To fail, simply follow the crowd.
One day, I was reading an article and two famous quotes got stuck in my head. Albert Einstein said, “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” The other quote by an unknown author simply states, “If you want to go nowhere, follow the crowd.” I asked myself a question: am I following the crowd and going nowhere, or am I following my own path? Then I realized that the simplest way to fail every time is to live the life of other people.
We are living in a culture that tells us we can learn whatever we want. All we have to do is simply sign up for a training or online course, read a book or article, and try things on our own. The internet is full of practical pieces of advice to try new things, but how often do you seek your own path through life? How can anyone be innovative if they only follow the rules of others? What worked for others may not work for you. I am not saying that we shouldn’t learn from others. However, breakthroughs come from the heart, from new ideas, from creative moments. The most amazing things are not external to you; they are already in your heart.
From time to time, you come across inspiring people that found their own way through life. These people didn’t get the experience and the knowledge on any of the courses, they found their own way. Let’s see just three examples: a man playing with lions, the king of one string, and a professional “cardstacker.”
A man playing with lions:
The King of One String:
I follow hundreds of other people on social media, read their articles and comments, but I have to frequently ask myself: how could I do things my own way? People often ask me about productivity techniques. My advice is always the same: there are common patterns, but there is no “one fits all” solution. The best solution is always a combination of different ones that reflect the personal style of the person asking this question.
The problem with quick results
The problem is we live in busy times. We want quick results. We read and study pre-cooked recipes. We try different techniques and stick with the one that creates the best results. But what could happen if we spent more time thinking about our own way of doing things and experimenting?
While reading The New Testament, I was amazed that so many people are mentioned by their names while “Pharisees” are nearly always referenced as a group. There is Paul, Peter, John, and others. They all have names and their own unique stories. On the other hand, the Pharisees acted the same – always as a crowd – and you can rarely find a name for any one of group. History remembers people that had something unique to share, and completely forgets the anonymous crowd.
To fail or not to fail
Most people are scared to fail. They follow others and walk paths where others have already blazed a trail because they think it’s safe. But if you only follow others and do not seek your own path, you are on the shortcut to fail every time. You may say, “I tried Peter’s and Paul’s way of doing things, and they both didn’t work for me.” But what is your way?
We all have to fail from time to time while exploring our own ways of doing things. Otherwise, we may be sure that we will fail every time without even knowing it.
What is your unconventional way of acting?