"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." - Maya Angelou

If your attitude is I just want to be average, then this may not be for you. Normal is defined as conforming to the standard. This doesn't require a lot from us, as a matter of fact it enables us to be mediocre. I think Maya's point is exactly what we need to embrace. We live in a world that tries its best to get you to conform. Conform to the same look, conform to the same beliefs, conform to the same thoughts. Normalcy is what brings mediocre behavior, which doesn't require effort and enables us to continuously lower our standard of life. Its time that we break away from the norm and go to a much higher-level of thinking.

I've been reading the book Shaken by Tim Tebow and it sparked something in me to evaluate my beliefs about being normal. I've realized that it is our differences combined with the right perspective that births innovation, progress and community. Many believe that they are setting themselves apart from the crowd; however all they are doing is becoming part of the crowd. This is done because they are seeking their uniqueness outside of themselves, instead we should be looking within ourselves. When we look outwards we end up following the crowd and don't even realize it. God made us the way we are because He has a purpose for our life. Let's examine a few points about the status quo.

  • Breaking away from the norm allows you to change your perspective. I realize it may be difficult to get out of yourself and identify your uniqueness. I deal with the same issue, so to help me with this I stopped my normal routine of focusing on the issues in my life and I worked on changing my perspective. What ever your routine is, stop doing it and make a conscious effort to look at things from a different angle. You will be surprised at what you are able to identify when you apply mental fortitude and focus on the right things. 
  • We miss the opportunity to be special. If we are constantly seeking approval or just trying to fit in we will devalue our worth and miss the opportunity to shine in our own way. We find beauty in those things that are unique not normal. Many times as I drive home from the office I notice the sky as the sun sets. I notice every evening the sky looks different and that no sunset is the same. If they were all the same I know that my mind would eventually fail to notice how majestic sunsets truly are. I do believe that we all share a similar calling, which is to be unique. By breaking away from the status quo we are able to have the right perspective, embrace who we are and clearly see our value.
  • Embrace your uniqueness to accomplish the extraordinary. As I stated earlier, many of us have an issue with looking outward to identify our uniqueness, when its inside of us. When we look inside of us, identify, and embrace our uniqueness we are then able to accomplish so much more. I believe that God created us for a purpose and provided us certain gifts and abilities to fulfill our purpose. When we tap into that we are able to accomplish so much more, and if we dare, we can change the world! It starts with you.
  • Leverage how you were created to explore and execute possibilities instead of conforming. When we apply our uniqueness and have the right perspective, whatever it may be, then we are able to identify new opportunities, opportunities that others would not have been able to see. Just imagine having a different perspective that allows you to identify new opportunities, which leads to executing in a way others cannot. That's when true change occurs and it doesn't have to be on a massive scale. You can apply this at your home, work, your kids soccer team etc. 
  • Remember, your differences, experience, and obstacles can be used to help someone else, but its a choice. You have to choose to take all of that learn and ultimately use it to make a positive impact on those around you. We need to realize that what we go through, what we are blessed with and our uniqueness is not for our benefit, but for the benefit of others. The secret is that when we benefit others it ultimately helps us.

Omar Fuentes - Semper Fi Project