What I can do for become normal?
Normal is a slippery slope. I don’t know what to do to be normal, except take on all the ‘’average to insane’’ norms and expectations of the culture in which you are compelled to live to survive, and attempt to make them your own.
This is what I did to be even more not-normal after I found out just how idiotic those above mentioned norms and expectations actually are.
In my teens, when first I thought that I thought differently from other people, I was confused and filled with doubt, and I tried to think about the things other people around me thought about, however, many of those things just didn’t resonate.
But I felt I needed to ‘’fit in’’, since otherwise the school bullies appeared next to my locker, the neighborhood ne’er-do-wells at my doorstep. In consequence, I spent 35-40 years trying to think and say and do the kinds of things that the people around me were thinking and saying and doing. Occasionally, I would say something prompted by some of my ‘’different’’ thought processes, but those were most usually looked upon by my immediate circle of acquaintances and friends as just odd.
When I was 64, I took some time to actually think about the things I had been thinking and saying and doing, and I came to the conclusion that I had spent 35-40 years of my life moving in an almost completely opposite direction from where I set out to be during my youthful and formative years.
I stacked this information up against the level of un-happiness I was currently feeling, and I came to an additional conclusion that following the cultural norms and expectations, to the extent that I did, was exactly why my level of happier-ness wasn’t where I wanted it to be.
It was a really tough moment in my life when I had to take responsibility for those mostly mis-spent 35-40 years of my life. I figured I had three choices:
1. Let go, and let god. (Which just didn’t resonate, it sounded too much like a cop-out.)
2. Kill myself. (Which is a complete cop-out, except for those who ‘’believe’’ in karma.)
3. Work my remaining days fixing what I can during this one life that I ‘’know’’ is mine to live.
Because I wanted to be happier than I was currently feeling, I didn’t want to think and say and do the kinds of things that I was seeing on the news and the people around me were doing, consequently, options 1 and 2 were off the table.
That left me with option 3, I had to figure out how to fix myself. I figured right away that there was never going to be a 100% fix, but bearing in mind where I felt I was on the happier-ness index, just about anything would have been better than to continue doing the same old thing.
So now I knew ‘’the Why’’; I wanted to be happier; but I felt I did not have much of a clue as to ‘’the How’’. Well, then I did some research. In approximately three and a half years, I have mostly figured out ‘’the How’’ to being happier, to increasing my happier-ness levels.
thehappierproject is an online forum for the intellectual discussion of the processes of becoming happier, increasing happier-ness levels.
But first, because it was about me and my happier-ness, thehappierproject evolved into an approximately 20-point ‘’program’’ to increase my happier-ness, incremental increases over time so that I could study my thoughts and actions, and the subsequent consequences.
The success of my program has been incremental as well. Frankly, had my program been wildly successful, I would probably be wildly exuberant, which most typically gets labeled ‘’crazy’’, or ‘’insane’’, or ‘’on crack’’, or just ‘’drunk out of his skull’’, by contemporary society.
Precisely because my program has been incrementally successful for me, and I view myself as an everyman, I figured I had gained some knowledge about the processes of becoming happier, of experiencing increasing happier-ness, processes that could be utilized by other people who feel similarly to how I was feeling at the time I started my journey.
Initially, I had thought I would offer up my 20-point program for people to work through and become happier, to increase their happier-ness levels.
On second thought, I decided that if individuals came up with ideas of their own, and we correlated and corroborated them with the processes which have been working for me, as a team we might come to a larger and more complete understanding of the processes under discussion.
It is the hardest, and yet the most rewarding, work I have ever done in my entire life. The direct outcome is that I ‘’know’’ I am incrementally happier today than I was yesterday, and I ‘’know’’ I will be incrementally happier tomorrow than I am today, and I ‘’know’’ in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, those incremental increases will feel very significant. In essence, that increases happier-ness levels permanently.