Do What Is Right, Even If You’re Flying Solo

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“Do what is right, even if you’re flying solo.”

A study by Prof. Jens Krause and PhD student John Dyer revealed that it only takes a minority of 5% to lead a crowd; the rest 95% just follow where the crowd takes them without realizing it!

Without strong opinion and critical thinking, humans tend to simply follow the crowd, concluded a series of experiments. The “social default” drives “autopilot” people to depend on the crowd’s preferences, belief, and judgment instead of relying on their own. This information has been used by retailers and sales professionals to their own advantage, using statistics and catchy slogans to lure potential customers. Even religious groups and political campaigns appeal to people’s need for belongingness.

Of course, there are advantages to being a part of a group. Doing what everybody else is doing can contribute to the welfare of all, but it could also sacrifice your own happiness and identity. Doing what is right for you is not only inconvenient but also lonely. Nobody wants to be the loner who isn’t allowed to sit at the cool table because people are all too familiar with the feeling of being rejected.

Despite the pain of being thrown away from the group, or never belonging to one, it’s always better to do what’s right for you. Ultimately, a person grows by following her heart and mind, not by blind obedience. Besides, if you keep being real to yourself, it won’t take long before you’ll find other people who totally get and accept you.

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