Last week, we looked at how the normal path is to repeatedly abandon valuable information or insights. Instead of thinking that you are out of touch or off base in some way, it is a useful start to realize that most folks quickly forget (sometimes intentionally) life-changing information by returning to their habitual thoughts and behavior.
This is normal. We are surrounded by endless cues that initiate our habitual thoughts or perceptions. These moments bring in our practiced habitual actions. Emotions begin to arise. Those emotions pull for more thoughts, and these aligned thoughts now further amplify the emotion. The magnified emotion now again draws comparable thoughts, and once again, these thoughts now further intensify or support the emotion. This is a loop that repeats itself over and over, and in doing so, the habit patterns maintain the status quo for most of us.
Today, I want to encourage you toward the abnormal. Yes! Being abnormal has many advantages. But mostly, we are today discussing the path to abnormal levels of satisfaction. There are pointers from others and now some growing research to suggest that we might want to consider a few ‘abnormal’ thoughts and beliefs to help us find more satisfaction.
Five Pointers to Find Abnormal Levels of Satisfaction
The abnormal rarely ever say these words, “Oh, I know.” Of course, occasionally, this will happen.
However, generally, these are the words of the collectors and not the doers. These folks love to collect information, like having a vast library that’s never been used.
I find that the ‘Oh, I know‘ words ensure no change will happen. It’s similar to ‘Oh, I read that book. That doesn’t work for me.’ I often hear these words in my office, and they are the words of the collectors and not the doers.
In contrast, the abnormal folks become action-oriented immediately upon hearing new information. If it’s an insight, they write it down so they can contemplate it later. They begin to think of how they can tweak some part of their life or their habits to grow or enhance life with new information. So, if you are one of those normal folks who seek the abnormal, stop saying, ‘oh, I know.’ Instead, say I don’t really know that. Begin to see where that takes you.
- The abnormal is strangely curious about growth, change, and evolution. They seek information that challenges their thought process and stretches them to become more. They do not seek what supports the views they already hold on life. Instead…
- The abnormal do not mind discomfort and, in fact, realize that discomfort is the essential part that maintains growth and evolution. This is not the discomfort of overt fear or anxiety. It is the discomfort that comes with challenging our habitual habits of thought and action. It’s an over willingness to challenge what makes us uncomfortable in order to evolve into a new perspective. If we seek comfort overgrowth, we ensure continued ‘normality.’ Learn to find comfort in the discomfort of growth and change, and life will reward you.
- The abnormal do not waste hours on Facebook, social media, or browsing the Internet. They do not engage in repeated conversations that cover the same complaints today that were harped on yesterday. They rarely have any idea about the latest drama, Netflix releases, or what’s happening on social media. (There are exceptions, of course.) Every moment in life is viewed as a choice point, and the abnormal do not choose a timewaster over a more valued activity. They will often choose effort over ease and expansion over complacency.
How am I growing? Am I intentionally evolving? How am I getting stronger today? In what ways am I contributing to life? These are the types of questions that may get you jump-started to think more about growth over comfort. In the end, this is a key distinction.
- The abnormal do many abnormal things, but one of the most important is that they write down the important stuff of life. Most journal regularly, and in doing so, they can remember the lessons that the normal folks seem to forget. There is really no mystery here. It’s simply an abnormal, regular habit of writing down the important stuff of life, so you can keep up with it. And often, there is a component of gratitude and appreciation built into those notes so that the habitual feeling of being fortunate comes to dominate their lives. By the way, it’s not about recording the drama of life or keeping track of upsets or wrong-doings. It’s about pulling lessons and looking forward, not back.
Is there more to being abnormally satisfied and content? Of course, but the collectors and the ‘normals’ will want to read another book on this so they can say, ‘Oh, I know.’ Not that another book is wrong, of course. In fact, it’s awesome! But remember, those awesome ideas are not going to change anything if we stick to the normal path.
Go the other way. Seek growth over comfort. Do: Don’t talk about doing. Practice good ideas rather than forgetting them. Write down all the good stuff, so you can cherish all that you have the good fortune to experience. Allow life to share some of its abnormally sweet rewards with you.