How to Break Free of the Status-Quo and Live an Extraordinary Life Following Your Own Path
To start off, I don’t think anyone sets out to be average.
No one dreams of having an average job, an average house, or average partner.
No — I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I think deep down, each and everyone of us want to better ourselves. It’s human nature that you should want to grow and learn — bettering yourself and the world.
It’s just that as Anthony Moore has said:
“You follow the path that is most clear.
And since most people have marked the path to mediocrity pretty well, that’s the one most people follow. It’s what they know.”
It’s thus often external factors that lead us to follow the Status quo.
What can we do to change that path?
Stop Chasing What Everyone Else is Doing
A lot of our lives have been spent trying to do what everyone else is doing.
Growing up I spent a lot of time pestering my mother with questions like these:
“Mum, can go to Georges party? Everyone’s going to be there.”
“Can I stay up past 9pm? All my friends go to bed after 11pm.”
“Can I play more than an hour of video games a day? All my friends come home from school and play video games all night.”
The answer to all of these would inevitably be NO.
At the time you’d have to consider that quite odd. Surely if everyone else is doing something, I should be doing it too right?
As it turns out, quite the opposite is true.
If “Everyone else is doing it,” you’d be best to give it a second thought.
Take a look at these statistics:
- The average U.S. consumer spent 4h 30min daily watching TV in 2016.
- 68% of men ages 18–30 use pornography at least once every week.
- 80% of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week.
- 67% of worldwide employees are not engaged with the work they’re doing.
Laying it out like that, these aren’t any majority’s I want to be a part of.
Just think about some of those figures for a minute. If you take 4.5 hours of TV a day. That’s 31.5 hours in a week, 1,638 hours in a whole year. The average U.S. consumer lost 68.25 days of their year watching pixels on a screen.
That just shows that most people aren’t living on their own terms. They aren’t following the path they dreamed of. They let external things dictated how they spend their time and are sucked into following the path of everyone else.
How can we get away from this?
Do the Opposite
The best way to avoid the path of the status-quo is to see what everyone else thinks is “normal” and do the complete opposite of that.
Think of any activity where most people wouldn't think to give a second thought of doing it any other way, then see how you can do it differently.
This is the very premise to why I started some of my many habits such as intermittent fasting and taking cold showers.
People aren’t doing these sorts of things. The science is there to show how much these will change your life, yet no ones doing them.
Most people aren’t reading books.
Most people aren’t working on a side hustle in their spare hours.
Most people aren’t working out.
Most people aren’t trying to elevate their life to the best it can be.
But you can. Anyone can.
Do whats “uncomfortable”, because no one’s doing these things. This is how you’ll stand apart from the rest and ultimately change the course of your path.
This world wasn’t meant to be comfortable. A great quote from Jerry Weintraub goes:
“As soon as you feel comfortable that’s when It’s time to start over.”
We’ve had world wars, people are going hungry in underdeveloped countries. Moving away from sitting in front of the TV on your comfy sofa to work on a side hustle for a few hours, or replacing standing under hot water for cold water is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.
The discomfort from any new habit is only momentary. You must remember this!
I’ve been taking cold showers for about 6 months and I can say I truly love standing under the cold water now. How? Because I took them every single day knowing that the initial discomfort of the change was only temporary.
“ 95% of our society — the ‘mediocre majority’ — fail, time and time again, to start… any life habit that would improve their quality of life. Why? Most people don’t realize the seemingly unbearable first 10 days of a new habit is only temporary.
Your New Path
Choosing to live a life standing out, not fitting in will come with resistance.
The majority are not fond of those who escape the status-quo. Initially people will question why you do the things you do, but later, when they see the higher frequency of your new life they’ll question how you did them.
“Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand.” -Robert G. Allen
To live an extraordinary life, do the things other people won’t.
There’s two paths to life: the path of everyone else that is groomed, laid out, destined to leave you unnoticed and takes you straight to average. Or there’s your own path — the path of the unknown, you create the map yourself, you’ll stand out, but who knows where you’ll end up.
Take that path, and people will wonder how you did it for years to come.
“Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long-run.” -Seth Godin