Life Rewards the Honey Badgers
Earlier today, I posted the following tweet:
“Life lesson: You cannot have a huge impact in life be it in business, academia, sports, etc., without having a sizeable self-confidence. To go against the grain requires a strong personhood that makes you immune to the herd mentality. Don’t be a fence-sitter. Be a honey badger.”
Let me expand on this. Most of the great intellectual and scientific advances arose because an individual decided that there was something inherently incorrect about the orthodoxy and decided to offer an alternative view (think Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution or Galileo Galilei’s heliocentrism). Beyond mere intelligence, this requires intellectual courage because it necessitates standing up against the countless forces that are compelling you to keep quiet about your “heretical” ideas.
When it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, there is an inherent element of risk that comes with the task at hand. In many instances, an entrepreneur is exposed to 10,000 different opinions suggesting that their idea will likely fail, and yet they persevere in their self-assuredness. This does not mean that an entrepreneur should be impervious to feedback (a topic that I cover in my forthcoming book on how to be happy and pursue the good life) but it certainly suggests that a healthy dose of self-confidence is necessary when undertaking bold initiatives.
Finally, let me briefly discuss great athletes. When you think of the greatest players in team sports (e.g., Michael Jordan or Lionel Messi), they are always willing to assume the responsibility and burden of taking the necessary risks to win. They are the first to volunteer to take the last-second shot in a basketball game or to take the penalty kick when the World Cup final is on the line.
No historically important initiative or accomplishment was achieved by equivocating fence-sitters who suck their thumb whilst holding a semi-permanent fetal position. Walk tall. Be bold. Be irreverent to the orthodoxy. Be intellectually and physically courageous. Active your inner honey badger. History remembers the bold and never the equivocators.
Source for Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Honey_Badger.jpg