The Revolutionaries

For several generations, the prevailing advice has been “Work hard in school, go to a great college, study diligently, and get a good job.” While there is certainly some practical wisdom in this advice, if you follow it and get a good job, you may well be working for someone who didn’t follow the advice.

As technology proliferates here in the twenty-first century, more and more corporate giants are founded and run by brilliant individuals without a formal education. I would suggest that, in some cases, these great innovators and corporate successes do not achieve in spite of the fact that they didn’t attend college but because of the fact that they didn’t attend college.

Colleges and universities are storehouses of great minds that teach the prevailing wisdom of the day. If you want to know about the status quo and the current state-of-the-art, a professor can make it available to you; however, if you want to explore, innovate, develop, and change the world, you have to begin by thinking differently and making new assumptions.

In a different context, this sentiment may have best been stated by Ted Kennedy as he eulogized his brother Robert using one of RFK’s famous quotes. “Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and say why not.”

I like to avoid the word impossible; however, there are times when discussing a current situation or issue, that idea has to be presented. On these occasions, I prefer to say, Based on our current understanding, According to existing technology, or Given the options we are considering, it doesn’t seem possible.

Just as many of our new corporations have grown out of a unique thought revolution, America was born out of a unique political and cultural revolution. Throughout recorded history, most revolutions involve the general populace or working class demanding something being held by the ruling class, government, or wealthy elitists. The American Revolution was carried out by people who didn’t want anything that King George had other than to be simply left alone to succeed or fail according to their own abilities, merit, and character.

People who think, act, and live differently will often be leading those who take a conventional path based on generally-accepted popular advice.

As you go through your day today, look beyond “What is” to explore “What if?”

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at; on Facebook at; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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