• Bob Hinrichs

Follow the Rules, Suffer the Consequences

I took my car out for a few errands today. Yes, you read that correctly. I did write "car" not "horse."


My Mazda has 4 wheels, a transmission, seats, and equates to 150 horses, all chomping at the bit. I’d call myself a pretty damned lucky guy to be riding in my “stallion” of a car. And I'd also call myself pretty damned lucky not to have to ride a horse.

(Wow, what a sexy car!!!!)


My Mazda is the best. It get's me anywhere I want to go. It's as simple to maintain as they come. I change the oil every 5,000 miles and I feed it all the gas it asks for. That's about all I've got to do to keep it happy.


My "stallion" is WAY easier to own than a real horse. It doesn't need to be brushed, exercised, cared for, kept warm, saddled, rested, have "emissions" picked up after it, or any of that.


Truth be told, if I had a horse instead of a Mazda, I probably wouldn't have gone to Costco today. I would have just stayed home. So I'm sure thankful I've got my four wheels and nothing less!


I owe my appreciation to many people. There are countless individuals who contributed to creating my driving machine. Undoubtedly, one of them was Henry Ford. The man helped pioneer the automobile. If it weren't for him, driving might look very different today.


In his era, people thought Ford was nuts. Riding horses was the common form of transportation. Anything else would have been idiotic.


While he was making the car, people called him crazy. They called him stupid. They told him he was throwing good money after bad. Despite it all, he continued! The world owes him much thanks for not listening to all the naysayers.


Ford famously said:

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

Let me take some liberties and contemporize his words. In 2020, Ford would have been heard saying:

Fuck the haters, I’m going to do what I need to go do. If I try to please everyone, nobody (including myself) will be very happy, so I'll just ignore them all. To hell with what I'm supposed to do. This is what I believe is right.

A faster horse wouldn't have done much for the world. It surely wouldn't have allowed my Costco run to be so quick and effortless. Ford understood that doing what he felt was right required him to silence the peanut gallery. Everyone wanted to add their two cents, but that would have gotten him nowhere.


Whether you're Henry Ford or any other human being, I'm sure you've realized that everyone and their mother seems to have an opinion. Everyone wants to share their two cents. But at some point in time, those opinions only get in the way. They clutter the mind. They distract us from what matters.


On top of that, there's always two sides to the coin. Every opinion has an equal and opposite. One person might believe [X], another person might believe [Y].


If you took every opinion in the world and added them all up, you'd find that they all cancel out. You get nothing. Zero.


If we actually followed all the unsolicited opinions of the world, we'd get nowhere. Quite literally, everything would just cancel out. It would be zero.


Innovation would be gone. Progress would be a thing of the past. We'd live in a world of status quo, where nothing changes.


We wouldn't have cars. We wouldn't have light bulbs. We wouldn't have iPhones. We wouldn't have Amazon. We wouldn't have Elon going for Mars. We'd have none of it.


If everyone listened to everyones' opinion, we'd have nothing. Status quo. Life would just cancel out and we'd get nowhere. We'd stay exactly where we are, without making a single change to ourselves or the world.


That's a scary thought, isn't it? Scarier yet is how many opinions are floating around.


Opinions are EVERYWHERE. Our friends have them. Our parents have them. Biggest of all, society has them. The world tells us what to do.


Maybe the scariest part of all is how often we follow these opinions. We do all the things we're "supposed to do."


Example:

We become over-involved as children. We get good grades. We play sports. We apply to good colleges. We get good degrees. We get good jobs. We make good money. We drive the right car. We wear the right clothes. We climb the corporate ladder. We listen to "the man." We get married. We move to the suburbs. We have 2.5 children. We watch football on Sunday. We play golf. We hope for a bigger home, a better life, a larger income. One day, we'll retire early, and finally "get there."


We listen to what we're supposed to do. We fall in line. Like robots, we march through life listening to what society tells us is "correct."


Listening to what we're supposed to do is a recipe for average. It's a surefire way to find status quo. It's guaranteed to lead to the same outcome as already exists and where everyone else is already headed.


Where did we lose our heads? When did we stop following the beat of our own drum? Why don't we tell the world to fuck off because we don't care what it thinks?


If you want your life to add up to zero and mean nothing, listen to the opinions of the world. Fall in line. Be a robot.


But if you're somebody that wants more, you won't find "more" if you're doing the same thing as everyone else. You won't find it listening to others' opinions. Fuck what you're supposed to do. Do what you think is right.


The world we know today owes its existence to the men and women who have gone against the grain. Who have been bold. Who have been brazen. Who have been different. My hat is off to every human that refuses to listen, and instead, who follows the beat of their own drum.


We have the choice: follow the opinions of others or follow the voice within ourselves. I, for one, believe that the voice within us will lead to much better things than any outside opinion. So whether society, friends, family or your mother want to add their two cents, it's okay telling everyone to fuck off.


Whose opinions are you listening to? Is your life going to add up to zero?


Fuck what others think. Follow your own voice. March to the beat of your own drum.


Be more like Henry Ford.

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