This is one of my favourtie quotes and because I always seem to be such an “oddball” it instantly resonated with me. I first came across it while reading the 4 hour body (see book review here), authored by the king of “oddballs” Tim Ferriss.
A major reason why I love this quote is undoubtedly my love of anything that even closely resembles anti-establishment. Nevertheless it is a profound statement. If you are really observant and reflect on what you observe, does it seem like the majority of people are living life to the fullest and achieving their full potential? Do the majority people wake up every morning absolutely enthused to start their day and so grateful for the privilege to live another day?
For the vast majority, this is NOT the case. So if you are taking action because it is what everyone else does, and hoping for different results, that is absolutely NOT going to happen.
Do NOT get me wrong, I fall into this trap way more than I would like to admit. However, I am always challenging myself to push the status quo and maintain an open mind. All of my failures in athletics have caused me to abhor with great ferocity any kind of Groupthink. In athletics they are so many conventions, that are not only not helping athletes, but actually hurting them!
It is obviously easier said than done to not just follow masses. To be able to implement this principle into your life it is key that you give more credence to your gut feelings and rely less on your rational thinking (we have become an ever increasingly head dominated culture, and this may be why we are so unhappy). Stop worrying about the future, focus on what you love and do it NOW, as tomorrow is never guaranteed. If you truly want to live the life of your choosing you will make every effort possible to follow your gut and do what you want instead of what you should do because everyone else is doing it.