Never, Ever Settle for Normal. Unless You’re Driftwood.
Can I encourage you to never do something? Don’t make peace with the status quo. Ever. And never settle for normal. It will be the death of you and everything you care about. Normal is what everyone wants you to do. Normal is what society forces us to do. Your life is worth extraordinary value, so live that way. Be wild. Do something crazy that creates amazing experiences and builds memories that last a lifetime. You’re unique, you’re gifted, and you may not be able to walk on water but it’s a lot more fun swimming in the Mediterranean than looking at pictures of it. (By the way – that picture is me jumping into the Mediterranean!)
You are a wonder of creation. Scientists say the very chances of you even existing are about one in 400 trillion. This means that there is no one like you. You are incredibly unique with gifts, talents, and answers for the people on this planet that only you can deliver. You cannot afford to be stuck in a rut.
“Each human being is unique, each with their own qualities, instincts, forms of pleasure, and desire for adventure. However, society always imposes on us a collective ways of behaving, and people never stop to wonder why they should behave like that. They just accept it, the way typists accepted the fact that the QWERTY keyboard was the best possible one. Have you ever met anyone is your entire life who asked why the hands of a clock should go in one particular direction and not the other?” ~ Paulo Cuelho
Deep Change vs. Slow Death
Leadership expert and author Robert Quinn says that we are in one of two places in life, the place of deep change or slow death. We are either changing or shriveling up on the inside.
This is in agreement with the 2nd law of thermodynamics which states that all things lead to entropy – decay and disorder. It’s a natural system. It’s really easy to get stuck. Stuck in our comfort zones, habits, normalcy, negativity and routine. We are either changing or dying, growing or decaying. It takes a strong, willful, and soulful choice to go against the flow and take a leap of faith into the land of the unknown. A phrase I love to describe this is, “Walking naked into the land of uncertainty.” Don’t worry, it’s not literal. Keep your clothes on. 🙂
Moving Our Family to Europe
I’ll preface this by saying that you probably don’t need to move, but you do need to change and do something different. Maybe something really big and completely out of the box. Get out of your comfort zone. Take risk, not simply for the sake of risk but out of the yearning to truly live for what matters most to you.
For my family that meant moving overseas, learning a new language and building an adventurous life filled with a calling, and the things and people we love. We lived in a wonderful community at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The beauty was indescribable and the weather was my favorite of any place in the world. We were there for 14 years. So many incredible friends and experiences that were simply magical.
But after a period of time the familiar became a routine that was dry and uninspiring. We felt like a piece of driftwood clinging to the riverbank for safety and comfort. It’s not who we are as a family, it’s just not in our DNA. We all longed for adventure. We wanted to build memories, not bricks and stucco. So we took a leap of faith and transitioned to an unknown land filled with questions we didn’t have the answers to. But we knew it was right. We “walked naked into the land of uncertainty.”
It’s been hard. It has tested us in a ways we never dreamed. We’ve encountered loneliness, doubt and difficulty. But this little apartment in the center of Barcelona has been a lighthouse to help us see our hearts for each other and the world in a renewed way. We’ve built a lifetime of memories together this last year that we will still be talking about in our old age. It’s been worth every second and we are forever changed. We have chosen to walk in the places of deep change.
What About You?
What places are calling your name? What risks, what opportunities, what trips, what do you need to create? Do you need to start a new business that burns in your heart? Is there a book you need to write? A song you need to sing? A vision that needs to be birthed?
From one unique, amazing human being to another, I want you to know this, “You can do it!” Your dream is worth the risk. You can walk in the places of deep change and they will be places of great transformation. Sure, it will feel strange walking naked in that new land, or that new challenge, but it will be the best thing you did for this next stage of your life.
Cheering you on from Spain and believing in your dreams with you. ~ Tom
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Wes Roberts says
Superior post, Tom…thank you!!!
Tom Davis says
Thank you Wes! You’ve been my inspiration over the years in much of this. 🙂
Seth Barnes says
Tom – this is great coaching. These are the words that God speaks over us. He believes in us and has a wild journey of adventure for us to go on. All we have to do is be willing to take that first step into the unknown.
Thanks for the exhortation and thanks for leading by example!