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Is "Herd Mentality" Keeping You From Succeeding?

The great Earl Nightingale once described the mind as "a gold mine." It's a place filled with riches and wonders. Sadly, too often, people waste years, and even entire lifetimes, neglecting it. And that can keep them from ever standing out from the crowd or succeeding much in life.


Consider this: the brain is the only resource capable of exploring itself. Yet most of the time, we don't. Why? I think there are two reasons: laziness and distraction. Thinking deeply requires exertion...and we naturally find side roads like TV and social media more relaxing and diverting. We'd rather be laughing and taking it easy than spending quiet time, thinking deeply.


"Just Following" is Easier


There's an earnestness in people that causes them to believe in the merit and knowledge of others, and that's admirable. But when it's accompanied by a complacency that causes them to just amble down follow paths already trampled flat by those ahead of them, rather than blazing their own fresh ones, they've surrendered to herd mentality. It's easy to recognize the ones who have adopted that mindset when you look at posts in social media that refer to certain notions as if they're established fact, when they're really just reconstituted ideas passed from person to person until everyone accepts them as established fact.


Taking the Time to Stop, and Think


When people spend all their time in diversion and entertainment, lathing their minds in content and viewpoints that come from others, something really precious is lost. Individuality. People begin to all think alike, talk alike, behave alike. They take the same approaches to problem solving. They draw the same conclusions and have the same attitudes. That's not surprising. It's easier. It's less work. It's the path of least resistance.

It is NOT the path to the greatest success.


What I'm going to propose today is something that takes us beyond that, and it doesn't require a profound name. Let's just call it this:

.

"Thinking Time"


Amazing things happen when you quiet yourself down, and just.......think. Thinking is a completely analog process...it requires nothing digital, Put away. (not just down, but away) your phone. Close your laptop.


In order for "thinking time" to be beneficial, it needs to be something we look forward to, so we actually do it consistently. Find a quiet place. I like my bed, in the morning before anyone's up, coffee by my side.


Now explore your mind. Start with a germ...just the seed of an idea or topic, and expand it out. A good starting point is to ponder some problem or issue, goal or purpose, and look for ways to solve or attain it. Go with that.


It's a good idea to take notes, otherwise our thoughts can tend to be fleeting...and we don't always remember them. I don't recommend taking your notes using your portable device or computer. Stay ana