There are two ways to live your life: you either go with the flow or against the grain. If you choose to follow the first path, you will spend your days doing what you are told and living your life based on the decisions other people have made for you. If you choose the latter, you force yourself to figure out what’s right and wrong on your own by constantly challenging yourself to do better.
However, what you choose is a matter of perspective. It depends on a) how you see things in your life, b) how highly you regard yourself, and c) how prepared you are to go after your goals. These three elements are essential to generating success and wealth. Apple once proclaimed that “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Well, going against the grain is exactly that.
Going Against the Grain
The truth is that those who go against the grain are the ones who are most likely to succeed. This doesn’t have to be done through a rebellious way, but rather through a change in your mindset. This attitude should encourage you to question everything by never settling and accepting ‘just because’ for an answer.
To help you understand what ‘going against the grain’ essentially means, here are some simpler explanations:
- Making your own path.
- Following your own rules.
- Fighting for what you believe in.
- Trusting your instinct.
If you want to get more money, advance your career or help your business develop, you need to be restless and in a position to be able to assess the market effectively as to improve your chances in the future. Since only you know what it’s best for you and/or your business, it’s important that you do only what you think you need to.
In the business world, the most important element for company growth is innovation. Want to know why? Because innovation brings change, and change is a good thing. On a broader level, it keeps society alert and it encourages people to move forward as opposed to staying stagnant.
The same happens with you by going against the grain. This kind of approach challenges your perspective and helps you stay on top of your expertise. When every one of your competitors in the market is going left, you go right and you somehow still manage to take the lead. That’s because you are always on top of things; you’ve become the expert in your field and you have the luxury to divert, to bring change. The good thing is that innovation only requires initiative and curiosity.
In order to become successful, you need to set aside rules and norms, and just think about what you can create. If you are a businessman, think about what you can build that has the power to change how the world operates given the circumstances at the moment. Is it a new product or a service? Does it have to do with a new trend in social media or technology? Investing at the right time – when others are not – is in fact the epitome to success. Just like in business, in order to succeed, you need to find out what the masses are doing and do the exact opposite.
The Kellogg’s Story
This approach of ‘going against the grain’ has actually proven to be beneficial. Look at W.K. Kellogg, for example. Before he could start the Kellogg Company, the idea of creating a product to fit in the healthy diet of the people of Michigan was a difficult task, as grains and vegetables weren’t that common at the time. Nevertheless, he experimented around with dough and managed to create cereals, the most popular and delicious breakfast meal around the world. Despite all difficulties, Kellogg was able to assess what the public wanted, and he created something that met their needs at a time when the standard breakfast was eggs, meat, porridge, gruel, and boiled grains. Kellogg wasn’t afraid to be different, and that’s what made him so successful and wealthy.
At first, things will undoubtedly be difficult considering that you will be on your own, fighting your own battle. Breaking out of the norm means that you are going to fail at times. But that’s the beauty of it all. Don’t be afraid to try something new; find what works for you and stick to it. Think about the satisfaction you will gain when you prove the world you have made it and have created something of value to society.
Some of the best things in the world have come from people who chose to go their own way. Trying something different can lead you to doing great things, so dare to go against the flow and stand out from the rest. Let the idea of creating something new be your driving force in life. That’s when you will experience success.
Hans F. Hansen once said: “It takes nothing to join the crowd, but it takes everything to stand alone.”
So, what’s your opinion? Do you think going against the grain would work for you? Let me know what you think in the comments section below!