Breaking social norms is a prerequisite to being great. It’s not an easy thing to do when all of your friends and loved ones are happily following the crowd. It helps to have a friend or significant other to buck the trend with you. You’ll feel lonely at first, but people will start to gravitate towards you when they see your quality of life skyrocket.
The problem with living by social norms is, being normal is one of the worst things you could be if you want to live a fulfilling life. To state it nicely, a lot of the normal things in society are ass backwards. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers…
- 68.8% of American adults are overweight or obese
- 71% of Americans identify as Christian
- 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck
- The United States is the 28th smartest country in the world
- Typical American family income $53,657/yr
- The United States is the 13th happiest country in the worldhttp://worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/03/HR-V1_web.pdf
- 4.2% of food sales in the United States were organic
Let’s call this group of average people “The Mob.” If you said, “I want to be a chemical eating, broke, overweight, not so smart person when I grow up,” then following The Mob is perfect for you. But if you wanted to live a fulfilling life and impact the world, then you have to take the road less traveled or even blaze your own trail. This can’t be done while trying to fit in.
The Real You Was Annoying
When you were a baby, you picked your nose and ate it. You didn’t care what other people thought of you. You were just being your truest self. Then you got older, and someone made fun of you or told you it wasn’t normal to eat your boogers. Now all of the sudden you were concerned with what other people thought and you started modifying your behavior just to fit in. Picking boogers is not the only behavior that you have changed to fit in with The Mob. You used to play in the mud, ask a lot of questions, and you probably hated sitting still. None of these behaviors were harmful, but they were discouraged because they annoyed your parents or babysitter.
More than likely, the same people who reprogrammed you to stop eating boogers are the people who are overweight, living paycheck to paycheck, not so smart, and eating chemical food. At least your boogers haven’t been sprayed with cancer causing pesticides! Do you realize that by trying to fit in with The Mob you were destined to become a mob member? They weren’t teaching you right from wrong or how to live a fulfilling life. They were teaching you the only thing they knew, which was how to be like them! If you want to be in The Mob, go for it. If you want to be epic, then take advice from someone outside of The Mob.
Sad. It’s just sad. Being raised by The Mob has devastating consequences. Chances are, you were raised in a mob family with a few members who excelled and moved far away. Statistically speaking, most people are raised by mob members. It doesn’t mean that these people are bad, it just means they didn’t know any better. I love my mob family! They gave it their all. Although they are good people, it doesn’t change the fact that you have to deal with the consequences.
When raised by The Mob, you are at a disadvantage. Your beliefs and ideologies were given to you, and they are ruining your life. They are keeping you from achieving true happiness, living a fulfilling life, and enjoying financial freedom. You probably have deeply seated beliefs that come from phrases like rich people are greedy, God is just testing us, we don’t do that, money is the root of all evil, struggle builds character, we can’t afford it, go to college and get a good job, life is hard, etc. With beliefs like that, you’re going to have a tough life.
The beliefs mentioned above usually lead to dull, purposeless existence full of struggle and blame. If you are working an unfulfilling job where you just feel like a cog in a wheel, don’t have a major purpose in life, blame rich people for your problems, or regularly find yourself struggling, chances are The Mob raised you.
Two Steps To Break Free
The only way to break free of The Mob mentality is to take a hard look in the mirror and get real with yourself. You have to acknowledge where you are and admit that it’s your fault. At any given time once you were old enough to reason, you could have sat down for a day and thought about all the bullshit you were being fed. You could have decided that what you were being told didn’t make sense, but you didn’t.
1. Accept 100% Responsibility
You have to accept 100% responsibility for where you are today and all the decisions you made once you were old enough to think and reason for yourself. As long as you are still playing the blame game, you’re helpless. You’re just a victim. Owning up and taking responsibility for your actions is the most empowering thing you can do. Once you have accepted 100% responsibility for where you are in life, you can make a change.
2. Question Everything
Seriously, start questioning everything you believe. Start thinking about your behavior and where it originated. Question all of your beliefs and ideologies. Are you doing things that go against who you truly are just to fit in with your family or to feel normal? This is going to take some time, but you need to go back and reevaluate all of your current beliefs. This is an ongoing process. I listed a few of them to get you started, but this is something that you will continue to do whenever you notice a behavior or thought surface that doesn’t vibe with the real you. Some of the major forces that have shaped your beliefs are The Mob, media, religion, and politics. Give the questions below some serious thought to find out where you’ve been heavily influenced.
- Why do you say, “bless you” or “God bless you” when someone sneezes?
- Why do you continue to do things that you know are bad for you?
- Do your friends or family exhibit the same behavior?
- How has the environment you grew up in shaped who you are?
- Why are you sexually attracted to [insert your dream type of person]?
- Why do you like the things you like?
- Why are you against or for the legalization of cannabis?
- Why are you for or against gay marriage?
- Which country do you think is the greatest in the world and why?
- Has your opinion been influenced by the media?
- Why are you a democrat, republican, independent, or apolitical?
- Are your parents the same? Is the majority of your family the same?
- Why do you have the spiritual beliefs that you have?
- If you were born in Saudi Arabia, would you have the same beliefs?
- This is the hardest one for most people because they identify with their beliefs and are unable to evaluate them objectively. They began to rationalize why their religion is right instead of honestly admitting that they were born into it.
A lot of the questions above have social norms that are associated with them. If you are a member of a particular religion or political party, then they will have their own norm. Your family has its own norm which usually coincides with their religious and political affiliation. Until you are okay with questioning and breaking these norms, you will more than like stay on the path you’re on. Once you are able to examine your beliefs objectively, you will then have the power to choose beliefs that serve you better.