Unfollow the Crowd: When they Zig, You Zag.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” To be yourself in a world where what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong is extremely tough. It takes a lot of courage to separate oneself from the crowd, go against the grain, stand alone where everyone is thinking the same, and think for yourself in a world where groupthink is the norm is the greatest accomplishment. The internet and social media have normalized crowd, mob and group thinking, black and white thinking; you are either for us or against us thinking.

I deactivated all my social media accounts in 2018 except Linkedin because I thought the platforms were becoming more toxic and were ultimately going to be at the root of the unhappiness and mental health crisis that we are presently facing. Anytime I meet someone new nowadays, the first thing they usually ask for is my Instagram handle, and when I tell them I don’t use social media, most people give me a quizzical look. One of the most challenging parts of unfollowing the crowd is the part where you question yourself and your decision. If everyone is on social media, maybe I am the one who needs to reaccess my decision. But I remind myself of the words of American writer and political activist Upton Sinclair, who observed, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’ The platforms are so ingrained in our lives that we cannot imagine leaving them; our source of income and personal brand is so tied to the algorithms that we cannot even think of it, though it is not serving most of us again.

‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’ – Upton Sinclair

Social media is one of the greatest technological innovations in the past 20 years. But simultaneously, the platforms are at the root of our continuously toxic and divided world. One of the geniuses of social media is its ability to connect to our natural human tendency to be part of a tribe or community and our need to be valued.


In his book Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, Author John C. Maxwell observed:

Popular thinking said the Earth was the center of the universe, yet Copernicus studied the stars and planets and proved mathematically that the Earth and the other planets in our solar system revolved around the sun. Popular thinking said surgery didn’t require clean instruments, yet Joseph Lister studied the high death rates in hospitals and introduced antiseptic practices that immediately saved lives. Popular thinking said that women shouldn’t have the right to vote, yet people like Emmeline Pankhurst and Susan B. Anthony fought for and won that right. Popular thinking put the Nazis into power in Germany, yet Hitler’s regime murdered millions and nearly destroyed Europe. We must always remember there is a huge difference between acceptance and intelligence. People may say that there’s safety in numbers, but that’s not always true.

Sometimes it’s painfully obvious that popular thinking isn’t good and right. Other times it’s less evident. For example, consider the staggering number of people in the United States who have run up large amounts of debt on their credit cards. Anyone who is financially astute will tell you that’s a bad idea. Yet millions follow right along with the popular thinking of buy now, pay later. And so they pay, and pay, and pay. Many promises of popular thinking ring hollow. Don’t let them fool you.

As you begin to think against the grain of popular thinking, remind yourself that

  • Unpopular thinking, even when resulting in success, is largely underrated, unrecognized, and misunderstood.
  • Unpopular thinking contains the seeds of vision and opportunity.
  • Unpopular thinking is required for all progress.

People may say that there’s safety in numbers, but that’s not always true.

Be Daring


The only reason you are not the person you should be is that you don’t dare to be. Once you dare, once you stop drifting with the crowd and face life courageously, life takes on a new significance. New forces take shape within you. New powers harness themselves for your service.

The world is full of unused talents and latent ability. The reason these talents lie buried is that the individual hasn’t the courage to dig them up and use them. Everybody should be doing better than he is, but only a few dare. Prospectors for gold tell us that gold is where they find it. It may be in the bed of a river or on the mountain top. And prospectors for courage tell us the same thing. The one who dares may be found in a cottage or in a castle. But wherever you live, whoever you are, whatever you have or have not—if you dare, you are challenged to enlist in a great cause.

“Wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measure of success whatever. The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the thing we have made of ourselves on the other.” – H. G. Wells


  • Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Unconditionality
  • Unconditionality is the virtue of doing good things without conditions. When we do things without a condition for reciprocity, we have a deeper level of gratification. Be kind for no particular reason than to realize that you have improved the day of someone even in a tiny way.

“Even After All this time The Sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me.”
Look What happens With a love like that, It lights the whole sky.” – Hafiz

  • Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Don’t Skate through Sand
  • When you reach a roadblock, it is best to approach it with an open mind. As
  • When you reach a roadblock, it is best to approach it with an open mind. As tennis player and motivational speaker Roger Crawford once said, “Being challenged in life is inevitable; being defeated is optional.”
  • Daily Trip with Jeff Warren – The Hard and the Soft
  • Anytime we harden up, we get slightly brittle, edgy, and more willing to push hardness back into the world. Hardness can be a necessary survival strategy, but softness is more sustainable. Softness is even tougher as we are opening to everything, the easy and challenging.


  • How To Escape Mediocrity & Get Ahead Of 99% Of People – Change Your Life In 3 Months | Cal Newport

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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