To do the conventional is thought of as being safe – to take the path well travelled, to be practical, to make one’s parents happy, to secure the graduation that will guarantee a job.
But what is the price paid here? Something is conventional because millions of other people consider it to be the safe thing to do. Every opportunity that knocks on our door also knocks on these million doors. This can pretty soon translate to a race to the bottom, with the paltry spoils going to the lowest bidder.
To be unconventional is to see a different opportunity – one that the crowd isn’t vying for. It is to notice an opportunity outside the limelight. To avoid the crowds and occupy a niche. To shun the best-sellers and the top of the charts for a genre of music that about 1000 fans follow in your city, and to serve those 1000 people in a manner that nobody else in the world does today. The caveat is that there is no map to tell us how we do that.
To do the unconventional is to explore remote reaches and create new maps. Every opportunity outside the conventional is like venturing to an unexplored corner of the planet. Sure, the hearts of African jungles, depths of the poles and the tops of the highest mountains have been explored. But every day, we are creating new worlds with science, art, technology and at the intersections of every discipline on the planet.
“Let’s go exploring!”