“Roberta, what are you going to do for your retirement?” the financial planner asked me.
“Well everyone wants to retire and enjoy life. Everyone knows that retirement is what people expect to do after working hard for forty or so years.”
” But I’ve always enjoyed my life and I’ve done most of the things that retired people do. I enjoy my hobbies and I enjoy adventures and I enjoy helping people so retirement is not even an option I consider.”
“Yes but that is what is expected. People work all their life, save and invest so that they can reach retirement and have money to do what they enjoy.” The financial planner was obviously exasperated and really could not understand why at retirement age, we wanted to look at new financial adventurers.
Doing what is expected has never been the norm for us.
Declaring the Death Knell for the NORM
If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that getting out of stuck means avoiding the moral imperatives, the shoulds and musts. To stay out of stuck takes staying in control of YOU.
When we live by “norms” or other people’s expectations or standards, then we risk not only getting stuck but also having our success stolen.
When you live as other’s expect, do the normal things, you can be happy and enjoy life but many people want more.
Research reports that people who take drugs, binge drink or leap of high bridges with an elastic around their legs do it to forget they are stuck or to get a high that takes them out of the normal. They want to get out of stuck and away from the monotony of their life.
Doing the norm, doing what is expected is a death sentence for many people so now is the time to ring the death knoll for the norm. It is time to stop looking at tick boxes and categorizing people into groups and boxes and telling them that they are failures, freaks and unnatural because they are unable to fit the norm.
Marketing and politics have done the human race a disservice. When people are thought of as target markets, sets of similar problems or a homogenous group that behaves in a certain way, then it is time to change the norm. Let’s kill the norm and find another way of treating people.
Are you the NORM?
Of course not!
There is no norm. You are unique. You are special. While marketers and sociologists, bankers and politicians, anthropologists and statisticians want to find norms so that they can sell us products and services or control our actions and reactions, we have a free will that allows us to say NO.
You can control your choices. Even the laws are unable to force you to behave in a certain way. You choose. Choose because it reduces complications. Choose because you have other things you want to do in your life. Man made constructs and conditions can be resisted.
You have the ability to choose your thoughts your actions and your words. The next time someone tells you that you can’t or shouldn’t do something, thank them and then if it matters to you, find a way to do it anyway. No one can stop a determined person from doing something that matters to them.
Remember that determined, passionate, purposeful people change the conditions we live in.
Today commit to being ab-normal, outside the norm. Since no one really can define what the norm is, why would you want to be normal?
Share how you are ab-normal in the comments.
I know that I am ab-normal. I learned that being normal is a rut that truly relates to the coffin and feels like death. Being ab-normal is challenging but comes with great wins and lots of fun. Are you enjoying fun?
To your success.