If you’ve ever been called “Weird”, “Abnormal”, “Freak” or some other dubious accolade, you’ve probably felt an overpowering urge to conform to the lowest denominator just so you can “fit in”. Perhaps you’re one of the blessed few upon whom those titles or similar descriptive epithets have never been bestowed. If so, have you ever felt the withering scorn of others who felt that your principles, beliefs, worldviews, manner of life and work and maybe customs were abnormal, strange, or otherwise ought to be frowned upon? If so, welcome to the club, and, if I may say so, don’t worry, you’re a perfectly normal, healthy, fully functional human being! Be like me!
The urge to be accepted by others who happen to inhabit the same sphere as we do can be very powerful. So powerful, in fact, that it often overrides our better judgment. We forget that, as Thomas Jefferson said, “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” Perhaps this urge has a great deal to do with our homeostatic makeup. Our body strives to maintain a core temperature of about 37°C. Move that up a degree and we feel hot and perspire. Move that down a degree and we start to shiver or feel cold. Striving to maintain an optimal norm is how our bodies are designed, and our behaviours seem to follow this pattern. So, we often give in to this urge to conform to what we are told is normal. But is it really “normal”?
Humans function best when we are in sync with universal, non-negotiable principles. Whenever a society deviates from these principles, calamity results. So, remember that what is “normal” is actually being in congruence with these non-negotiable principles. Everything else is based on matters of preference, or what we like to call “style”. Extrapolate that, and you will realize that businesses become more profitable when their practices are in line with universal principles.
Are you “normal”? I am. Be like me!