“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.
George Bernard Shaw