Picture from Lagos, Portugal
(6 min read)
A couple of years back, an acquaintance and results coach I held deep respect for told me, “Jane, you have to be more unreasonable in what you want out of your life and dreams.”
I couldn’t believe what I heard and felt an instant overwhelming sense of irritation.
Did she just ask me be an unreasonable person?
Needless to say, the emotional and quick-tempered me went into a direct conflict with her. I vehemently disagreed, retorting that the proposition was totally irresponsible and illogical. Doesn’t she know that the word “unreasonable” has a stinky reputation and how can anyone who cares want me to be that person?
I was superbly turned off by that idea and brushed it aside as pure nonsense. Damn, being unreasonable is NOT a good game plan at all.
I remembered her reaction; she gave me an empathetic smile and said nothing. I wasn’t expecting such a calm reaction but thought nothing further of it. That was basically the end of that conversation.
However it wasn’t the end of my thought process and understanding of her stand. Somehow, I was intrigued by what she shared and the conversation would randomly visit me once in a while. And who would have guessed, my perception towards what she said evolved so much in the last few years, something I didn’t see or comprehend could come.
Today as I sit here in front of my laptop in beautiful Seville, Spain (hello to the luring soul of the city, sweltering summer heat, fiercely passionate flamenco, mouth-watering tapas and the super affectionate people), I found myself eating up my own words and retracting whatever negative thoughts I had then.
Because she was right. And I find myself agreeing 200% with it.
We have to be totally unreasonable with what we want and in our beliefs of what we can achieve in order to be relentless in the pursuit of our dreams.
To give it another perspective, being unreasonable gives us the necessary boost of courage and confidence to keep pursuing the dream life that we want.
Recently, I have been getting stuck in a somewhat crisis – I have been brainstorming ideas of how to make my business more accessible and it’s really, really hard work.
It’s hard work because everything sounds so unreasonable to execute. Honestly, almost everything doesn’t make sense.
When things don’t go in the way we assume or think they should, it is easy for us to throw in the towel, give up and drop ideas that initially looked like an absolutely dream come true. It is easy to get distracted from the visions we want to create and go back to the lives that we avoided for reasons that we ourselves know too well.
It is easy to have conversations in the logical mind telling us that the dreams we have are too lofty. In fact, we should stop being overly idealistic and just settle for second best.
Second best. That is how we, ladies and gentlemen, unconsciously always settle for something that we aren’t absolutely contented with. We are often intimidated by the daunting options we are presented with, options that we don't like because they are usually things we are totally unfamiliar with.
This is when the power of being absolutely unreasonable comes in.
It comes in to debunk the self-limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and what we can do. It comes in to stubbornly reinforce the faith that we are 100% worthy of the visions that we want. It comes in to force ourselves to think out of the “reasonable” box we have subconsciously trapped ourselves in, eventually bringing new solutions and ideas to surface.
Being unreasonable with ourselves and our beliefs basically forces ourselves to re-define what is “reasonable” in the first place. What is reasonable or unreasonable is a PERCEPTION, NOT A FACT. Similarly, what is achievable or unachievable is once again a perception, not a fact. They are purely definitions we cage ourselves in.
My inspiring ex-boss and mentor, Irene, used to always tell me, “there are only 2 Rs in life – reasons or results. If you achieve what you want, you’ll have the results. But if you don’t achieve what you want, you will always have a zillion reasons to justify it. So make a choice and choose the R you want in life.”
So simple, yet so powerful.
I was recently on a cruise sailing across the Transatlantic from Colombia to Portugal with a group of 200 digital nomads from all over the world. I gave my first Emotional Intelligence workshop to an international audience in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and did awareness coaching for at least 5 people during that span of time.
A year ago, that would seem totally unreasonable because it sure sounded far off. However, today, it has become a fact and a reality.
At the same time, I met some very inspiring digital nomads with successful businesses you will think impossible to achieve. But you know what? They did it. They did what I thought was unreasonable to get.
I’m in awe.
Being surrounded by these incredible people has triggered a load of thinking on my end and inspired this post today. It also taught me a big thing about belief and confidence – we just have to be relentlessly unreasonable in what we believe about ourselves. It makes the trade-offs a lot more bearable, and the rest almost inconsequential.
3 secrets why being unreasonable in life brings you the success you want
1) It fuels the courage and confidence you need to keep living and going for your dreams
There are too many noises in our daily lives that tell us what we can’t do and make dreams seem unattainable. Don’t back down to the noises in your heads. Keep doing what you believe you should do.
2) It redefines what is reasonable or unreasonable to achieve
Remember, the definition of how reasonable something is comes from our own perception and point of view. If you tell yourself that something is unreasonable and impossible to get, then it surely is because you have already decided on it. However if you tell yourself that it is unreasonable but let’s go get it anyway, you open a whole new arena of opportunities for yourself.
3) It breaks your own boundaries and allows you to progress to the next level
Sometimes, the journey to our dreams comes in baby steps, meaning we have to take one step at a time. When you keep doing and moving forward, you are actually exceeding your own expectations of what you can do and that’s an achievement unlocked. When you keep achieving the unreasonable goals, they automatically become reasonable and allows you to go achieve your next unreasonable goal. Eventually, you will reach the success that you envision, living the fulfilled lives that you have always dreamt of.
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