Dare To Live Without Limits 4/25/2022

Bryan Golden

Conventional wisdom, at times, should be ignored
Conventional wisdom, common consensus, and general opinion. Regardless of what label you give it, people look to others for approval and acceptance before they embark on a particular path. The thought of being criticized is a terrifying thought for most. How many people have been dissuaded from pursuing their goals due the negative reaction from those with whom they have shared their dreams?
Thankfully, throughout history, leaders, innovators, and all those on the cutting edge, have summarily ignored the naysayers. If they hadn't, we would still be living in the Stone Age. Read through the following examples to appreciate how wrong conventional wisdom can be.
In 1899, a commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office said, "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
"When the Paris Exhibition closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it." Oxford professor in 1878
"The automobile will never; of course, come into as common use as the bicycle." The Literary Digest in 1899.
There were those who were not impressed by the advent of the telephone. A Western Union executive commented in 1876, "This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. This device is inherently of no value to us."
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." president of England's Royal Society in 1895.
In the days before World War I, a French professor of military strategy declared, "Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value."
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" professed the head of a major movie studio in 1927.
An engineer in 1926 predicted "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially, I consider it an impossibility."
Popular Mechanics boldly attempted to provide an insight into the future when it stated in 1949, "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." An editor in charge of business books for a major publisher.
In 1962 a recording company rejected a new English band. The comment was, "We don't like their new sound, and guitar music is on the way out." They had just turned down the Beatles.
Business student Fred Smith received a poor grade on a research paper in 1966. He had proposed an overnight delivery system. His professor noted, "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a C the idea must be feasible." Mr. Smith went on to found Federal Express.
Have you ever had your dreams shot down by others? Were you told that you were bound to fail and that your ideas had no merit? Did "experts" malign your inspiration? Perhaps you were even ridiculed.
Since the greatest minds have ignored conventional wisdom on their way to conquering new frontiers, what justification do you have to be swayed by it? There are few, if any, examples of successes that had popular support from their very beginning.
Since the approval of others is obviously not necessary to have valid goals and dreams, you don't need someone else's vote of confidence before moving forward. The most notable accomplishments have occurred despite conventional wisdom.
If you use conventional wisdom as your guide in life, you probably won't realize your goals and your degree of satisfaction will be low. Conventional wisdom is essentially popular opinion. Popular opinion tends to be negative and resists change or anything new.
Don't look for approval. Don't give someone else veto power over your dreams. Pick your own destination. Chart your own course. Embark on your own journey. It's your life. Live it your way.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2022 Bryan Golden


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