The Benefits of Flirting with "Insanity"

Herd mentalities are neither a myth nor uncommon. We see it every day, built right into the tools and entertainment we use. Amazon and Netflix use peer rating systems because they understand that we trust our friends more than we do big box businesses. Artists, technicians and others in the service sector use testimonials because if your friends and neighbors are saying they're the best, you'll begin to believe it as fact. And of course, everyone is fighting against everyone else to build up their following so that they can stick their own hand in the cookie jar of influence.

We move as a herd. Shop as a herd. Consume as a herd. Think as a herd.
Shoot, even the hipsters who "did it before it was cool," have become a herd themselves.

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

I want to challenge us to think differently, test the status quo, push boundaries and question norms because even if those excursions away from "normal" lead us to conclude that the herd is right, we're sure to find something of interest along the way.

This post probably sounds like one of those pep talks that you hear from the motivational speakers who get you hyped and then you walk away going, "...wait, what?" In fact, I know it does. Because for most of us, thinking differently isn't just a switch we flip. You're not going to read this post and think, "Oh yea! I forgot to think differently today. Let me go ahead and do that real quick."

We need some sort of structure — at least I do. We need someone or something to hold our seat and handlebars and give us a good shove in the right direction over and over until eventually, we're be able to ride on our own. So here's a question that has given my mind that shove in the right direction that it needed to begin pushing boundaries in my own head. Leave your answers in the comments below!

What is something that you believe that others think is insane?