Every now and then the universe throws you a lob pass in the form of an idea or concept that you needed to hear. Sometimes it lands as a practically poignant line of a song or something a friend says in passing or even an inspirational quote you scrolled past.

These little nuggets act as a key to understanding something in your life more clearly. Most Marcus Aurelius quotes will do this to me however this week I had a moment with Mark Manson video on Correct Contrarians. 

Contrarians are people who oppose or reject popular opinion. A ‘Correct Contrarian’ is someone who’s idea or purpose is against popular opinion but they’re right. The thing with Contrarianism is that 99% of people are wrong about their contrarian idea. Lot’s of people believe bat shit crazy stuff but it doesn’t mean they’re right or going to change the world. In fact in lots of cases it is dangerous - any extremist group is testament to that.

The thing piqued my interest in this video was when contrarians ARE correct. All of the breakthroughs in history come from ‘Correct Contrarians’. Steve Jobs for example believed 10 years before anybody else that every home desk would have a personal computer on it. Warren Buffet, the world's most famous investor believed in companies that nobody else did and is one of the wealthiest people that’s ever lived. Elon Musk, for better or worse, is one of the most contrarian thinkers around. 

There are three things that these extremely successful people have in common:

  1. They had a contrarian idea.
  2. They’re correct about that idea.
  3. They execute on it massively. 

While it is easy to focus on the success that these Correct Contrarians had, it's important not to forget that for a long time, sometimes 10’s of years they were swimming against the current. Shit, Steve Jobs even got fired from his own company. The path to extreme success is brutal, that's why so few make it.

You have to be willing to do what 99% of people aren’t prepared to do. You have to believe in your idea so thoroughly that you're willing to lose everything for it. This is what separates extreme success from simply being above average. The internet is flooded with videos on how to be better, more productive, smarter and more attractive than 99% of people. The very fact that there are other people posting about it means it's not a contrarian idea at all. 

Most people just crave success. Success of course is totally subjective and Mark Manson had a fair warning about his own experience with extreme success - mainly that ‘extreme success only improves the relationships that didn’t need to be improved in the first place’ and ‘success amplifies who you already are’ which I thought was interesting.

True contrarians have to believe in themselves when no one else does. True contrarians have to be willing to lose everything in order to execute massively on their idea. Only then, when they have proved everybody wrong, when they sacrificed more than anyone ever thought possible will they find success. And that only if they’re correct. 

Matt’s a Correct Contrarian. 

When I watched this video it was like I finally understood something about Matt that I’d been niggling away at me. I finally got the key to unlocking his true motivation. I’ve often referred to his drive as ‘relentless optimism’ but it's more than that. It’s an obsession. It’s a belief that’s so strong he’ll keep moving forward despite all the odds being stacked against him. 

I often compare Matt to Steve Jobs (don’t tell him that) in that we live with this genius who knows exactly what he’s doing but others don’t see it yet. Shit, even I doubt our success and once every 8 weeks, suggest we just throw the whole lot in and go work at Bunnings. The path we’ve chosen is harder than I ever thought my adult life would be. The sacrifices we've made as a family, business and couple have been extraordinary but what if he’s right? 

What if Matt has in fact developed the best prefab building system in Australia and blews all existing prefab systems out of the game? What if all we need is for the right people, the right project to expose the building community and the government to our system on the eve of Victoria needing a million plus new homes built in the next ten years? What if he’s been right the whole time and all we’re doing is waiting for everyone to catch up?

That or he’s just ruined us all.

Video of the week
How to Get Ahead of 99% of People (Starting Today)
Podcast of the week
Take 5: Angel Olsen’s full spectrum
Font of the week
Cordata: Font of the week by Manic Type

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