and businesses no longer want ‘drone employees’ with a “go to the fridge and get the cheese” mentality. Enter the intrapreneur: A person who works within an organization, but thinks and acts like an entrepreneur. The truth is, all of the great jobs from this day forward will be filled by intrapreneurs, not employees. These are individuals who look at themselves and problem solvers, not clock punchers. They are hard-working, resourceful, frugal, big-picture minded, and team oriented.
We should be optimistic in viewing our setbacks as preparation for future circumstances and opportunities that we cannot yet foresee.
In doing so, failure becomes cross training.
One’s dream life may not look the same to you, me, or society. And that’s okay – as long as the greater good benefits in some way too. I look at it this way: True balance is found when one’s lifestyle is both fulfilling and sustainable.