Sheeple No More!!

Follow your own path, no matter what people say

Karl Marx

Sheeple, a combination of the words sheep and people, describes the passive herd behavior of people who are easily controlled and easily led about. It goes without saying, that if you hope to achieve anything in life and have a sense of fulfillment you can’t afford to be one of them.

Controlling influences are all around us. From the media to clever marketing campaigns, we are being told what to think and how to act. We get used to taking instruction from those of a higher standing, professionally or socially, than us and we do it without thinking. One question about this…Of all the countless successful people who we read about every day, how many fall into this category? Not very many, if any at all.

We also find ourselves influenced by close friends and family, but this is different. In this instance, though, there’s no need to be alarmed. These are people who care about you and only want to see you happy. They might try and dissuade you from a project or a course of action simply because they fear the consequences if you are unsuccessful. Listen to them. Understand their views and concerns, but don’t let them hold you back either. Prove them wrong.

When we follow the lead of others, we find ourselves suppressing our true selves in order to fit in. This may give us a sense of belonging to a certain group for a while, but we do this at the expense of our happiness and mental health. In essence, when you hide your true self, you are putting on an act. This can be mentally draining and can lead you on a  downward spiral if left unchecked. Is it any coincidence that those who have broken free from the herd in order to be themselves, and live their lives on their own terms, always describe how happy and liberated they feel. Why do they feel this euphoria? Because they are no longer scared of the opinions of others and trying to follow their examples, but instead just living their lives as they want. After all, we are all individuals, and unique in our own way, so why should we lead someone else’s life? It makes no sense.

This is why I am not a big believer in the business and personal development books which aim to teach us how to be more like Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett. While these books can be interesting, boost our confidence and give us food for thought when well written, they are nothing more than entertainment and bear little relevance to our own journeys towards our goals. What applies to Steve Jobs will not apply to me. The only way that I can hope to achieve success in my life is by striving to become the best version of myself.

Simply reading about the traits and habits of successful people will not help you to replicate their success.Nothing can. Their success is theirs alone. If Mark Zuckerberg had a magic formula which can be found in a certain book, then why aren’t more people reading it and becoming billionaire founders of social media platforms?! The truth is that the only people who do make a lot of money from these books are the authors and publishers. Of course, you might discover some behaviours which you can adopt when you read these books, but ultimately, you make your own way in life.

Instead of reading about successful people and trying to copy them in the hope that you can achieve their level of greatness, why not just focus on yourself? Spend that time reviewing your current circumstances and resources, deciding where you want to get to, and mapping out how you will get there.

Instead of wasting money on books about people who have become successful against all odds, why not strive to become a success in your own right. You don’t need somebody else’s blueprint, you just need the desire to achieve greatly, the perseverance to keep going through good times and bad, and a solid work ethic.

Who knows, the next best-selling self-help book might feature you as their example of achieving greatness against all odds! On a more sober note, though, don’t focus too much on what other people say or do, but have the confidence to live your own life.

Strive for, and achieve, success in life but do it your way and on your own terms.

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