Self-motivated to Follow – Guest Post by Tony Kohler

(That escalated quickly)

Humanity has an innate need to believe in something, to focus on something. Without it, they tend to lose their way, their desire to move forward and begin to question their beliefs. An Anatomical Modern Human will begin to suffer mental challenges if they cannot find a place for them in the status quo. Boredom and anxiety will set in and that can lead to bad decisions, or over eating, which is a bad decision in itself.

I am not just talking about religion beliefs here; if you believe that taking the highway to work today is the right thing to do then, there you go. Humans will pursue their idea of what they believe is the right decision to deal with the daily grind. They need motivation, to be a part of and contributing to the mainstream. If a human is motivated, tension is reduced and this is a good thing. Excessive tension can lead to an inability to sleep or excessive sleeping, resulting in an overall decline in health. Another effect from high tension is confusion and the tendency to lash out in anger.  The Psychoanalytic Theory suggests that motivated behaviors follow fundamental drives to survive and avoid death.

So how does today’s human get motivated? What drives them? In some factions, it is their religious beliefs that helps the decision-making process. Many will look up for a leader.  Throughout history, the mass population have looked for a leader, someone to guide them and assist them with those everyday choices. I can see some of you shaking your heads and probably are thinking, “I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do.” However, humanity for the most part are sheep, they flock together and will fall in place because there is safety in numbers. This is why humans have friends, this way, they can do things together. After all, it’s more fun to do things with friends. Woman will flock to the bathroom together. Men will flock to the clubs or go to sporting events together. And, out of these flocks there is always one person that is the Alpha male/female.

I recall when I was young; I was standing at a crosswalk of a minor street. Along with a  group of classmates, we waited for the little traffic light man to tell us it was safe to cross. Looking both ways, several times and not seeing a car in sight, I gave a small smile and a shrug and started to walk across the street. My classmates looked at me with shock and awe as they crowded and walked behind me, sternly asking me, “What are you doing?” I thought the answer was plain, just simply responded, “Same as you, there’s no cars coming.”

We see this in nature outside of AMH’s, great migrations happen all over the world and is a necessity every year in order to find food, water, shelter and basic survival. Whether we are talking about the herds in the Serengeti, Salmon run, or Sea Turtles. It only takes one person to start the migration then the herd follows. Everywhere we look, species venture to someplace that beckons, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Results are, species of all kinds flood to the promise lands.

Humanity needs to feel safe and they will go to war to feel safe. Did I say that wrong? No, I don’t think I did. Off topic we already covered that one.

The need to believe…the need to belong…the need to follow. Got it, strength in numbers. “Is not this simpler? Is this not our true natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity.” Loki, the Avengers (2012).

Generally speaking, I know everyone out there believes that they are their own person and make their own decisions. But the truth is, humanity’s choice options are limited by their surroundings, the same surroundings that they chose to live. AMH’s will live close to other like-minded AMH’s because again, there is safety in numbers. Now you set out and get your role in life of your flock or pride, or clan, whatever you may call it. As long as you have a purpose, life is good. You cannot expect to win a baseball game if nobody knows what position they are supposed to play. You cannot win a war if troops are running amuck.

With this realization being said, humanity needs society to fall in place, they need to believe that how they react, will help them fit in with their crowd. That way everything runs smoothly, everyone has a role, a job, a purpose.

Now, periodically, Society wants a change. They no longer want to listen to disco, “They wanna rock.” And crowds of people begin to “Bang their heads.” Humanity does periodically make changes but they have to do it together because change is scary. Change can be met with reluctance, despite that fact the mass populace may want it.

I know I generally start off these chapters with historical references, and I have avoided it so far; however, it cannot be completely avoided, because history repeats itself. So a quick recollection of change that people wanted only to have met with brutal gratitude.

In the 1960’s Martin Luther King Jr. led the populace to civil rights reform in America only to be repaid with an assassin’s bullet. In the 20’s through the 40’s, Mohandas Gandhi led a pacifist movement of India seeking liberation from the taxing and rule of Britain. He had had five attempts on his life, before a sixth that ended his life in 1948.

In 1925, Benito Mussolini peacefully marched into the capitol of Italy and was ushered in without a fight and was declared “ll Duce”, twenty years later was killed in the same streets he reformed.  In the 1420’s Joan of Arc led the unification of France, only to be burned at the stake. Julius Caesar led the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire, only to be stabbed in the back, in 44 BCE.

Humanity demands change and reform, but will persecute those who led the change. Talk about irony. The real kicker is the denial stage of humanity. Despite the huge popularity of the Bee Gees, there are only a few people during the eighties that would admit to liking them. Nobody wants to see images of themselves wearing bell-bottoms, yet there they are. Woodstock in 1969 had thousands of peace loving party goers, yet after it was all said and done only a fraction confess that they were there. In a nutshell, AMH’s will turn on their beliefs if the majority around them are doing the same. They will shy away from them or even conform if the situation calls for it. After all, safety in numbers.

It comes down to trust, if you can’t trust those around you, who can you trust? I’m going to come back to that statement in a later chapter. Humanity’s comfortability to follow, to seek acceptance in those around them makes it easier to believe and accept those around them. Humanity has no reason not to trust a nine year-old Puritan girl in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692, right? Especially if her statements are backed by an 11 year-old. The entire town goes into a hysteria and a year later 200 people were accused of witchcraft and 20 were killed.

You have to ask, why or even how did the majority of the town fall in suit and believe these two innocent girls? It is arrogance to look back and say there is no way that you would have believed. In 1952 Senator McCarthy sparked the Red Scare accusing Americans of being Communists and the public nearly entered into hysteria as they were all too willing to believe that people they thought they knew could be Communist.

