In the last decade or so I have noticed that normal has gone from being a bell curve to being on the edge of what is “optimal”. It’s not enough to be normal any more in one’s health, but it is important to be optimal. We work on getting those optimal areas whether those things are “normal” or not.
So what is normal? Normal is the most common manifestation of any particular characteristic. By this standard, the really amazing athletes that we admire have gotten outside the range of normal. Those men and women who climb mountains like Everest are outside the range of normal. This is simply because their bodies do things that the average person cannot. They can push themselves in ways the average person cannot, so in that sense they have stopped being normal.
We have this fascination with perfection and supra normal in our country. We no long want a normal amount of money that might make us comfortable (which is still a desire and an achievable desire in most European countries) we want to be rich. We don’t just want to be rich, we want to be rich, like Bill Gates. From a financial perspective, Bill Gates is not normal. His wealth falls well outside the bell curve of “normal”.
Looking closer at this desire, we often desire to “do what Bill Gates did”, largely because we see that as a way to wealth. I had a professor once who looked at us and said we shouldn’t try to be as good as he is in massage. Only he could be as good as he is. We should try and be as good as we can be. Then we might be better than he is. It is simple wisdom. We need to try to be the best of what we can be.
This best may not be optimal in many ways. It may not bring the outstanding wealth we think we would like but being our best will bring satisfaction on many levels. It is also far more likely to make our life a life of quality that we enjoy living rather than a life we have to work at keeping on top of.