Is Your Story Weird Enough?
In his book We are all Weird, Seth Godin describes how strange the world is becoming.
His point is that in an information age, we are able to connect and find common ground over the weirdest things. Whatever it is you are in to, chances are there is somebody who has a website or a blog devoted to that same hobby regardless of how weird it might be.
The power of connecting over a common goal is incredible.
The World is not Weird Enough
But I would also have to disagree with Godin. Yes, there is some unprecedented levels of weirdness today, but I would argue that the world isn’t strange enough.
For most of us, our goal in life is to be normal. Normal is ingrained in our way of thinking. It is a basic need that seems almost impossible to overcome.
We want to fit in. We want to be like everybody else, perhaps just a touch better. We pursue the same interests and hobbies. We let others determine how we spend our time and how we spend our money. We let others write our stories for us just so that they can be completely normal.
When you purchase new clothing, chances are you are more worried about how others will perceive you in it than whether or not you like it.
When you publish a new blog post, you are more concerned about how many people will like it than whether or not it is your soul coming out on the page.
When you start a new business you have to make it look as normal as possible just to get a loan, and so that your friends and family won’t tell you how crazy you are.
Normal avoids risk. Normal is comfortable. Normal plays it safe.
Normal is about finding personal security because everybody else in the room looks and acts and talks just like you.
Normal is Boring
Fitting in makes sense, if you want to tell a boring story.
When you go to the movie theater, you aren’t hoping to watch something completely normal happen. When you open a book, you want anything but the usual day to day events to take place.
The world needs you to live an incredibly weird story.
We need for you to contribute through your own unique personality and set of gifts. We need you to inspire the rest of us find our own inner weird and to be brave enough to tell our crazy story.
Normal is average, and average is mediocre.
At one point what we now consider to be normal was very weird.
- Using computers
- Living in North America
- Watching television (too bad this has become so normal)
- Clean water and good sanitation (this is still weird for much of the world)
- Curing cancer
But the individuals who started the journey down these roads did not let the weirdness of it deter them.
How can you tell if your story is weird enough?
Other people should be questioning your sanity. When you tell them about it, they should turn their heads and ask if they heard you correctly.
You should be questioning your own sanity.
Your story should fill you with both excitement and fear.
The easiest way to let our stories become normal is to let somebody else tell it for us. We let the desires of what other people want us to do and to be determine the path we choose for ourselves. And when we do this our stories are no longer unique.
They will become completely normal.
How weird is your story? Are you trying to play it safe?
Give us an example of a weird story in the comments.