Most people follow the crowd.
They go to the same colleges everybody else goes to.
They're applying for the same internships everybody else does.
They're trying to land the same dream job everybody else is trying to land.
They buy the same cell phone, gadgets or whatever everybody else buys.
They want to buy houses in the same area everybody else wants to buy their houses.
They buy the same cars everybody else is buying.
So the competition gets tougher and tougher every single day. More and more people all around the globe start following the crowd. And they all want exactly the same things.
So the demand for a limited amount of jobs and assets increases every day. And with it the prices. Or the required skills for that job. The competition gets bigger and bigger. And there are no geographic boundaries to that competition any longer.
Still, most people want their kids to follow that path. They want their kids to be like them. To follow their lead. And their lead is, will and always has been to follow the crowd.
They just don't know any better. Our parents don't know any better. It worked for them a few decades ago. So they think it still works today. Until they realize that it doesn't.
We follow the crowd because we don't know any better. Because everybody told us to follow the crowd. That following the crowd will lead to a good career. A happy family. And a happy life.
Unfortunately, following the crowd got too crowded over the past few years.
It doesn't really work anymore to just follow the crowd. It might still work for the top 1% though. But not just the top 1% of your city or country.
We're now talking about the top 1% OF THE ENTIRE WORLD. The top 1% of the entire world wants exactly the same stuff you want. And all the others want it as well, of course. That job. That house. That happy family.
So you're competing with all of them. And the top 1% are going to make it. They are the ones who are going to get it. They'll get it all.
Are you among them? Are you among the top 1%? Globally? I don't know.. whatever that top 1% might really mean. If it really means anything these days..
What I know for sure though is that I'm definitely not among them. If I'm lucky I might be a good average. That's why I try to not follow the crowd anymore. Its gotten way too crowded. With way too many smart people. People a lot smarter than me. I just wouldn't be able to compete. And I don't want to..
So I decided to not follow the crowd any longer. I decided to fill in the blanks instead. Well, first I started looking for the blanks. And then I started filling the blanks. The ones I thought needed to be filled. There's no manual out there on how to find them. Or how to fill them.
That's why filling the blanks is so tough. That's why no one does it. That's why everyone is following the crowd. To find the blanks is almost impossible. It takes many, many years to find that one blank. That one blank you might be able to fill.
It's possible. But you need to find your blank first. And then you need to fill it.
Filling the blank happens at the intersection of finding something that nobody else is doing (or just a few people), something the world, people or corporations desperately need and something you really enjoy doing.
So is filling the blanks equal to following your passion?
No, not really. Because no one might need your passion. If you're lucky your passion is something in need. Something people are willing to pay money for. And something no one else is doing, yet. But chances are quite slim that your passion is the same like the blank you could fill.
And once you found that blank you need to give yourself the time and permission to become really, really good at it. That's a very important part people like to ignore.
And while you're trying to become really, really good at it you shouldn't quit your day job.You shouldn't quit your day job if you didn't check all of the above boxes. Or you should. I don't know you. I don't know what works for you and what doesn't.
So instead of following the crowd, instead of competing with the crowd, try to find the blank you could fill. And once you found it, start filling it. Until you've become so good at it that it might pay the bills one day.
Maybe it will never pay the bills. And if it never does, you can still try the other stuff..
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]