I’ve been talking about this idea of being “normal” versus being “weird”, you know, fitting in with some kind of sense of what is the way to do things, the normal way, the standard, respectable, good way, versus doing something that just seems off, so you’re like “No, that’s not how you do things.
That’s weird.” And, you know, it seems like so much of our time is- we’re kind of under this weight of society, of the mass of people, of this overall social force of, you know, the people and what they decide is good or bad.
And so, you know, partly we have to learn, I think, to be able to ignore that to some degree, to be able to do what we choose is right.
But then I think there’s another way of looking at all this, and maybe just another way of imagining it, that we can use this idea of normal and weird.
We can use it ourselves.
We can use it internally, apply it to ourselves.
So this idea of what we consider to be normal: we can define our own normal, and just forget about society, and just imagine if we’re managing our own activities: what do we consider to be normal and good versus weird? And, you know, we’re used to imagining, you know, “good” habits and “good” things, we imagine them as “good”.
And “bad” habits, “bad” things, we imagine them as “bad”.
But imagine taking that and using that same sense of “normal” versus “something’s off”.
So things that we want to encourage, that we see as good things, good habits: imagine that we looked at those things as being normal.
That’s normal, what I do.
It’s normal to exercise.
It’s normal to eat healthy.
It’s normal to practice all these good habits.
You know, go down through the list of all the good habits you want.
I guess eating, exercising, meditating: I mean, these are all like the standard list, but you can pick your own list and choose the things that matter to you, and then you say, well, “These are my normal things.
That’s just normal.
It’s normal to be that way.” Whereas the bad habits, the things that you don’t want to do: that can be “Uh, that’s kind of weird.
It’s kind of weird to just watch TV all day.
It’s weird to do these drugs and drinking to intoxication and all this stuff.
Why do you do that? What’s up with that? That’s just a weird thing.” You know, so just by imagining that, it’s like we can apply that powerful force of “be normal” and “don’t be weird and different”.
We can apply that force within ourselves to encourage the things we want and discourage the things we don’t want.
So, you know, it doesn’t make an automatic change.
We can still avoid eating good food, and we can still continue in our bad habits.
But there’s just that- if we can picture it that way, with this perspective, then it gives just a kind of a different feeling to it.
It’s like “Oh, look, I’m eating a healthy meal.
That’s just a normal thing to do.
OK.” And then “Oh, look, I’m just spending the day drinking and watching shows.
Oh, that’s weird.
That’s just- that’s just not a normal thing to do.” So then that kind of conformist impulse that can be so bad when we conform to the wrong things, we can use that impulse within ourselves to help us to conform to what we consider to be good.
It’s almost like we’re defining our own society, our own social norm.
And why not? If society is really made up of all these people, and the mass of people each doing their thing, each person, it seems, has as much authority as any other to really set the guidelines for what you consider to be good and normal and right.
So we all have that power, and maybe we can define what we consider to be the way to go.
So just another way of looking at it, taking what we might call “good” or “bad” and applying this notion of “normal” or “strange”.
And possibly this could help to bend our actions a little bit towards what we’re looking for.
So as always, I’d be curious to hear what you think about this idea.
Can it be useful? Or maybe is it just playing along with this conformist thing that we should dispense with anyway?
#yourownnormal #personalvalues #chooseyourvalues