Why Mainstream Thinking Gives You Mainstream Results

“Time to Think Outside the Box”

Avoid mainstream thinking.

That is, if you want a happy life and to get what you want.

Rise above it.

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. 

If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. 

But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher, poet, composer 1844 – 1900)

It’s  Time to Think for Ourselves

Many people believe the masses are correct i.e. mainstream thinking. “If everyone is doing it, it must be okay.” Wrong. Mainstream thought is filled with potholes. It is mostly the media, the government and our friends who tell us what to think. We no longer think for ourselves and that should trouble us.  Does this mean many people have become robotic? Do you hang out with the latest topic of the media? It’s likely all our beliefs are being manipulated. What about you? What do you think?

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated

than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” 

~~ Thomas Jefferson (Third US President and principal author of US Declaration of Independence 1743 – 1826)

I saw a well-written article a year ago about mainstream thinking on the site www.dailyreckoning.com and thought it explained the concept well. A site intended for investors, but the article applies to life in general. Although the article is a year old, it still applies today. In fact unfortunately for us, this article applies to the last several hundred years and will continue to unless we change. Here is an excerpt.

 Successful Investing in a Market Dominated by Groupthink

By Eric Fry

09/09/10 Laguna Beach, California – Mainstream thinking tends to produce mainstream results. The outliers of human behavior and consequence – for better or for worse – tend to reside outside of the mainstream…out on the thin tails of the probability curve.

Out on those distant tails, you might find the creative genius of a Bill Gates or a Thomas Edison…or of that Chinese guy who invented gunpowder. On the other side of the curve, you might find the incomprehensible perspective of a Pol Pot or a Hernando Cortes…or of that woman who underwent 31 operations over 14 years so that she could look like “Barbie.”

Then, occasionally, you find those individuals like Vincent van Gogh who were so idiosyncratic that you can’t really say which thin tail they would occupy.

But, by definition, most of us live our lives where most of us live our lives – i.e., somewhere near the mainstream. That’s mostly a good thing. It is safe, comfortable, and conducive to a lengthy and well socialized existence. Out on the Serengeti, for example, the “outliers” usually become lunch…or if they’re lucky, dinner, a little later in the day.

But mainstream thinking and mainstream behavior also possesses a very dark side. It lacks insight. It shuns self-examination. It repels intellectual honesty and creativity. Mainstream thinking, therefore, can sometimes nurture more detritus than a petri dish; more dysfunction than a sanitarium. In Ages past, mainstream thinking has nurtured idiocies as innocuous as the periwig or as horrific as the virgin sacrifice.”

It requires courage to think for yourself; to be an independent thinker. But it delivers the richest rewards. Deep down most people are concerned about encountering disapproval from those around them, becoming ‘lunch’ on the Serengeti for the mainstream thinkers; people who tow the line.

How to Be an Independent Thinker and Not Become ‘Lunch’

The following is an important distinction to note:

You’ll get disapproval from others if you doubt your right to think for yourself. By contrast, if you believe in yourself, that you’re entitled to be an independent thinker, you’re most likely to get approval.  Interesting how it works that way. Once again… what you think you get.

More importantly however, get past the need for approval. Otherwise you second-guess your decisions and they become once again about what others want for you instead of what you want. To acquire true confidence and happiness and get beyond mainstream results, it’s important you take responsibility and think for yourself

Further Reading:

Do You Think For Yourself? Here’s How to Start (Part 1)

Why it’s a Trap For You to Tow the Line (Part 2)

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Start by reading the article Discover the First Key Element to Getting What You Want.

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To learn more about thinking for yourself and how to do so in everyday life, order How to Get Anything You Want – Just Like That!

My name is Janet Poole and I believe there are better ways to delight your customers and inspire your staff.

I believe in meaningful conversation, knowing what really matters to you.

I believe an open mind is essential to a better life because there are always different and better ways of doing things.

I believe truth is a better way no matter how outrageous and despite its consequences because it sets you free.

I don’t believe in conforming. I believe in freedom and remembering to use your free will because many of us forget we have it and end up frustrated living below our potential.

I believe in saying yes to opportunities, doing something greater than yourself because it will thrill you; life ought to be an adventure, lived with courage.

I believe in laughing, delicious food and red wine.

I believe in being someone you can count on who will support you all the way into the results you want.

Better Ways. More Freedom.

Knowing your WHY is like turning on the lights to your behaviour. You gain instant clarity. It’s like being introduced to yourself. When you know your WHY, you begin to understand. When you know your WHY, you realise your unique gifts. When you know your WHY, you gain clarity and confidence. When you know your WHY you live with passion.

When you know your WHY you can take your business from good to great in a single day.

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