Thursday, January 1, 2015

To share...or not to share? That is the question!

I have not made a New Year's Resolution for many years now. Happy for people to choose that path, I just feel you're giving that power away - relying on hope, and will power (that has proven to be too weak until this point in your life). Action...on a daily basis is so much more effective, than ONE BIG GOAL at the start of a new year.

The one percenters are what makes the accumulated end result. How many brush strokes to make that incredible painting? How many words to make the best selling novel? How many costume changes make a Katy Perry concert...a Katy Perry concert? How many days make 2015 a year?

It's your actions on a daily basis - 365 times, not a single decision, that will have a powerful and lasting impact. I know, that just seems too simple. Yes, simple in theory...not so much so in reality. Ideas can be awesome. Thoughts can constantly cloud our vision - be they good, bad or indifferent. But at the end of each day, 'doing' is what matters. 'Doing' is what makes a difference. If we don't 'do', then the just an idea, and that thought counts for nothing. You can try and fool yourself, but you won't fool those around you.

For some reason - we often get trapped by our thoughts. Overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness. Frozen by a lack of belief in our ability - eroded by a perception of so many failed attempts in our past actions. Guess what? None of that is REAL!! It really is our mind playing a cruel and unnecessary twist of human nature. Undermining our unlimited potential, our battered and beaten psyche is blocking our way forward. Self defeated we flounder - no one to blame, but our own flawed mental being.

As demoralising as that may all sound, you should be excited! The cycle can be broken, with very simple processes. You can even fail your way through most of  2015 - yet achieve things you never thought possible. Just like in cricket, some of the world's greatest batsman found a way to score 'ugly runs', surviving form slumps and still notching up century after century - Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Jacques Kallis, Sacchin Tendulkar.... That's half the battle - stay in the game long enough and good things will come your way.

Achieving the unachievable - can be attributed to so many different levels of life. work... personal... financial. Some will focus all their energies on one or two areas - I generally try to spread myself pretty thin, and find a balance across all fields. Of course that means dropping the ball occasionally in an attempt to juggle too many! Trying to find what is therapeutic for you is all that matters. Finding an inner peace will help all aspects fall into place - to make sense of the chaos.

Many in my life struggle with where I'm coming from...or where I'm heading to. If immediate family and very close friends are struggling - then there's little wonder that amongst thousands of new found supporters, occasionally I cop a serve from the trolls. It hurts - but the key is moving on quickly. You'll cross paths with some of them too. When you are actively seeking a better life for yourself and others, that will not sit well with some people. Never let their opinions determine your actions. If your actions are based on what you believe to be good outcomes, for the right reasons...then stay rock solid and don't be swayed.

There is also a flip side to the negative feedback - and for this reason, I refuse to go through life with my 'blinkers' on. I honestly believe tunnel vision is dangerous. If you happen to get on the wrong track by mistake, or a lack of good won't make a u-turn, or take that exit until it's too late. Always be open to feedback, good or bad, as you'd be surprised just how often a slight correction to the course you'd plotted can save a lot of pain and heartache down the track. Another day, another lesson - the quicker you learn the cheaper the lesson :)

To this day - social media has become an integral part of my life...of my existence. Almost by default in fact, as the platform for our business played a crucial role in our survival, and growth in an incredibly competitive market. Beyond that however, it has become much more, growing a life of its own. On a daily basis, I can never be sure what's coming next - questions, comments, criticisms, complements, suggestions, requests....I guess Farmer Gregie is driving the bus - but we're taking the scenic route without question!

My intentional efforts to share my life with many thousands of supporters, does actually have a purpose. My obvious attempt to achieve balance in my own life, is effectively journaled in a very public forum. From family holidays, events and sport, to personal battles with depression, to farm life, to speaking engagements, to 4Real Milk updates...and most controversially - sharing my thoughts and opinions across a very wide range of topics. I have in fact been accused of being an 'oversharer' by a close friend, and I know my family struggle at times with my desire to be so transparent. Of course I too in turn struggle personally with feedback from those closest to me, so why continue to over share? I can never be sure who might next read a status update, with the latest Farmer Gregieism - or a classic Farmer Gregie rant.

So many people have thanked me, for helping them personally deal with their own 'stuff'. People who have openly said they've not previously liked or commented, but are always reading my posts. I'm genuinely saddened that some people want me to stop...being me. "Stop over sharing", "Don't pass judgement", "How dare you use a tragedy to promote your own cause!"

There may be people out there who may be surprised, but I have friends who love the Simpsons! I think it is still on TV today? I haven't unliked those friends in real life...but I don't like the Simpsons - never did. I see by the ads on TV, Home and Away is still going too - wow! I haven't watched it since maybe the early 1990's - and don't appear to be missing it yet. Despite my feeling of indifference towards those show (amongst many others), I have never written a letter, or sent an email to the respective TV networks, asking them to remove such rubbish from my screen.

What would the world be, without those who choose to share? The music industry is full of them. Some of the all time greats - Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Billy Joel, and modern day heroes - Keith Urban, Pink, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran...sharing their life experience (the good, the bad...and at times ugly) with little 'ole me - and you too of course! Yes these very musicians get told not to share - but thankfully they have selective hearing, as apparently do I ;)

That one person, crippled by depression, or another frozen by anxiety. The inexplicable feeling of being unloved, unwanted, unrequired - unable to see clear for a better future...or hoping for just one good day :( What if? What if through my openness, my honesty and transparency, that one person was able to feel a connection - that in their despair, they are not alone? What if I was to plant a seed of doubt...that all is not lost, that this incredible low is only temporary? Would that be such an imposition? Would it be too much to ask that some may have to scroll past that Farmer Gregie status update...just as I would flick past Home And Away to watch The Project?

I remain impressed at the way some people are able to travel through life, without imposing their struggles onto friends, or inflicting others with their mood swings. Playing their cards close to their chest and portraying the perfect life...but at what cost? Well that really does depend on the individual - and there may be no cost incurred whatsoever. Truth is - that just won't work for me. Sharing is what helps me move forward. If in the process of maintaining my own equilibrium I can help old friends, or recent supporters and followers face their fears and challenges, that surely represents a win-win!

For those closest to me, my ups are as obvious as my downs. That has also become increasingly obvious on my Robotic Dairy facebook page, as I am now comfortable to share feelings in a growing forum. My downs now dissipate quickly, rarely lasting more than a day or two. Five short years ago, that same low could have stretched for weeks or even months! Each to their own - I am totally okay with the fact that some will never understand my methods...but I do hope that one day they will come to appreciate that I am a 'better me' today, with the help of these tools, these methods, than I could have ever been without them. And yes, the 'better version of me' will continue to fall frustratingly short of perfection. But as I always maintain...Perfection is overrated!!


  1. From one over-sharer to another....what's not to love about over-sharers!!
    Great post! I didn't make a new year's resolution this year, haven't for ages, to do 3K every day on the treadmill (or out and about). But I've decided to changed that to a daily plan of action...better words courtesy of you. Thanks!

    New get packing, or have you done that already?!

    1. Doh, why can't you edit comments? Or why don't I proof read!!

      I meant I DID make a NYR this year! That makes more sense now, right?

  2. Hmm second try to post . Ok when is your novel / biography coming out , from your blogs it seems that you have a future as a writer . Keep up the good work and keep those wonderful cows happy . The love and devotion you and your family give to your dairy girls are the reason we have such a wonderful milk now on the supermarket and shop shelves