Live differently

Humans are social creatures. We like to fit in. As the old saying went, “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down’. If you act too differently, you’re labelled ‘wild’ or ‘crazy’. At school, from our parents and through the media we are told all the things we should want. We ‘should’ want a big house with bedrooms to spare, a perfectly waxed car and a walk-in wardrobe.

Have you noticed that everybody is working so hard to acquire these things, but haven’t stopped to ask why? Why do they want all of this stuff? Because someone said that’s the way to ‘be normal’?

When we were kids, and our imaginations ran wild, we had ambitions like wanting to be famous inventors, world explorers or astronauts, but by the time we were thirteen or so our dreams were crushed for more ‘sensible’ things like getting a 9-5 job.

It’s absolutely fine to live a normal life. But it’s much more fun to live a different life.

dare to be different

A different life isn’t a sign of social rebellion. It’s about living your life, however you want it to be. You can adapt and change it how you want. Here are three steps to get you started.

1. Don’t care what others say. Before you start, make a promise to not care about what others think or say. It’s exactly this fear that keeps people from doing the things they dream about. There’s probably no thought more crippling than “Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that, what would my friends/neighbors/family/boss think?”.

2. Remember to be yourself (kinda). Don’t do something for the sake of doing it, do it because you want to. Don’t force yourself, but keep in mind that the excitement only comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

3. Be spontaneous. Do something crazy that you never thought you’d do. Or do something crazy that you’ve always wanted to do. Here goes nothing!

  • Take a trip
  • Donate all your clothes
  • Join a club
  • Volunteer
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Change your routine
  • Take time to disconnect
  • Write a story you would want to read
  • Laugh or sing more
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Get a pet
  • Change jobs
  • Quit your job
  • Take the stairs
  • Have a picnic
  • Go camping
  • Go to a concert
  • Go to a play
  • Go backpacking
  • Climb a mountain
  • Dance in the rain
  • Quit TV
  • Start a herb garden
  • Learn to speed read
  • Go to a different section of the library
  • Read a book regardless of it’s cover
  • Be healthy
  • Learn to make good coffee
  • Photograph something beautiful
  • Photograph someone beautiful
  • Cycle everywhere for a week
  • Eat a raw meal
  • Learn a new language
  • Write a poem, play or song
  • Take up the guitar
  • Go to the beach
  • Start meditation
  • Draw/paint anything
  • Build something
  • Invent something
  • Go barefoot running
  • Plant a tree
  • Write a life list
  • Be a minimalist, not a consumer
  • Change the world
  • Live an extraordinary life.

The technology company Apple, creator of the iPod, iPhone and iMac, uses the slogan ‘think differently’. They refused to follow the status quo and did things their own way. They took criticisms in their stride, carried on and now they’re one of the most successful companies in the world. They changed how people lived their lives, why not change yours?

Do you have any life changing ideas? Please share them in the comments!

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