Which is better: being normal or being weird?
Most of us go to great lengths to harmonize with the standards of one group or another. We think of ourselves as individualists, but the truth is, we are all more conformists that we want to admit.
Normal is a powerful gravitational force to be reckoned with.
Weird takes effort and it involves risk.
Therefore, because we tend to take the path of least resistance and we like to stay where it is comfortable — not risky — normal is the predominant condition.
But, is it better?
This Is Normal: Houston We Have a Problem
Most people are normal. In fact, that’s sort of how we define normal, isn’t it?
Well, if normal is what the majority is doing, then I think we have a problem — a major malfunction.
Here’s what is normal:
- 68% of Americans are overweight or obese. 
- 53% of Americans fail to meet the CDC guidelines for healthy aerobic activity. 
- 60% of marriages for couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce. 
- 50% of Americans have less than one months income in savings. 
- 67% or more of Americans are disengaged at work. 
- 55% of Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs. 
Is this how we want to live? Is this the pattern we want to follow?
Normal doesn’t seem to be working. Normal paints a pretty bleak picture.
An Even Bigger Problem With Normal
Have you heard people talk about the “new normal”? When you stop and think about it, isn’t it interesting that normal changes?
We measure ourselves by this standard that we call “normal”. Yet, normal is a moving target.
As a human being, you are very adaptable to this forever changing standard.
Therein lies a big problem.
As I already covered, normal isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Normal sets a very low standard. When you measure yourself by what is normal, and we all do, you aren’t setting the bar high enough for yourself.
And here’s the worst part, the bar just keeps slipping lower.
What we consider normal and acceptable behavior today, was greatly frowned upon in the past.
- It used to be taboo to get divorced, now it is normal.
- Debt used to be a no-no, now it is widely accepted.
- Tattoos used to be for sailors, now young girls are getting them.
- Switching jobs frequently used to say you were a risky hire, now it means you are a mover and a shaker.
I list these things out to make a point.
You need to be very careful about what standards you measure yourself against.
Choose to Be Weird
Going against the grain and being weird compared to what is normal is often a good thing. I’m not talking about getting yourself a punk hairdo and a bunch of piercings either.
I’m suggesting you start thinking for yourself instead of letting normal pull you down into mediocrity or worse.
Be brave enough to challenge the status quo and stop being a conformist.
If you think you’ve fallen victim to being more normal than you should be, then maybe it is time to give yourself a reality check.
If you are worried what people will think, I’d tell you not to fret much about it. Yes, there are some of your friends that might make fun of you at first. However, most people – those worth being around – will quickly see the intelligence in what you are doing and respect you for it.
Maybe it is time for you to be weird by:
- Saying no to fast food
- Deciding to become debt-free
- Choosing to love your spouse
- Embracing exercise
- Attending a church service
- Refusing to go to the mall
- Turning off the TV and reading a book
- Staying home this weekend
- Giving your time or money to a great cause
Few people have the guts to be weird in the ways that really count for something. However, those that do find happiness, fulfillment and a sense of purpose like never before.
Are you going to be normal or weird? Let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
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