Apr 1, 2012

Question Everything

Question Everything Photo
Question Everything by dullhunk

One of the key habits that you must cultivate in order to live consciously is to question everything and not to accept anything that comes your way.

I've always been the kind of person who questions the status quo and wonders why things are done the way they're done. I always used to wonder: "why do we have to sleep all that time?", "why should we learn everything in school?" and "how babies are born?"

When you're young, all you can do is wonder. But when you get a little older and more mature, it becomes necessary to investigate and take concrete action.

One example of a blindly-followed social norm is sleep. Most people would agree that sleeping is very important and that you should sleep at least 8 hours per day in order to function properly. Yet after some personal in-depth "investigations", I discovered that I can easily go with only 6 1/2 hours of sleep every night. And there's even people going for as few as 2 hours per day with polyphasic sleep.
Sleeping = Stop living = Dying (true story)
But most people are misguided and unconscious of this fact, so they long for sleep whenever they get a chance to. (My heart goes out for those who don't have enough sleep because of work or study assignments) [Read more about Early Rising]

Another example is diet. Many so-called "scientists" or doctors would say that in order to have a "complete" diet, you should continuously consume certain types of food (with meat and dairies being the most nutritious). They even did hundreds of researches to prove that (incidentally funded by meat and dairies producers). But after multiple experimentation, I found out that a vegan diet (and ultimately a raw diet) is the best choice for boosting health, fitness, longevity, positivity, energy... and a lot more! [Read more: How I Became Vegetarian and Why You Should Too]

There are countless examples of how society (aka social conditioning) makes us do/eat/watch stuff without anyone questioning the reasons or consequences of these unconscious acts.

repeat after me: I am free photo
repeat after me: I am free by knautia

Why do people follow social norms so unconsciously?

Consider the following experiment:
Start with a cage containing five monkeys.
Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.
After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.
Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done round here.

Now what is this story missing? What is THE WORLD missing? Definitely not more leaders, the world is full of leaders wannabes. We need more followers! Yes followers. But not any kind of followers, the video below reveals how leadership might actually be in leading by following someone else.

Video Transcript:

"If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons.

First of course, a leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.

But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional.

This is key.

You must be easy to follow!

Now here comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone else how to follow.

Notice how the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural.

Notice how he’s calling to his friends to join in.

See it takes guts to be the first follower! You stand out and you brave ridicule yourself.

Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership.

The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that really makes the fire.

Now here's the second follower. This is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts.

Three is a crowd and a crowd is news.

A movement must be public.

Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader.

Everyone needs to see the followers, because new followers emulate followers – not the leader.

Now here come 2 more people, then 3 more immediately.

Now we've got momentum. This is the tipping point! And now we have a movement!

As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky.

If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join in now.

They won’t stand out, they won’t be ridiculed, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry.

Over the next minute you’ll see the rest who prefer to stay part of the crowd, because eventually they’d be ridiculed for not joining.

And ladies and gentlemen that is how a movement is made!

So let’s recap what we've learned:

If you are a version of the shirtless dancing guy, all alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals, making everything clearly about the movement, not you.

Be public. Be easy to follow!

But the biggest lesson here – did you catch it?

Leadership is over-glorified.

Yes it started with the shirtless guy, and he’ll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:

It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader.

There is no movement without the first follower.

See, we’re told that we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in."

How to be a first follower in 5 easy steps

1. Find a lone nut

You don't have to meet him in person, and he doesn't have to be alive. Just find a person that is doing/have done something that is considered ridiculous, dangerous or just against the "social norms".

2. Research the lone nut

Find out if what he's doing is actually more beneficial, more logical or more joyful than the mediocre status quo.

3. Follow the lone nut

Have the courage to stand up and be the first follower. But don't reinvent the wheel! The main benefit of being a first follower is that you'll have a pre-made path to follow. Follow the path of the lone nut and adjust as needed.

4. Invite more followers

Make new followers join the "crowd" either by direct invitation via awareness raising and education or by making them notice the benefits following the movement has on you.

5. Rinse and repeat

Encourage new followers to play the role of the first follower, i.e. inviting and educating new followers. Soon enough, hundreds then thousands of people will be rushing to join your "in-crowd".

Of course, in the end, the "shirtless guy" will get most of the credit.
"The world will always be divided into people who do things - and people who get the credit." ~Dwight Morrow
And                                                                            [Tweet this quote]
"There is no limit to what a man can achieve as long as he doesn't care who gets the credit" ~Bob Woodruff

So get out there, question everything and make some noise!

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