I'm reading Chris Guillebeau's new book, The Art of Non-Conformity. His main point is that "you don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and make the world a better place at the same time."
Thinking about non-conformity reminded me that most of us adjust our behavior based on what most people do. This seems to be human nature and psychologists refer to it as social proof. We figure that if most people are doing something, then it must be a good idea. Unfortunately, this isn't true.
- Most people are employees
- Most people don't like their work
- Most people only have a high school education
- Most people are in debt
- Most people make less than $50,000
- Most people don't exercise regularly
- Most people think they'll succeed by fixing their weaknesses
- A select few start their own businesses
- A select few do what they love
- A select few graduate from college
- A select few are debt free
- A select few earn a six-figure income
- A select few exercise regularly
- A select few flaunt their weaknesses, instead of trying to fix them
I'm not arguing that starting a business, having a college degree or earning a lot of money are the most important things in life. My point is that you probably don't want what most people have. You probably want what most people don't have. But if you do what most people do, if you follow the crowd, you probably won't have the life that you want.
Non-conformity is important because you probably want to be like a select few, instead of ending up like most people. Are you ready to be a freak?
Do you have anything to add? What else do most people do?