How to ‘Follow Your Sheep’

You may recall that I wrote about the concept of ‘following your sheep’ in an earlier blog. It was an idea that was introduced to me by a man that spoke at my university graduation. It was his way of saying that regardless of what anyone else is saying, doing or chasing, you need to focus on your sheep (aka your goal, ambition or purpose.)

In theory, this sounds simple. In practice, how exactly do you follow your sheep especially when distraction, procrastination and responsibility set in? I’ve noticed recently that I have dropped away from some of the things in life that matter to me. I’m not taking them as seriously as I should. Why? Because I feel busy. Because I’ve found something comfortable and settled. Because I’m afraid of failing? Because taking risks might not pay off as well as the ‘tried and tested’ way?

This blog is written as much to myself as it may be to any of you. How can we all follow our sheep?

Be clear on what your sheep is

You can’t follow something if you don’t know what it is or where it might lead you. If your passion is to act, you know that this will possibly involve an acting school or classes and auditions. If your desire is to write, then you might consider attending workshops and of course you’ll need to dedicate time to writing on a daily basis.

Talk to those who are doing it

A good way to keep yourself on the right track is to be inspired and people who are doing what we dream of doing can be very inspirational. They can also show us what the reality of our passion looks like (i.e. how much will we really earn?) and show us a blueprint of what it takes to get there. For example, one of my passions is writing. I often listen to interviews with authors to learn about their tricks, tips and daily habits as well as reading about their lives to see how their path led them to where they are now. My path will be different, but it gives me an understanding of what it’s looked like for others.

Reward yourself

Even when we are all grown up, we are basically children and we like to be rewarded for the good that we do. Sometimes other people aren’t as excited about our projects and passions as we are. If that’s the case, we need to reward ourselves. We need to remind ourselves why we are doing this, why it matters to us and encourage ourselves to keep going. We need to be our own cheerleaders.

Decide if this really is your sheep

Do you like the idea of learning Spanish, or do you really want to learn it? Do you think playing guitar will impress the ladies or you a passionate player? Sometimes we think something is for us, but it really isn’t. We are doing it for others or because we think we should. It’s hard to remain on track if we aren’t really interested in something to begin with…

Surround yourself with motivated, happy and supportive people

Apparently, you are who you hang with. If you are surrounded by people who are unmotivated, miserable and draining, you probably won’t feel encouraged to do anything at all (unless you have supernatural powers of self-motivation and want to show them up…)

For the most part, we work well when we feel heartened and invigorated by others. Without this, it can be hard to keep the petrol tank of motivation full. If you feel that there isn’t anyone in your life who fits the bill, listen to YouTube videos or read blogs that resonate with you.

Don’t fall prey to that inner voice that tells you ‘no’

There is a voice of reason that will tell you to look both ways before you cross the road and not to run with scissors but there’s also a little voice that will try to trip you up no matter what you do. It might say, ‘we don’t need to do this now, let’s start tomorrow’, or ‘you know, you really aren’t very good at this, why don’t you give up?’ It may tell you that you are too tired, too shy or too clumsy to be any good. By all means improve but don’t give up. Don’t let those voice eat up your chance to go after your sheep.

Get informed

To get to where you want to go, you need to be informed. Some people are lucky and seem to fall into what they want but for most of us, you’ll need to work hard and with concentrated, consistent effort. If you want to become a doctor or lawyer, start your own business or learn to ski, naturally you need some information.

Do something every day that moves you closer to your sheep

If you want to write, try to write 500 words every day (at least.) If you want to lose weight, do some exercise every day. Every day we have the power and the choice to move ourselves closer to what we want. Not taking action is also an action and it means that we don’t want something enough or that we feel paralysed in some way.

Engage with the present

If you look too far into the future, things get scary and overwhelming. Focus on today, on the now, on the present and engage.

Remember your sheep is YOURS

It doesn’t matter if others don’t get your passion, goal, hobby or dream. It isn’t there’s. It’s yours. Remind yourself that you are doing this for YOU, for your life.

Go and get your sheep.

All my love

K

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