Idealism and hubris are usually warned against in the workplace and in life. They are said to be distracting, unpractical, and recipe for failures.
Yet I argue that in moderation, idealism and hubris, combined with a clear goal and dedication, are necessary to do great things – things that others who are more “practical” would deem impossible. Idealism gives us the ability to dream about a better world – a version 2.0. and it allows us to be foolish enough to think that our vision can be implemented. We are not caught up with the numerous obstacles we have to overcome. We are passionate enough to not think of the obstacles as problems. Rather, they are hurdles that challenge us to think differently and do things differently than the way we are used to do them. In short, idealism permits us to dream the impossible.
Hubris gives us the confidence in our skills to dream and reach our vision. We know that we have the tools to overcome the numerous hurdles and have the flexibility to do things differently to get to our goals. It allows us to shed the “downers” or “naysayers” in our lives who tell us that we can’t do something simply because it is too complicated or hard. Hubris, in other words, helps us overcome skepticism. It, of course, has to be backed by some forms of legitimate skills. Hubris cannot be all talk. It can be some talk but to make up for it, we need to be extra-dedicated and assiduous.
When we put a healthy dose of idealism, the never-ending curiosity and ability to see the better of the world, together with hubris, the confidence in our abilities, we have the ingredients for someone who is going to better the world.
So, stay hungry and stay foolish. The world will be better because of it.