Pack mentality

Remember the “Big Dogs” business blip of the ’90s? [Hey, they’re still around.] T-shirts, mugs, posters. Those were some motivational big dogs.

They said things like, “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.”

It was a (not so subtly) implied question: are you going to be a leader or just another nobody in the pack?

Truth be told, most of us don’t want the burden of being the big dog out in front. We want to be safe. And we feel safest right in the middle – the smelly, slobbery middle – of the dog pack. So we find our place in the pack and we do what it takes to keep it.

We conform. We fit in. We nod and smile. And we don’t think about the fact that we’re measuring ourselves by others measuring themselves by… us.

It’s a self-defeating cycle, at best. It’s a case of lemmings, at worst. And if it weren’t for a few big dogs leading the pack, we’d all just run in circles. Many of us still do.

Tired of that yet?

The safest way to live is to realize that safety is an illusion.

Life is a risk, every part of it. Better to take a risk at being who you want to be, doing what you want to do. Choose the risks that bring a reward you value. Or you can let theĀ illusion of safety keep you in the middle of the pack, where all you can do is smell wet fur and try to keep pace.

Eh, the smell of wet fur. No thanks.