Recently, I was disappointed in my reaction to something. Let’s just say I was too “reactive.” I let my emotions take over. It felt good in the moment but lacked wisdom, discipline and faith. Basically, it lacked courage. I could have responded in a better way – I should have been a bit more brave. Often we tell ourselves, “it’s normal” to be angry or reactive when something happens, but I should have been better than normal. Normal is defined as behavior that is typical; something that the majority does, or a behavior that conforms to what is expected by society. The interesting thing about normal, especially when defined in this manner, is that it is comforting…at least in the short term.
This week I have been thinking a lot about what it means to abandon what society defines as normal and ask myself in situations if I should be “better than normal.” In a way, this is what we mean by identifying what brings you joy. The key is to ignore what outside forces tell you should bring you joy and instead pay attention to the feeling you get when you feel your soul light up. There are so many beautiful moments of love in the world.
I believe that the world is better than normal. It is better than what we see on cable news or from many of the people who garner attention there. The world is hopeful, optimistic and united. We are united by our human hearts and our universal emotions of love, courage and empathy.
These emotions of love and optimism are stronger than hate, fear and cynicism. We are united by our imaginations. We understand that admitting fault is not defeat, and making mistakes is how we grow as humans. When someone challenges our way of thinking, do we respond hastily because that seems to be the new normal response or are we better than normal? It is so much easier to give into the impulse to strike back. It takes being better than normal to rise above it and listen and learn (or simply just love, even if we don’t agree). Wouldn’t it be amazing to see our leaders disagree on an issue and then grab a burger together and connect over children, or books, art, or sports? What we share through the human emotions of hope, loneliness or joy is far stronger than anything that can separate us.
Each day we have the choice to be better than normal. When we run, we can take 5 more steps, or run one more minute – THAT’s better than normal. We can study 15 more minutes; we can get up 10 minutes earlier in the morning; we can compliment one more person. We always have the choice to be better than we were the day before. Each day, we are given a clean slate – a new opportunity to change, or grow, to live healthy. I did a program at Harvard Business School, and the trait I recognized and loved most from my classmates was that everyone was striving to not only be better than normal, but to be extraordinary…to close your eyes and imagine your wildest dreams, and opening them to finally understand what Maya Angelou meant when she said, “if you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
Speaking of “better than normal,” we put up our KOCH mural, which was designed by our contest winner Caroline Cline and painted by two amazing muralists Danielle Davy and Catherine Anderson. WOW, how talented these girls are! WE are thrilled that Caroline is going on to now paint murals for Victory Park! Go Girls!!! You will rule the world!
We are so excited to announce that we will be doing a pop-up in Fairhope, Alabama on February 22 and 23! Head to our Instagram for details!
Tune in Wednesday, February 17th for our instagram live at 5 p.m. to get a sneak peak of our upcoming surf collection and win a piece from the collection along with lots of fun giveaways. And remember you can always DM questions about building companies or making your mark on the world for me to answer in the live.
Also, our customized birth year sweatshirts are now online. I am ordering them for all my friends’ birthdays and am including a note telling them how the world is a better place because they were born!
Quote of the Week: “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” - Maya Angelou
Podcast of the Week: Danny Meyer - The Power of Hospitality - [Invest Like the Best, EP.203]