Conventional wisdom, in short, is a theory or belief that is generally acknowledged or accepted as being true. For instance, conventional wisdom says that, despite people’s belief thousands of years ago, the earth is in fact round, not flat. On an abstract and circumstantial level, conventional wisdom also states that saving and investing money pays off bigger dividends in the long run.
The truth is, just because something is generally accepted as true, it does not mean it applies to everybody. Unfortunately, life does not have a fool-proof path to happiness, no matter how you define that (loving relationships, a good paying job, for instance).
Outside-the-box thinking breeds success? Conventional living is fine so long as it makes you happy, but it definitely can confine one’s ability to manifest into their best self. When I decided to take a leap of faith and start my company, I left the stability of a steady pay check and a consistent nine to five job where my salary, more or less, was a hallmark of comfort and success. Now, my personal prosperity, along with the livelihood of my employees, relies entirely on my willpower, initiative, and ability to come up with timely solutions to every problem that comes our way. This is on top of coming up with a product that people find an actual need for and constantly redesigning and developing it. This type of pressure is intense, no doubt. It can even make some people crumble. But, surprisingly, some people flourish under stress.
When failure is no longer an option, you come up with outside the box solutions to problems you used to pass off to the manager above you. Every success and failure is truly your own. Although successes are great, failures are the most opportune moments for learning valuable lessons.
For anyone trying to use this to rationalize their bad intentions, this is not a blanket statement! The fact is that many industry rules are meant to be broken. If some of our generation’s thought leaders, like Steve Jobs, for instance, were to cater to the interests and rules of larger companies who would not work under his terms, technology would not be where it is today. Had the thought leaders of the world played by each and every societal rule and expectation, who knows where we would stand as far as basic human advancement is concerned.