Be Unreasonably Reasonable

This article was originally published on riskology.co

Image by: Vic Acid

I usually like to stress how important it is to lead a completely unbalanced life, but I also think there are certain aspects of life where it is, in fact, important to find a little level ground. Of course, probably not in the way that most think.

One of my favorite things to do is to help people work out their big plans and one stumbling block that seems to come up regularly is that when you dream up what you really want to do, it usually seems completely “unreasonable.”

Sure, that’s just your lizard brain begging you not to think too hard about the life you really want, but it’s an understandable concern.

After about the age of 12, if you tell someone about the big plan you have, it’s pretty common to get a response filled with advice about how to take your dream and make it more “reasonable” so that it doesn’t actually accomplish what you want it to any more.

When you’re 7, it’s cute that you want to be a fireman. By the time you’re 25, maybe you should just get a real job and volunteer to wash the fire trucks on the weekend. Sure, you could do that and tell people you work for the fire department, but something tells me you’ll never convince yourself that’s what you really want.

At the same time, I do think it’s important to find a reasonable outlet for your big idea — reasonable to you that is, not to anyone else.

Be unreasonably reasonable.

You’re taking a risk with the expectation of a big payoff for an “unlikely” outcome. Your big idea will never be considered reasonable to anyone else because they can’t see it like you do, so why bother worrying about it? Most people’s definition of reasonable is completely useless for any kind of new or interesting idea.

It’s far more important that your big idea is reasonable to you. That means you need to be able to look at it yourself and say, “Yes, this is possible.”

Don’t be too surprised if your initial reaction is that you don’t actually believe it’s possible. That’s normal and it all has to do with the difference between a dream and a plan.

A dream is something that keeps you hoping for tomorrow. A plan is something that keeps you working for it. A dream is unrealistic. A plan isn’t. It’s completely possible to take an unrealistic dream and turn it into a viable plan. It’s basically how every big piece of human history came to be — by taking an impossible dream and turning it into executable plan.

The founding of nations and religions, the success of great people and businesses, the curing of diseases — these are all things that were accomplished by being unreasonably reasonable, by taking a dream and turning it into reality.

Need more concrete examples?

  • Look at Chris Guillebeau. If he came up to you on the street and said he’d be visiting every country in the world in just 5 years, would you believe him? It’s an unfathomable goal to most people, but he’s already three-quarters finished with his goal at more than 150 countries in just 3 years.
  • Look at Everett Bogue. If you’d have ran into him a year ago when he was telling people he was quitting his job with just $3,000 to build a new life by living with 75 things, would you have believed it? He believed it and he made a plan to do it. And then he did it.
  • Look at Tammy Strobel. What if she’d told you she planned to live a thriving life with a tiny business and never own a car again. Seems unreasonable to most, but that’s exactly what she’s doing.
  • What about me? Most of the people I tell about climbing mountains and running marathons across the world respond with, “Uh huh, sure.” But I don’t really care so much about that because I have a master plan and I’ve already set it in motion.

When you tell your friends, your family, strangers, whoever else about your big plans, they can’t always see the potential outcome the way you can. It’s not their goal, so they see all the risk, but none of the reward.

They think your logic is faulty. They think that, because they don’t know anyone else that’s done it, you shouldn’t be able to do it either.

That’s a perfectly reasonable assumption, of course, but you know better. You have the whole plan worked out.

Who’s logic is actually faulty? Will you test it to find out?

Tyler Tervooren founded Riskology.co, where he shares research and insights about mastering your psychology by taking smarter risks. For more, join his Smart Riskologist Newsletter.

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