Human beings have a herd mindset that is simply overpowering. It’s what made the Nazi regime possible. It’s what drives teens to engage in bad behavior. People simply want to blend in. They want to follow the herd.
We are all hardwired that way, genetically. It’s a byproduct of the evolution of the human genome. During the early part of our human existence, we quickly discovered that when we were part of the herd, we were safe from predators. The Herd Doctrine ensured the very survival of our species. We so desire to blend in, to acclimate to society, to be a part of the herd, that we will do almost anything to avoid standing out in a crowd. It’s not theory. It’s science (http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131009/srep02905/full/srep02905.html). Many years ago Candid Camera decided to test this science in their famous Elevator Prank (http://www.maniacworld.com/peer-pressure-on-the-elevator.html). As funny as that Candid Camera prank was, it highlighted the lengths people will go to be part of the herd.
But, while this Herd Doctrine helped humans to survive, it is also what makes it so hard for individuals to succeed in the modern world we live in. The reason success is so hard and so rare is that success requires a separation from the herd. Separation from the herd is a prerequisite for achieving success. Consequently, successful people are outliers. Their path towards success is a very lonely one because they have to separate themselves from the herd. They have to go it alone. Since so few pursue success, the few that do succeed, set themselves apart from everyone else. The existence of the Herd Doctrine is one of the main reasons why there is a wealth gap and why there is income inequality in the world.
Anyone who has ever perused success has experienced the costs of defying the Herd Doctrine. Family, friends and colleagues try to dissuade anyone perusing a big goal or life dream: “the risk is too great”, “what if you fail?”, “you will jeopardize your career”, “you could go bankrupt”, “are you sure you’re not making a mistake?”. The onslaught of negativity forces most to stop in their tracks and return to the herd.
But not the successful. They courageously overcome and deflect the negativity. They keep moving away from the herd, despite the dire warnings. But an interesting thing happens when they succeed. They become Herd Movers. Their very success makes others take notice and before they know it, they find themselves leading their own herd.
If you are considering pursuing a big goal or life dream, you must confront and overcome the Herd Doctrine. It’s not easy. Your very DNA and the DNA of those around you will fight you every step of the way. But it’s worth the fight. When you defy the Herd Doctrine, enormous financial rewards, personal satisfaction and sheer joy and happiness are in the pot at the end of the rainbow.