A mere suggestion that has a fraction of merit will spark a following in humanity, and possibly lead to an uprising or a movement. There have been a few great changes throughout history that were brought on by a mere suggestion and determination of an individual, I’ve mentioned a few of those leaders earlier that led the changes. Changes are a good thing.

Enter friends, when it comes to making decisions, we know that friends help friends when it comes to making decisions. The infamous question one friend always asks the other is, “What do you think of this?” and nothing pulls together a town of friends like a lynch mob. Which made war a great transition when it comes to talking about humanities need to believe, so they can be a part of something.

All throughout the millenniums, thousands, even millions of people fell in ranks and believed in their cause to help their side win. Whether you are the wing or the flanker on the local rugby team or part of your nation’s ground troop or naval fleet. People have made choices, their own choice, but the choice is to follow and take on a role in their flocks.

I noted in a previous chapter that Homo sapiens sapiens will all flock to the stores on Black Friday and vie to get the limited items available on the shelves. If the only thing on the shelves is various versions of bell-bottoms, then I know what everyone is getting for the holidays. You laugh and say no way, or better yet, “Hell no!” But a week later, after all the trash is thrown out and society goes back to the daily grind, those receivers of the bell-bottoms will start to see other recipients of this great gift and they will start to look at their present in a different light.

Fashion trends, Hairstyles, clothing, and verbiage, are all things the people adjust to fall in place and feel safe. When you were young, did your mother look at you and say “If your friends jump off the bluff, are you going to do the same thing?” Of course she did and the truth is yes, yes you will. When it is all said and done, humanity will look back on that one person that motivated people jumping off of bluffs and either praise them or persecute them.

Now for some people, it is religion that drives them and their beliefs on what is right and what is wrong. Throughout history religion has defined the world around them. And it is the primary motivator for going to war. Humanity flocked to fall in ranks because their religious leaders persuaded them that it is their responsibility to fight for their God. Although looking back on history, religious wars did not begin until the introduction of Muslims and Christianity religions, over two thousand years ago, prior to these dominate belief systems men went to war over land and sea access, trade routes and well, trade products.

So much hatred towards religions outside of their own religion has become part of humanity’s mainstream.  Everywhere you turn, you will see distrust and hate to something that is not a part of AMH’s flock. Causes will emerge and they will rise together in the streets uncontrollably to try and be funny. More and more flocks of humans will see this and think, that looks fun and they too will gather. A few in the group may not be completely sold on the cause, but to avoid being ousted from the flock, they too will stay.

There are even some beliefs so strong that members will kill themselves in order to show their support their cause. In Japan during the age of the Samurai, from 1185 to 1868, the ritual of Seppuku was practice in order to preserve honor of your family and clan. In the United States of America, 1978, the group called the People’s Temple committed mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced juice and the leader, Jim Jones, shot himself in the head. Today, people will strap bombs on their vehicles or chests in order to demonstrate the strength of their beliefs and their willingness to follow.

I hinted earlier about fashion trends. How does something even become a trend? It is based on the popularity of a particular item or style. Styles like Togas during the Roman era, or in the sixteenth century France when corsets became all the rage. When you look at someone that has a lot of additional facial holes caused by self-inflicting insertions of metal rods and then look at their friends, you will see a trend in their style as well as attitude towards, well everything.

Everything in life is limited by the options that are around AMH’s. If your friends have the latest item, you surely have thought about getting as well. If your friends gather in the streets to protest the latest presidential election, you can’t just stay at home and play the newest release game on your PlayStation 4 now can you. If you and your flock are told something, if a single person believes it to be true it is easier to convince the rest of your group. So not only is humanity sheep, but gullible sheep at that.

Throughout history, someone decided to think outside a box and generated a trend, a movement and a flock of followers soon fell in place. The willingness to want to believe and follow is the reason that the local population in 1693, believe that their neighbors were witches in Salem. Or, that television celebrities in 1952 were actually communists’ conspirators. And, that a presidential elect is a sexual predator. None of it may be true, but since their friends believe it, it must be true.

Over time someone grew tired or resented the popularity that person gained. Think outside the box on their own and they put a brutal stop to that leader. After all humans’ desire success but resent it as well, a topic that I mentioned in a previous chapter. For right now, humanity has to come to an understanding that they make the choice to follow, it is okay, remember there is safety in numbers.

Take a moment to take in a deep breath. I realize there are a lot of you out there that were taken aback with what I’ve said and need to go you’re your laughing place, so we are going to look at the other side of the coin for a minute.

Being a sheep is a good thing. AMH’s are not only hardwired to follow, but need to. All throughout history, humans have done some amazing things that could never have been made if not for followers. The Great Sphynx, although it was humans that had the need to manipulate the original head to emulate themselves. The Great Roman Coliseum is another prime example, detailed ingenuity and construction that humans will never see again, of course humans took it apart piece by piece to build dwellings because they did not want to see any evidence of the Roman power or influence after the 5th Century.

I’m being negative, this is the positive portion of this topic. Humans flocking together can move mountains. There is nothing more powerful than being “struck by the sight of ten thousand fists in the air.” Humans have shown the power of unity, and that there is strength in numbers, not just safety, but raw strength. Remember, nothing brings a village together like a lynch mob.

The real challenges with the mainstream are who is going to take the risk and lead? Is someone going to summon the courage and step out of the shadows? What raw fresh concept or reason to cause society to unite and get them to fall in place? With nothing new under the sun and the simple fact the history continues to be an endless loop. These are genuine concerns for humanity.


Tony’s first book The Quixotic Faction was released in January 2016. Since then he has been working on sharing his insights through Anthropology. He considers it the best way to share what he has seen. Tony considers himself a simple man who enjoys time out on his small boat doing what should be the only form of trolling.


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