Change (From the Article Archives)

A common occurrence I see and have experienced first hand is the "Sheep Syndrome" (and no this isn't some cheap Kiwi joke, sorry I had to even mention this but it could be misconstrued here in the Land Down Under). The Sheep Syndrome is when you don't follow your own path in life and are happy to be shepherded through your own existence. I am sure we all know people who have this syndrome.

Typical symptoms include:
  • Lack of own thoughts
  • Lack of own opinions
  • Lack of imagination
  • Too scared to be themselves because of popular or public opinion
  • Copy or imitate someone else without adding their own personal twist
The list goes on and on (and on). This isn't a personal attack on these people by no means, but rather something at some point in our lives we have suffered from and more of us should be made more aware of. Sometimes it is to the detriment of ourselves, sometimes to the improvement of personal development.
At what point did many of us lose our ability to break away or stand alone?

At what point did we lose the ability to see a poor choice?

Here in Australia, we as a society are suffering from things like obesity and alcohol related problems, many of which are due to personal or social CHOICE. It has become a way of life to go out to the pub or night club at least once a week and write yourself off - OR - it's easier to just get drive-through McDonalds then too make a healthier homemade option.

Now I don't want you to feel like I'm a hypocrite, I splurge occasionally, but I don't then complain about how I can't get rid of this gut or I am getting too old to do this.

I regularly go out and not drink, and I cop it big time from friends and pricks I don't even know. But this doesn't break me down to the point where I race to the bar to buy a beer. 9 times out of 10, I have more fun then a lot of my mates and wake up the next morning feeling amazing.

If I am eating out with people and I order a healthier and what appears to be a more bland or boring option. I don't get upset if everyone thinks I am a health "NUT" for rejecting the Carbonara pasta for a more expensive Fish and Salad.

I have even been bagged for the way I dress, the music I listen to, for playing hockey, riding a longboard and for even picking rubbish up off the beach.

Do I care???
Am I happy???
Am I living each day the way I want to???

We have been gifted life, it is a honor granted to us, not something owed to us. In these times of devastation in Queensland, Christchurch and Japan (to name just a few) - we should be reflecting on this even more. If you are going through the motions of life to get to retirement in order to start living, or waiting til you give up the smokes, the drink, or poor nutrition choices.


Sick of boozing with your mates, find a hobby you love and do it. With or without them.
Sick of eating poorly at home and making your kids follow your path. Start home cooking and teach your kids how to cook too.
Want to take up surfing or run a marathon or climb Everest. Then drop the meaningless rubbish out of your life (i.e. TV) and maximise your time to work toward these things.

Are you a Leader or a Follower?
Are you a Pioneer or a Settler?
Are you a Shepherd or a Sheep?

Don't be afraid to make change, don't waste time in your life waiting for things to happen. There are two quotes that I hold dear to my heart and has helped me in many tough or dark times, when I felt like joining the ranks and becoming a mindless follower.
"Paint each day like a Master Piece"
"Opinions are like belly buttons, everybody has got one"

Now, go get 'em tiger.