Kevin Myers once said:
“The problem with popular thinking is that it doesn’t require you to think at all.” Good thinking is hard work. If it were easy, everybody would be a good thinker. Unfortunately, many people try to live life the easy way. They don’t want to do the hard work of thinking or pay the price of success. It’s easier to do what other people do and hope that they thought it out”
If you decide to follow the masses, you immediately take the control out of your hands and leave it to them. On one end, there’s a feeling of relief, mainly because the workload is taken off you and has supposedly already been done by the masses. The problem with this belief is that popular thinking is not always beneficial. In fact, popular thinking is the most commonly followed route to mediocrity.
Think of it this way, the masses once believed that African Americans should be treated as second class citizens. It was not until key figures like Rosa Parks who fought against popular thinking began to change that.
You see, when you decide to challenge popular thinking, you are likely to be ridiculed, questioned, and even looked down upon for your decision. But guess what? That is the cost of success! When you decide to break out of the norm and begin to think for yourself, you will notice many inconsistencies, limitations, and average results in popular thinking.
*Remember: “You have to think about what’s best, not what’s popular” – John Maxwell
Blindly accepting the norm is not only damaging but it is addicting too. When you begin to take the easy route in your decision-making process, it because increasingly comfortable. The idea of thinking for yourself becomes something that you want to put off and ultimately you can get sucked into this warp hole of mediocrity.
There is a direct correlation between questioning popular thinking and success rates (financially, emotionally, and mentally). The masses are the majority, and the majority of people are not successful in those areas. To become truly successful, you must step away from popular thinking and begin to think for yourself. Once you begin doing so, you will start to witness your life improve in ways you never imagined before.
Moving forward with your life, here are 5 ways on why you should question popular thinking:
- Following the masses means not thinking for yourself at all
- Popular thinking will provide you false hope
- In a time of rapid changing environments, popular thinking is slow to embrace change.
- Popular thinking results in mediocrity.
Here are 4 methods you should use to question popular thinking:
- Think what is best before you decide to follow.
- Embrace others’ thinking that are challenging the norm
- Be open to new things always.
- Get comfortable being uncomfortable
If you want to learn more about this topic, pick up a copy of John Maxwell’s book titled, “How Successful People Think.”
*This article was derived from John Maxwell’s book “How Successful People Think”