We’re all hitchhikers through life in some way or another. Which are you? We have to choose which vehicle to accept a ride on, and, of course, where we want to go.

Many of us have read some of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy novels, the first of which depicts two characters who hitchhike in a spaceship just before the earth is demolished to build a bypass for an intergalactic highway, and are forced to listen to horrible Vogon poetry in order to be tortured and avoid being thrown out of the airlock and being jettisoned into space, which they are, only to be rescued by another ship. These intrepid, albeit unwilling hitchhikers, have the intestinal fortitude to leave vehicles and relationships which don’t live up to expectations or no longer serve their purpose.

Eric Hofer, in his novel, The True Believer, Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, notes that those who join mass movements, fanatics, be they religious or political, do so in many cases because they are frustrated and “conscious of an irredeemably blemished self.” They live vicariously through the movements they join, sacrificing themselves and their needs. “The fanatic,” he writes, “is perpetually incomplete and insecure…It is also true that the recruiting officer, the communist agitator and the missionary often fish simultaneously in the cesspools of Skid Row.”

This exceptional book goes on to explain and reveal the different motivations and how mass movements work. Hofer goes on to explain that “hatred is the most essential and comprehensive of all unifying agents.” Obama and his ilk spring to mind. We see many who have not gone to the extent of actually joining a mass movement of fanatics indulging on the cowardly, passive aggressive support of radicals and radical causes, avoiding personal confrontation and commitment, the Liberals and leftists being perfect examples.

In my opinion, sports fanatics also fit this profile of self-denial and self-rejection; they live vicariously through sports teams and their heroes.

Then we have those who have purely financial objectives and hitchhike through life on various systems, jobs, and opportunities on their way to financial independence and freedom.

As we go through life and the different experiences which our choices thrust upon us, as we move along and hopefully grow in wisdom, stepping out of those vehicles which suck our blood and ultimately disappoint, to find better and more empowering vehicles, we learn valuable lessons which can guide us through the remainder of our journey. We bid those who get stuck along the way a fond farewell and thank them for the education for which we often paid dearly.

Stand back and observe your life and your present situation. Perhaps it’s time to stop piggybacking your self-esteem on some group, club, organization, movement, or some other person, and to begin to realize your innate self-worth and value. There is a time to work in a team or a partnership, to use a system or benefit from an organization, and to collaborate with other winners, but never at the cost of self, your own integrity, mind, or honest opinion.

Robin Elliott    LeverageAdvantage.com