For those of you who religiously tuned in to Game of Thrones, you will have heard the quote “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of a sheep.” and may have attributed it to the premise of power, superiority and a possible sense of entitlement.

If we delve a little deeper we find that although the origins of the quote are fairly sketchy, it has been seen and heard as far back as Aesop’s fables, Homer’s Iliad and C.S Lewis. But when we look even deeper, we find it can be traced back to biblical times where it appears in various guises, all encompassing powerful, dominant animals such as wolves and tigers and an unfortunate lowly sheep or lamb.
What does it mean ?

I could use the phrase, how long is a piece of string here, as with most quotes a certain degree of personal interpretation, opinion and emotional connection comes into effect, and with this phrase it’s no different.

 Interpretation 1

For many people, life is a battleground and there is only one opinion their opinion. King of the Jungle is first prize and nothing and nobody will get in the way. Taking the quote at face value it would seem that these people listen to nobody and don’t stop until they achieve what they set out to. The ramifications of this could be disastrous and have been known to have the opposite effect resulting in alienation, isolation and a reputation that carries with it arrogance. Suicide in any kind of business!

Interpretation 2

On the flip side, the extreme to this are those that also have a purpose, MASSIVE goals and huge ambition but are plagued by doubt, fear of making mistakes and constantly worry about how people perceive them. The constant ‘listening to the opinion of sheep’ can hamper dreams and ambitions, This can often get to the point where they never get on the launchpad, let alone get to lift off. They make a move only when they feel they have everyone’s approval, no matter who these people are!

Confused?, don’t be- let’s look at the two slightly differing angles:

  1. You do not need anyone’s approval to do what you want and you will not listen to anyone else opinion
  2. If you do something, you should do it because you want to do it, not because other people approve of it

There is I suppose a very fine line between:

  • conviction in your own beliefs
  • going with your instincts
  • sticking to your opinion

and taking advice and critique from others. Where do you draw the line, and trust your ‘inner voice’?

Perhaps a better way of looking at this quote is to look at one of life’s true visionaries- Dr Seuss who penned the phrase “Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind!”.

Image showing Dr Seuss name

It’s a shout out to being confident, being your own person, following your heart and believing in yourself. Building confidence, not arrogance is a learning process some people never get to master. It can be the difference between reaching your goal, spending a lifetime almost getting there or never even getting started.

Be a lion, listen to those around you who matter, don’t allow the opinions of others to cloud your judgement or sway your beliefs. History has proven:

You get better at doing what you do by doing it. Just about every famous person in history were once people that got told what they were doing was not well received. If they stopped, we wouldn’t have Apple. We wouldn’t have Ford. We wouldn’t have electricity.”

Remember MASSIVE goals are important but the steps taken to achieve those goals are within everyone’s reach- you just need to learn how.

To find out more about goals and goal setting take a look at my

Images by Nat white Photography, Todd Van Hoosear