Are You "Sheepwalking" Through Life?

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Seth Godin defines ‘sheepwalking’ as “the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line.” Hmm, not for me thanks!

I am getting a great response to the project so far as I think it is really something that everyone can relate to. Whether you are in my generation – lost, confused with an uncertain future ahead or whether you have been in the working world for 20 years.

I think everyone, at some point in their lives, have been in a situation where they had to make a life altering decision regarding their career path. It is a big decision and I am not going to make the wrong one. I had an inspiring teacher that would always say, “Aim for the stars and at least you won’t end up with a handful of mud!”

Sean from MetroI was on CBC Radio One: The Early Edition in Vancouver on Monday morning and it was interesting to see the different views of One Week Job through the generations. For an older generation, it seems to be difficult to comprehend the concept as it is just so far out from the norm they are used to or how they were brought up: Go to school, get a job, start a family, buy stuff, retire. The host of the show, Rick Cluff, could not get over how ‘wacky’ the idea is, and so was not able to grasp what I am trying to achieve.

I think far more wacky is the amount of people who get out of bed in the morning and absolutely dread going to work because they hate their jobs. I find it incredibly sad that so many are wasting their lives away doing something they don’t enjoy doing.

I am committed that I will not be one of them and am looking to inspire my generation to make the same commitment before they fall victim to a situation in which yearning for weekends and the illustrious two week vacations a year define our lives. I agree that on the surface it might appear to be a ‘wacky’ idea, yet dig a little deeper and I think we will all agree that it is not so wacky after all.

Are you in a job that you hate doing or that you absolutely love? Leave a comment, and tell us your thoughts and any advice that you have!

– Sean

PS — I have decided where I will be working for Week Two and will announce it sometime next week. As a hint, you will be able to see me on television every day;) Week Two is the week of March 5th.

  • Tim

    Hi Sean,

    I think what you’re doing is fantastic. It’s a challenge to everyone that hears or reads about you to go after their dreams. I believe the same thing about my own life -that I would never settle for a job that I dreaded. Good luck with your project!


  • Matt

    Well done Sean!

    I agree that it is far more wacky to do something that you hate for your entire life, than to explore the opportunities that are out there for you right now. I wish you tremendous success and I hope you find your passion, in the midst of raising money for a good cause. Who knows? Maybe this project will be one of your passions. No need to settle for just one!

  • seanaiken

    Thanks a lot!

    Tim, good to hear that you won’t settle, now if we can only convince everybody else to do the same!

    Matt, I think you might be right. Who knows, maybe this project and inspiring others will be one of my passions. I guess we will find out!


  • Miriam Goldstein

    I just read about you in the local paper.
    Your job plan definitely sounds like it is worthwhile and seems to be g etting you quite a lot of exposure.

    Your theory reminds me of the book Yes Man by Danny Wallace.
    His goal was to only say “Yes” to everything that came his way for one whole year no matter what happens.
    The book is about his adventures and misadventures during that time period.
    It is definitely worth reading.

    Are you possibly planning to write a book with the information you pick up?
    I think a lot of people would be interested in reading it if you do!

    Good luck on your job search,

  • seanaiken

    Hey Miriam,

    I haven’t read that book, but sounds like I would enjoy. He must have had quite the adventure!

    I am thinking that I might write a book about it. Perhaps a sort of guidebook, that incorporates the experiences that I have. Yet, we are only just at the beginning, so we will see!


  • Kristina Moores

    Hey again Sean!
    Excited to see you’re gradually making your way back east! Reading this entry reminded me of why I decided to take a break from university — I saw SO many students with the same problem, except they were “sheepwalking” their way through university, dreading every day of school with the goal of “making it to the end” of 3, 4, or even 5 years. I bolted! That’s where it starts sometimes… if you sheepwalk through school, then you’re a good candidate to do it in your job for the next 20 years after.

    have fun in edmonton!

  • Richard


    There is nothing wacky about finding a job you are passionate about. I would add one more aspect to the “sheepwalking” definition – to be in serious debt and feel that you really have no choice but to work at the job you hate. Sadly, many Canadians are in this situation.

    Good luck in your quest.