Until recently weird = good and “normal” meant not only boring but utterly rubbish. In youthful alternative Brighton where I live this is, ironically, the norm. I have however had quite a radical non-radical change of heart of late. Here’s why:
I’m becoming conservative…not I would quickly add a supporter of the UK Conservative Party, but someone interested in conserving that which has been shown to work. Things that work have often lasted and yes of course, change is constant and necessary as new problems require new solutions however change is also dangerous as it takes us away from what is established as effective.
Normal is Exceptional
In a screwed up world just establishing a healthy mentality, emotional life and social relations is an exceptional achievement to be aimed at. It’s not cool to have addictions, neurosis and personality disorders, it’s sad. Amy Winehouse gets my compassion not idolatry.
Special = Ego
When people try and be special they are normally ego driven. Telling children they are all special unique little snowflakes has turned them into little buggers. The US love of specialness is an ego-driven nightmare and just being normal is the answer. Being normal is enough to be spiritual.
Perhaps the single most effective element of leadership courses I have been involved with is the notion that we are responsible and not victims. No excuses, the riots weren’t just causes by social factors, but by the fact too that people chose to loot. Being able to attribute behaviour to internal causes (as well as external ones) is a nice normal conservative trait.
I love England. Not in a crazy white-power Nazi way, but in a familiar, normal, conservative way. I love how we normally cue, I love the normal non-extreme weather, I love our bland normal food. This is a normal place and I love it.
The Ultimate Personal Development
From extensive research in the area and in-depth conversations with others in the field I am wondering if the ultimate personal development isn’t the following:
– To dedicate oneself to a career in service of others
– To develop strong family bonds, intimate relationships and long-term friendships
– To support and be involved with your community at regional and national levels
This is basically a normal life as my parents have lived, so maybe it’s time to stop trying to be special and just get on with being normal.
If you liked this article you may like to look at the following:
- Training Olympics – The L&Decathlon
- Types – an extract from Mark Walsh’s upcoming book on The Body and Leadership
- Integral Training – Why Everything Matters
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