“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
This is one of my favorite quotes. If you mistake Shaw’s meaning, you might think that it gives one license to be a jerk… to trample people and insist on getting your own way. Not so. Rather, Shaw is pointing out that in order to make progress — for the good of everyone — you have to think differently than the crowd. You must be discontent with the status quo, and you must take steps to change it.
Such a position requires reflection, planning, and a winsome approach to selling your ideas. It requires that you champion a new cause and that takes courage in the face of opposition from those who don’t want the boat rocked. As Seth Godin points out in his book Free Prize Inside, ideas are plentiful, but champions — those who can bring an idea to life — are few.