Social norms say you need a job, a healthy relationship, success, money, and happiness. But what are these ‘norms’ other than very constricting rules of thought? After all, what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly. Why are we biding our time on earth playing it out by standards that directly aren’t our own?
This is how following what the world tells you to do is actually ruining your life:
1. Norms don’t allow you to think. You may think but do you consciously think? Most of your thoughts and actions are on auto-pilot, and you’ve never stopped to question any of it.
2. You see life as linear. But in reality, life is not about moving forward in a linear fashion; it’s about spiraling around, upward, and evolving.
3. You don’t follow your true passions. The world says get a job, so you get a job. Or if you are the rebellious type, you don’t get a job you become an entrepreneur. The reality is, you don’t need to do either. You can pursue whatever dream you have.
4. You choose comfort and convenience over adventure. The world says live in a house and be a part of a community. So you buy or rent your house and blend in comfortably with your surroundings. But in reality, you could live in a houseboat, bus, hay-bale house, or even an ice-cream truck.
5. You have a more negative mindset. Norms say that crap happens and bad things are a part of life. Sure, but if that’s what you focus your thoughts and energy on, then that’s what you’ll create. But what if you believed that everything that happened to you was utterly fantastic? There was no ‘crap’, no ‘bad’, just amazing. Change your mindset, change your life.
6. You become goal-obsessed and never satisfied. Social norms say you must have goals and be constantly striving. So you set yourself goals, you strive, and you achieve. You spend your life striving only to forget about the only thing you have, which is this moment, right now.
7. You become dependent on technology. The world says you should have a mobile phone, t.v, radio, washing machine, and especially electricity. The reality is, generations have survived just fine without electricity let alone mobile phones.
8. You worry too much about your outer appearance. You are told you need to take care of your self, which is good. But it’s become too much. You worry about what others think of you, you lose confidence, and you’ve forgotten that self-care shouldn’t be a chore.
9. You focus more on capturing experiences rather than living them. The world is filled with social media, so you share everything on the internet, take pictures until your Instagram account is filled with your every move (and food pic). Well, this leaves little room for mystery now doesn’t it?
10. You create inauthentic friendships. Social norms say that you need to have friends. So you scramble to make friends and worry about who they are and what they think of you. In reality, it doesn’t matter how many friends you have or don’t have. If you prefer a big group or a solitary lifestyle, what matters is that you’re happy and your relationships are genuine.
Social norms dictate to us too much of what we should be doing. Freedom doesn’t come from checking off a list of things you should and shouldn’t do. Freedom comes from thought, and thought is a byproduct of awareness.
Isn’t it time you woke up? Write your own rules or norms, better yet, rip up the rules and live from a place of individual freedom. Be a beacon of light for the rest of the world. Be what everyone seeks, but so few obtain, break free from the collective and be a catalyst for change. Break free from social norms.
Start a revolution.