What the flock am I talking about now? First of all thanks for Joining me. Did you get enough coffee this morning because I'm about to wake you up.
Repeat after me: bah bah baaah.
All I see on the internet, and too often in real life, is regurgitated sheep noise. In fact for the several months I've been active on my Linked In and Twitter account (Facebook friends you're safe ;-) I've been running an informal social experiment.
Here's the results: I've posted fresh, thought-provoking, outside-of-the-box thinking, and daringly useful posts (and quotes) and they get virtually ignored!
To prove to you I'm not simply whining about dismal Linked In activity some days, I have also posted generic posts with words that have been uttered a hundred times before, simple mindedness at its finest, even various quotes as old as time, common f 'ing knowledge my cat ate for breakfast- I don't have a cat but if I did it would eat that for breakfast. These are the posts that garner significant attention and multiple likes.
Safe material wins and this tells me all I need to know...that most of you are playing it safe. Maybe you aren't ready for growth, being your own person and trailblazing your own path. The problem is we care more about what others think of us than what we think of ourselves.
My husband calls it "sheep mentality" when people all get in the longest line. What is the incentive for a longer wait? Lack of effort in thought. People on autopilot, relying on others to think for them. Unless I'm awaiting a slaughter I want the shortest line or even the road less traveled.
I want a different thought, learn something new, challenge myself and others to escape the mind-suck we're exposed to every day, and liking a post no one else likes because I freaking like it dammit!
Seals versus Sheep: I want to get to know the Sea Lions in the world. I want to know the people who aspire to be Sea Lions. I'm Just bonafide crazy-talking now. How did cute bundles of blubber become more daring in comparison to sheep? Both harmless prey huddled together right?! Oopsy! Wrong!
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit Seaside, OR - we take the kids every year- where a local aquarium is home to eleven harbor seals. The kids, and admittedly myself, love the unique and amazing tricks the seals do in order to get treats from visitors.
It would've only taken only one seal to watch another one receive a treat for say, barking loudly. Copy the trick and receive the treat, right?! This is not the case though.
Meanwhile, Sheep #2 would simply watch sheep #1 rewarded for the trick. Knowing he would receive a treat for a certain trick, he'd copy that behavior. Not fat rolls of cuteness though. Instead seal #2 (unlike the sheep) invents her own move. She decides to vigorously slap her belly and in turn receives a treat while seal #3 somersaults backwards in the pool to get treats. And even still another gets attention by hopping onto a rock closest to the crowd. Each could've copied another but they didn't.
Statement by Seaside Aquarium: "They sit... they talk... they perform self taught behaviors for food... they even applaud their own antics. They're the Harbor Seals of Seaside Aquarium! Our family of seals is a spirited bunch. Each has its own personality and routines they have developed to attract attention. These amusing creatures perform year 'round, providing hours of joy for visitors of all ages." (Seaside Aquarium)
They have developed their own unique way of getting treats! Why? Because seals have better intuition and response to others (and stimuli) than most humans. Humans rarely, genuinely respond to others or their environment- they might have a plan or a goal, but it often includes sheep# 1's plan or route to be followed.
They don't know how to get the reward unless they see someone else do it first. They repeat scripts. They mimic as the sheep would. They surround themselves with like minded sheep who are there to cheer us on- bah bah baaah.
The seals also know that if they all do the same trick their chances of receiving the treat is equal among their aquarium mates/peers BUT if they do something different those people that especially like their particular trick will give them nearly 100% of their treats to hand out (and they go back to buy more fish for them). I watched this occur. There's your proof.
In addition: It kind of reminds me of the climactic part in the movie when the world is near devastation (think; a natural disaster, alien or zombie invasion) and hoards of people crowd each other, all stymie one direction.
Then you have the star/heroes/main character who takes stock of the situation and responds to it accordingly, with quick thought (because he/she has never been a sheep so they think fast on their own) and not a follower mentality. They think for themselves and it saves their hide.
Are you a seal or a sheep? You decide...or let someone else decide for YOU!
Honestly Laura is not your average one-thought wonder. I explore a variety of life topics and initiate change in lives by challenging folks to think for themselves. Sometimes this takes finding common thinking errors in the current trends and mentality. Other times it takes a wake-up call and brutal honesty- you can say I discovered my own tricks! I've been helping people for nearly 8 years now and love the positive feedback.
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!