The crowd is not always right; follow your own path


9/20/20233 min read

green grass field near white concrete building during daytime
green grass field near white concrete building during daytime

In a seemingly ordinary moment, dropping my daughter off at school, I stumbled upon a valuable lesson about human behavior. As I approached a locked gate where a group of parents gathered, waiting for someone from the school office to open it, I couldn't help but wonder why no one had attempted to open it themselves. I decided to take a chance, pushed the gate, and to everyone's surprise, it opened effortlessly. We shared a laugh as we went our separate ways, but this incident got me thinking about herd mentality and how it influences our actions.

Be Your Own Leader

Too often, we allow others to dictate our choices, and we conform to what society deems "normal." However, the concept of normalcy is subjective, and it's crucial to realize that our unique path may not align with what others consider typical. My perspective on normalcy shifted when my daughter was born with a disability. I learned that beauty and normalcy are in the eye of the beholder. Embracing her uniqueness led to the creation of the Pocket Learner, a tool that enriches lives by promoting literacy. We should never let the opinions of others define what is normal for us.

When I pushed that gate, I took a risk of being ridiculed, but I was unbothered by potential judgment. By allowing others to shape our choices, we miss opportunities to unleash our talents and creativity. We must trust our instincts and not fear going against the crowd. As the French proverb goes, "To win without risk is a triumph without glory." We cannot stay behind the gates, for we will never discover what lies beyond or how we could impact the world.

Embrace Failure and Resilience

What's the worst that can happen? Failure. But failure is not the end of the world; it's a chance to learn and grow. Life has a way of humbling us if we're not already humble. The key is how we bounce back from failure, the lessons we extract, and the positive impact we make on others. Abraham Lincoln wisely said, "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Failure is just a stepping stone on the path to a life well lived.

Sometimes, the gate that appears locked is in our minds and hearts. It's our innate creativity waiting to be unleashed, propelling us to new heights. As Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, "The only thing we have to fear is...fear itself." We must take action because nothing happens until we do something. The Spanish proverb "A mas honor, mas dolor" reminds us that the greater the risk, the greater the reward. We must aim high, like eagles who soar above life's storms, instead of settling for a life of mediocrity.

The Lonely Road to Success

Pursuing change often means walking a lonely path, with few willing to support us initially. However, success is not a popularity contest; it's about perseverance despite challenges and setbacks. We are all partakers of those who came before us, and it's our responsibility to build on their work for future generations.

Words Alone Won't Change the World. There are countless ideas that could change the world, but they remain unexplored because people fail to take action. Faith without action is futile, as James 2 in the Bible reminds us. We cannot rely solely on prayer or hope that someone else will bring about change. It starts with us, with a shift in our mindset, and the acknowledgment that we are responsible for our destiny.

Becoming Agents of Change

As leaders and managers of organizations, we must ask ourselves important questions:

  • Are we fostering an environment where individuals can chart their paths?

  • Do we encourage creativity or impose limitations?

  • Are we afraid of challenging the status quo?

  • What legacy do our businesses leave behind?

  • Do we have a corporate social responsibility budget, and how do we use it?

We must operate ethically, protect our integrity, and not let others dictate our actions. One fool can influence many, so it's essential to distance ourselves from negativity and be the change we want to see in the world.

In conclusion, we should break free from the herd mentality, embrace change, and take risks to unlock our potential. Failure is a part of the journey, and success comes to those who persevere. Let's be the agents of change, not only in our own lives but also in the lives of others, leaving a positive legacy for future generations.