Normal means spending $100K for a college education that will be little remembered and little used. Normal means walking into a doctor’s office with an ailment and not asking the doctor what he or she will charge to treat that ailment. And normal means amassing debt, tolerating a pointless job, and living paycheck to paycheck.
My blogging friend Laurie over at The Frugal Farmer is not a fan of normal. She recently penned a post urging her readers to “buck normal” and ignore the stultifying stooges of the status quo. And toward the end of this great post, she poignantly challenged her readers to take stock of their lives.
“It’s time to start asking yourself the hard questions. It’s time to start asking yourself why you are settling for a job you hate, a money situation you hate, or a body condition (i.e. your health) that you aren’t happy with.”
“It’s time to figure out what you really want out of life before you go off the deep end like someone I know who spent too many years living ‘normal’ until it drove him to have the typical midlife crisis and lose everything he loved for the sake of cheap and short-term thrills.”
Finally, Laurie ended her post with these simple but moving words.
“It’s time to buck up and dream, people. You deserve better than ‘normal’”.
Motivation in Your Pocket
I loathe normal. For the first forty years of my life I was normal, and it left me a bitter, debt-laden wretch. Needless to say, I don’t ever want to be normal again. And to make sure that doesn’t happen, Laurie has inspired me to create a Motivation Folder on my smartphone.
My Motivation Folder is nothing but a folder I created on my YouTube mobile app and named “Motivation.” Its purpose is to house videos of people “bucking normal” and displaying pretty ballsy behavior. And my plan is to watch whatever’s in my Motivation Folder whenever I get the urge to play it safe and be normal.
So that’s my Motivation Folder. Nothing fancy. Nothing spectacular. Just a handy jolt of courage to help me renounce normal and rebuke the ever-present stultifying stooges of the status quo.
Right now, my Motivation Folder contains four movie scenes and one heroic Olympic feat. Here’s a screenshot of my Motivation Folder on my smartphone.
And here’s a quick review of the videos currently in my Motivation Folder.
1. The scene in The Verdict where Frank Galvin tells the judge presiding over his case that he (the judge) is nothing but a crooked “bagman for the boys downtown.”
2. The scene from Hoosiers where Coach Norman Dale would rather play with four players than let a player who flouted his instructions back into the game. “My team is on the floor.”
3. The scene from Paths of Glory where Colonel Dax tells his commander, General Broulard , that he (General Broulard) is a “degenerate, sadistic old man.”
4. The scene from On the Waterfront where Terry Malloy tells mob boss Johnny Friendly that he (Johnny Friendly) is a “cheap, lousy, dirty, stinking mug.”
5. I vividly remember watching the below scene from the 1976 Olympics as it unfolded on live TV. It was riveting. Shun Fujimoto was a gymnast who broke his leg in the floor exercise. But the Japanese team needed him to compete in the still rings portion of the competition. If he didn’t compete, the Japanese would have lost the gold medal to the hated Russians.
Imagine walking on a broken leg. Now imagine doing three somersaults in the air and landing on a broken leg. Shun Fujimoto made Olympic history by nailing a dismount with a broken leg. And YOU can’t say no to a double latte on the way to work?
Okay, groovy freedomists, that’s all I got. What say you? Is my Motivation Folder a little over the top? If it is, what handy tool do you use to guard against being normal? And if it isn’t, what videos would you put in it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Peace.