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The ‘Sheep on AutoPilot’ THEORY implications

This is the second part of the 3-series article about the Sheep on Autopilot theory.

Having such a controversial theory as my baseline, I immediately started thinking what would be its logical consequences into people’s fundamental life choices.

If the human being loves to follow the masses and that’s how he feels biologically comfortable, we can then establish a parallelism, for instance, with education choices.

So let’s look at the following:

  1. What do parents request from their children?

They request them to be excellent students.

  1. Why?

Because that way they will be able to not only become more educated persons but, most importantly, to enter a prestigious university.

  1. Why?

So they can find a good job, which provides them with the best monthly income as possible.

The process is always the same. It barely makes us feel like we are all programmed software.

The cycle: we study to get a recognised degree, we are good students to find a well-paid job, we buy a car, a new house, get married, get children, and the entire cycle starts again.

One note: don’t get me wrong, I treasure the importance of each one of these moments in life. These milestones aren’t the problem; it is the living philosophy beneath them.

How many of us wish to be unique?

We dream and hunger for a luxury lifestyle instead of the same old standard life plan, as Tim Ferriss mentions in his book, ‘The 4 Hour Workweek.’

However, what I found was critical, in addition to the terrible temptation to continuously follow the masses, is the existence of an unyielding social pressure; the psychological pressure that derives from family, friends and the closest professional colleagues (the warm circle) escorting us to the Sheep flock.

Well, as a matter of fact, this is not entirely true: the warm circle usually encourages you to find happiness and search for a better life, in the first place. Nevertheless, nobody ever expects it to require so many tough choices. So when you share with them that you are about to take one of those tough decisions, they think you’re going nuts!

Many times some guys have a shot at living a dream lifestyle, but this is precisely the moment they will get judged and encouraged to stay where they are, where their warm circle knows it’s safe, stable and comfortable.

Note: For the ones who cannot leave your day job because of the regular paycheck there is an interesting article wrote by Rick Bisio about the ‘7 Reasons Why Your Salaried Job Is Like Crack Cocaine.’ It’s bold, but not that far from reality.

For instance, let’s look at the pressure parents tend to apply on their children:

They genuinely wish you well and want you to be safe, even if the situation is very complicated. It is rooted in parents’ biology; they simply can’t help it. Because of this, they apply tremendous pressure on you, so you will proceed in a bullet proof and tested path by hundreds of generations before.

What parents seem unable to understand, is that safety means precisely the opposite of potential. It is a very fundamental trade-off notion we usually associate to investments.

Without risk, there is no return. I believe you may find some exceptions, but this is pretty much the life’s rule of thumb.

Most parents don’t understand that:

you will never be fulfilled if you do not follow a unique path

No matter what you tell them, it is just impossible for them to conceive it because they are stuck in their reality, which probably is very different from yours (and someday we will be stuck in ours).

Simple example:

At this day, my parents have been working for the same company for more than 40 years already. They haven’t felt sad or frustrated one single day about their jobs because their entire career was built upon the notion that it is perfectly OK to spend 8 hours per day doing something that doesn’t necessarily fascinate you. There is no need for higher standards; this is their reality, no questions asked.

It doesn’t matter whether there are things they hate in their jobs. Our parent’s generation managed to learn how to embrace and to overcome all the bureaucratic crap they see every day, so they can have a pleasant life with the standards the society has forced upon them.

So how do you expect your parents or anyone who is older than Millennials to understand that you are not obliged to prostitute your time and that you have the right to search for something outstanding? That it is your life and you must get out of this old vicious pattern that will eventually only lead you to a dull and depressing life, with no fulfilment or whatsoever.

You see, we’ve only focused on the education subject, but I guess you can already have a good grasp of what the ‘The Sheep on Autopilot’ theory is about.

It is no more than a symbol of the total social pressure exercised upon the human being, and that forces us to copy each other in every life’s aspect, in addition to our natural willingness to follow the masses and do what requires less effort of our brains.


Let me know in the comment section below, how do you find my idea of education and parental matters in front of the theory.

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