by Chinonso Ogbogu
Well, unfortunately, it has become fashionable that a person who tries to stand out from the crowd in his field of endeavour would eventually be labeled ‘ITK’ by those around him.
When the figures of the last national census conducted in 2006 were released, it dawned on us that we were the largest black nation (in terms of population) in the world. In other words, Nigeria has become a ‘crowd’ when compared to other black nations of the globe. While this position is not on its own bad, it particularly raises some socio-economic questions when viewed from the magnifying lens of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and, of course, other socio-economic developmental indices. Perhaps, you would agree with me that being a ‘crowd’ doesn’t necessarily translate to high productivity and economic development, as it were. Otherwise, countries like Canada and Switzerland with a population of approximately 32.8 and 7.4 million respectively wouldn’t rank among the developed countries of the world. Maybe, I should therefore avow: True success is not situated in the crowd!
Moving with the crowd in our contemporary society has become commonplace. People are now seriously trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ next door. In fact, the euphoria of this entire scheme has succeeded in creating an ugly scourge called ‘crowd mentality’ among our teeming population, leading to gross loss of true personal identity. These days, many youths want to sing or perform like D’banj or P-Square, act or dress like Genevieve Nnaji or Angelina Jolie, talk like Barack Obama or thingamajig, just to mention but a few. Now don’t quote me wrong. There is nothing wrong with admiring and imbibing the good qualities of someone you look up to as a role model. But where a lot of us usually miss the boat is that we thrust aside our own priceless identity and warmly embrace that of another. In fact, many of us are simply acting out the scripts of others instead of ours!
To achieve true success in this present-day dynamic world, you should begin now to create your own brand by learning how to stand out from the crowd. I mean, doing things because others are doing them is high sense of sheer absurdity. Listen, building a brand for yourself by doing things differently is what will position you for greatness. Well, unfortunately, it has become fashionable that a person who tries to stand out from the crowd in his field of endeavour would eventually be labeled ‘ITK’ by those around him. In fact, the adage that says, “If you cannot beat them, join them,” is fully being reflected in the way many of us live our lives.
No doubt, you have great dreams—dreams of which I believe when achieved would give satisfaction to your existence. But the truth of the matter is that, trying to meet up with other people’s expectations at the expense of your true identity will continually drive you farther away from the realization of these dreams. Therefore, it is apt that you begin now to ‘aggressively’ live out your true identity so as to withstand the odds of being lost in the crowd. Remember, you’re made in the image and likeness of a Higher Being, and not in the image of the crowd. Hence, stop fighting so hard to be like others and work towards being like “YOU”. In conclusion, may I bluntly state thus: Crowd mentality is deadly! So, go ahead and fight it now!
Chinonso Ogbogu is a management consultant, conference speaker, personal development coach, writer, blogger, and a radio personality. He is the radio host of the popular SuccessMatters™ and the author of the newest, upcoming book, “THE VOICES.”
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.