04/28/2016 12:45 pm ET Updated Apr 29, 2017

Separate Yourself From Herd Mentality

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." -- Mark Twain

The title alone may lead you to believe this is going to be a post that encourages you to be unconventional for the sake of being unconventional. That builds up to telling you the secret sauce to a life of success is as simple as just doing the opposite of everyone else.

Well, it's not that post. If you want that type of material the web is full of examples, good and bad, and I bid you a fond farewell.

What this post is, is an invitation.

An invitation to celebrate and, if necessary, reclaim your ability to think independently.

An invitation to celebrate having a slightly different view on the world if that's you.

An invitation to reconnect with your own inner spark.

Disengage from the Herd
As adults it's so easy to become socially conditioned. Socially conditioned to accept the theories of others as fact. To accept hand me down ideals and second-hand information and absorb it all as if it was in fact our own.

It's easy to become part of a herd if we're not careful.

Moving in a herd has its benefits of course. It makes us feel safe. It makes us feel part of the gang.

But what if being in the herd is not really us at all?

What if it means we feel stifled? Not quite right. Like something's always just a little off.

Walk Your Own Path

Perhaps instead we choose to tread our own path.

What if we stopped looking to others for all the answers and focused inside instead?

What if we looked at the horizon and felt a sense of wonder and adventure?

What if we set our inner compasses on a journey of our own making?

What if we aligned our actions and priorities with what's really important to us?

What if we committed to really seeking our own paths? To learning from others but staying true to ourselves along the way. Staying true to who we want to be. Committing to seek and appreciate all the goodness along the way.

Isn't all of that worth separating from the crowd from?

Note: An earlier and broader version of this post originally appeared on my website, Frictionless Living.

Carl is the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers live a simpler and more personally satisfying life. He is the author of several books including A Short Guide to Living Well, Need Less, Live More and 22 Ways to Simpler Living.