Ugh! I HATE that word. Even though my mother always taught me to never hate anything or anyone, I truly HATE the word normal. I hate it because it is a built in excuse to accept life the way it is, because most other people are suffering in the same way you are. In an article I read recently, it stated that 47% of Americans don’t like their jobs. Well, what it really said was 15% of us actively hate our jobs and another 31% “like it well enough.” Yes, I know that math doesn’t add up to 47%, but I am quoting the article, which you can read for yourself here. Ironically, the US is the only country for whom that math didn’t add up. But, I digress.
As one who is endowed with a large facial protuberance, I always like to acknowledge the other elephant in the room. If America is the land of opportunity, why are almost half of us spending the majority of our waking hours doing something we either hate, or worse yet, put up with. What makes us so readily willing to accept a life of mediocrity? Does it have to be that way? Did some of us draw the short straw when we were born and become forced to do something we didn’t like? Is it seriously our destiny? Were we actually put here on earth through the incredible miracle of birth to live out the majority of our days doing something that we either hate or can barely tolerate?
How did this happen. I mean seriously, how did this happen to such a large population of people in our country? We all started out with an amazing vision of what our lives would be like when we “grew up.” Do you remember? A beautiful home, time with our families, exotic vacations, and financial freedom. Did any of you imagine a life full of stress, and a boss you hated spending even one hour with, no less eight or more, five days a week!? But somewhere, somehow, along the way we got derailed. We allowed things, other priorities, other people’s priorities, to get in the way. Some intentional and some not so intentional. Kids, family, debt, marriage, circumstances, routine, friends, are all outside influences, which spread out over time, have a subtle, yet unyielding influence over the outcome of our lives. (I may have used too many commas in that last sentence. Grammar police, please feel free to respond below)
We accept things as they are, because they are “normal.” It’s normal to dislike your job, your boss, cubicle, commute, stress, hours, lack of vacation time, co-workers, duties, direction, company, lunch truck, security guard, etc. You get the point. Sadly, it has become normal to dislike a few, or worse yet, many or all of those things. But, just because it’s normal, doesn’t mean you have to be. If you’re not buying this yet, consider this. Replace the word normal with average. The average Social Security check is $1,200 a month. The average retirement age is 62. But that average is going up each year, so it is likely that you will be older when you retire. The average degree of happiness in the US is 7 out of 10. That’s dead on average. Iceland, Israel and The United Arab Emirates, are all ahead of us! I believe we can and deserve to have a “happy score” of greater than 7. Don’t you?
Ask yourself these questions and consider the possibilities if your life wasn’t normal.
- “What would be your daily routine?”
- “Where would you work?”
- “How much time would you spend with your family?” (Assuming you would want to spend time with you family.)
- “How much less stress and how much more happiness would you experience?”
- “What would you do, if you could do anything?” And I mean anything. Anything in the world, because you can!
I read once that when everyone else is zigging, that’s when you should zag. I believe in that. I mean normal people don’t discover new medicines. Normal people don’t find a way to fly from one continent to another. Normal people don’t run for office. But sadly, normal people are unhappy with being normal. They just don’t know it, because it’s normal. Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?
It’s time to step away from average, from normal, from the mundane. It’s time to live your life, not just tolerate it. Go for it, because you deserve it!
Don’t you hate normal now too?
Sources: fastcoexist.com. Risky is the New Safe, Randy Gage.
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