Questioning the Majority, Trailblazing, & Washing Your Hands


Week 370 (brendan@brendanbarca.com)

Here's your weekly dose of Fuel Your Mind Friday where I share business building ideas, lifestyle design hacks, and inspirational content to help you thrive in your work and find purpose in your life.

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PSA: My wife, Pema Sherpa, and I have another blog called The Mindful Minute! Check it out here.

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QUESTIONING THE MAJORITY, TRAILBLAZING, & WASHING YOUR HANDS

Ignaz Semmelweis was a 19th-century Hungarian scientist now widely known for pioneering the practice of hand-washing to prevent the spread of disease. In his day, he published various studies of results where hand-washing reduced mortality of childbearing women to below 1%.

However, despite his numerous attempts to convince the medical community of his findings, his ideas were widely rejected since he couldn't offer a scientific explanation.

In fact, many popular scientists of the time were offended by his hand-washing theory and often mocked him for it. In 1865, Semmelweis suffered a nervous breakdown and his colleagues admitted him to an insane asylum.

He died 14 days later after being severely beaten by the guards.

I tell the story of Ignaz Semmelweis to remind us to continue to question what the majority tells us.

Just because something is accepted as "true" now, doesn't mean it'll be true 100 years from now.

In fact, if history has shown us anything, it's that humans have been wrong over and over again.

5000 of years ago, we thought the world was flat.

500 years ago, we were certain humans would never fly.

And 150 years ago we thought hand-washing was silly.

So now the challenge becomes identifying the things we're doing now as individuals that are completely wrong.

Should we spend 10 hours a day on our computer?

Should we pay huge premiums for health insurance?

Should we follow a traditional career path that doesn't fulfill us?

Your questions might be different.

But the challenge remains the same.

A lot of the ways we do things are due to what the majority tells us to do.

But what happens if we find out that the majority is wrong?

Yes - Semmelweis undoubtedly met a tragic ending.

But he changed the world for the better in the process.

And the stakes for you are likely much lower.

It's OK to be a trail-blazer and think differently.

It's OK to go against the grain.

You might just uncover a better way to do things...

And help others in the process.

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Until next week,

- Brendan

Let's connect on LinkedIn!

brendanbarca.com

Don't miss our newest creation, The Mindful Minute -> Check it out here!

Fuel Your Mind Friday

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