I notice a theme developing as I read diverse posts from Pat, Liz, Dick, and Jory. Although each of these bloggers writes on totally separate topics, they carry a personal message for me about the cost of following the herd.
Without further adieu, the spotlight shines on these well-written posts.
Pat Ruppel's post on Fitting In - Cookie Cutter or Piece of Puzzle, provides encouragement for not fitting in when it really doesn't fit us. The world needs the expression of uniqueness of each person. I especially like the questions she poses at the end to help us understand our motivation for choosing to fit in or not.
Liz Strauss' The Danger of Old Think and the Dangers of Thinking New highlights two follies. One is to attempt to interject old skills and perspectives into a new culture; the other is to throw out the old and follow the new because everyone else is doing it. She ends the post with a killer sentence that nails the solution - it's like Haiku for business. I won't quote the sentence here because I don't want to give away the ending!
Sometimes I follow the crowd to fit in, or to prove something, either to "somebody out there" or to myself. Dick Richards pens a candid post, Nothing to Prove, tracing what he tried to prove in the past with what he's since learned.
You may wonder how Jory's post relates to following the crowd. It hits a personal note for me because I feel conflicted about joining Twitter. My conflict does not really center on Twitter. It rests on my ambivalence about wanting to be a part of the "in crowd," and my desire to preserve my energy.
Nor does it rest on any concern about new technology. I'm perfectly capable of 'twittering." But I look back and see that I only joined Facebook and LinkedIn because so many people ceaselessly invited me to join. I haven't completed my full profiles on either site, and don't utilize it as I should.
I realize in writing this that there's a time to follow the herd, and a time to follow my energy. If I do the latter, I'll lead a life that feels more authentic and rewarding.
When do you think it makes sense to follow the crowd?
Photo Credit: Andre Mesker