When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do.
We've all heard that phrase. Which really just means conform to others around you. Follow what others are doing around you, and you'll be just fine.
Yes and no.
I believe this only really makes sense when traveling. I choose to believe it makes no sense in other contexts.
When traveling, yes, we must learn about the new culture beforehand. I usually research about the destination before traveling there, especially if it's international. I try to find out if there are any dos or don'ts. Or places to avoid. Or a certain way to behave. Because it's a foreign place, I conform as much as is needed in order to not offend anyone or trespass anywhere. I behave like the Romans in Rome as much as possible—when traveling.
In all other circumstances, I'm not a conformist.
I don't believe we should conform to what everyone is doing. It's not authentic—it's superficial, it's boring, and plainly said, it's just a copycat mentality.
Some people have perfected this mentality. They copy what others are doing so well that you sometimes believe it was their original idea. They get louder with it. They get more verbally expressive with it and boast about it. They don't say a word to the person whose idea they copied. They just burst out with it.
Others are more subtle with it. They'll sort of let you know. As soon as you embark on a project, they tell you they have also been working on it for a while. Could be true; could be false. Who knows if they really were working on it before.
Point is, we must not conform to others in our daily living. We must not copy others’ ideas without letting them know or giving them the acknowledgment. We must search from within for our own gifts and be our true authentic selves. Some of us have similar gifts, some totally different. Explore yours in your own timing.
Again, I have never been a conformist. I dream of my own plans and go forth with them, and look for experts to assist me along the way. If I'm doing something similar to someone else and I need their advice, I approach them. I did this many times with the process of opening my practice. I sought out other practice owners and solicited their advice.
I generally only seek out experts when I embark upon a project. I did it when indie publishing my book. I canceled out all the noise and went straight to the veterans in the industry.
Conforming to all the buzzing advice of friends, family, and/or coworkers means sanctioning the noise and living with indecision.
So many of us stay stuck because we have too much conflicting advice from our immediate network, and we end up totally confused and not sure which way to go. This is conforming. It doesn't work. Seek out one to three experts or trusted loved ones who have proven their authenticity to you over the years, and go with their advice. Look at their lives—do they inspire you? Are you moved by what they've already achieved? Then seek them out, praise them for their work, and ask for their advice—paid or unpaid, as appropriate.
My general rule of thumb is, I do not seek advice from someone who has not achieved what I'm trying to achieve, or at least achieved a very similar project. Seeking advice from someone who is looking for the same thing you're working toward may not be the best for you. Be very cautious about this.
Do not conform to people who are desperately seeking what you are seeking.
So, I only "do as the Romans do in Rome" when traveling.
I do not live like everybody else in my daily living. I do what works for me: I dream my own dreams, I ask God to reveal them to me, I seek out my own authentic self daily, and I show up that way. I live authentically every day.
I'm, however, inspired and continue to be inspired by people around me, but I seek my own pace and my own life pathways!
Be a nonconformist.
Do not live as the Romans live in Rome—except you're traveling!
…And you'll find permanent happiness.