We went against the grain for our daughter’s 10th birthday party. Normally, most birthday parties these days are held off-site in some controlled environment with boundaries. Kids’ creative energies aren’t permitted to be unleashed. They are cold parties, not warm and inviting. They’re just a another checkbox. Birthday party, check.
Back in the day, all birthday parties were held at my house. In addition to cake and ice cream, we played outside, walked in the woods and came up with ideas to entertain ourselves. I remember them fondly.
What used to be the norm is now an anomaly. As a society, I’m not sure how we segued to the new normal, but I prefer being different and evidently so does my daughter and her friends. They’ll never forget this party. It was fun, meaningful and strengthened their friendships. It was everything we hoped it would be, as it was purposefully designed to be unique.
Repeat after me. “I cannot transform if I conform.”
To transform is to change. To conform is to become similar. They are mutually exclusive. You can’t do both.
Examine how you spend your time, your days. What percentage is spent conforming to the prevailing societal norms? How much of what you think is dictated by pop culture? How much of what you do is influenced by what others are doing?
Here’s a secret. The majority is often wrong. They just have momentum that feels like it’s the right thing to do. If you’re directionless, it’s easy to get caught up in that feeling. This is the reason why so many people live empty lives today. It explains how someone can have 500+ Facebook “friends”, yet be lonely and depressed.
Deep down, we all crave meaning in life. In fact, it’s in our DNA. We were designed to be unique. We were created with a purpose in mind.
Therefore, to find meaning, you cannot let conformity seize your thinking or your habits. You must break the hold that the majority’s momentum has on you. Be a contrarian. Be independent.
By rejecting the majority’s control, you free your mind to critically think about who you are or want to become and base your opinions and decisions on that. This is what permits true transformation of mind, character, habits and life. You define what you want and where you are going and consequently aren’t blown off course by the winds of the masses.
Write this down. Keep it somewhere for easy access. Read it often.
“I cannot transform if I conform.”