I’m just 1/3rd of a way through a great book by Adam Morgan called the Beautiful Constraint. The central premise is that in order to be transformational and unlock real impact, the constraints that may at first appear to hold you back can, in-fact, be the very things that create just the right amount of tension or paradox to propel you forward.
Quoting George Bernard Shaw’s maxim; “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, while the unreasonable man persists in adapting the world to himself…therefore all progress belongs to the unreasonable man.”
Today, most of us are unreasonable. We simply won’t tolerate trade-off or compromise in anything much – work, life, relationships or otherwise. We want food that’s good quality, cheap and healthy; cars that are beautiful, fast and yet economical; cleaning products that are effective and still good for the environment….and so (as Morgan’s book points out), the future belongs to the ‘unreasonable challenger’ who imposes on themselves the constraint of having to satisfy two apparently contradictory poles at the same time. Constraints and ambition combined, create the energy and momentum to disrupt, drive change and make the world a better place.
Peter Diamandis, founder of the X-Prize and Singularity University sums it up in this quote: “The world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.”
So, here’s to all those who aspire to be more unreasonable. If we were all a little more unreasonable in our outlook, then maybe we and the planet stand a chance.