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It’s so easy to get sucked into the mainstream lifestyle. It’s almost natural for us to look around at what everyone else is doing and like sheep follow the rest of the herd. What’s interesting is that the American mainstream lifestyle isn’t very optimistic.
Here are some quick stats for you…
Percent of non-institutionalized adults age 20 years and over who are overweight or obese: 66.3
Percent of non-institutionalized adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 32
50% of deaths in America are cause by heart disease. Heart disease is easily preventable by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods, and regularly exercising.
Source: World Health Organization
Top 20% of income earning households in American hold about 80% of the wealth, leaving the bottom 80% of household (the mainstream) with only 20% of the wealth.
The average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day
Source: Nielsen Co
Only 14% of Americas say they are “really satisfied” with their jobs.
Source: Conference Board
Growing up I was the strange kid. As a young boy I never really enjoyed playing video games. I tended to find most social gatherings very mundane and boring. I remember I used to find most polite day-to-day conversations very boring and mundane. As a result during junior high I ended up attracting bullies and trouble makers for best friends.
Why bullies? Simply because they had the most interesting action filled lifestyles. Also having them as alliances didn’t hurt. While many of them were foolish, and got in lots of trouble, they were the most alive, their lifestyles were very honest. They always talked back to teachers and said what everyone else wished they could say. They did whatever they wanted without any regard to the rules. They always had the most exciting stories.
The reason I was attracted to bullies was because I always wished I could be one, but couldn’t let go. I just couldn’t let go of all the rules and regulations. I couldn’t let go of the mainstream way of doing things. I was always scared of getting in trouble. I was always scared of being too different. I was paralyzed by fear, yet at the same time I never liked being average, I found it very boring and predictable.
Fast forward to today, I have embraced my own unique values and preferences. I’m constantly tweaking my lifestyle to align with those values and preferences. I’m constantly making sure I’m living in my own reality instead of buying into the mainstream. As the above stats show the mainstream lifestyle will leave most Americans overweight, financially poor, not very happy with their jobs, and spending a lot of time watching others on TV. Do you realize that you can star in your own award winning TV-show by watching less TV and going out more, building a more exciting social life? Just some food for thought.
When I recently quit my 9-5 job and told my former coworkers that the 9-5 thing just doesn’t work for me, most thought I was very foolish and stupid. Am I saying you should quit your 9-5 job without another one lined up? Absolutely not. It took me 6 months to finally decide to quit my former job. I also don’t have a family that I have to provide for or a mortgage that I have to pay. Interestingly with how low job satisfaction rates are, it’s not surprising that 81% of Americans want to start their own companies.
How many people do you know in your social circle who actually even attempted to start their own company? I can bet you it’s not 81%. I have a lot of interest in entrepreneurship and try to network with many entrepreneurs, yet in my social circle only 25% of my friends have attempted to start a company one day. The problem is most people put it off until they are 30+ years old, have a significant other, have gotten their MBA, have a mortgage to pay, and need the security of a regular paycheck. This is the traditional & mainstream way of starting a business. Obviously since 81% of Americans never actually try to start their own business more importantly most aren’t even satisfied with their current jobs, it’s obvious that once again the mainstream way isn’t working.
Be different. It’s that simple. I’m not saying just do the opposite of what everyone else does just to be different. I’m saying actually take the time to find out what you care about the most, what you value, what excites you the most and then build a lifestyle that aligns with that. This isn’t a quick process, and has to be done one day at a time. Also it’s a lifelong process, because one’s values and preferences change.
Does traveling sound exciting? Well start planning your next trip. You don’t have to take it next week, but at least set a date in the future and start looking at ticket and hotel prices. Don’t just keep saying I love traveling and I will travel to this and that city one day and keep putting it off like most people. Are you struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Have you tried to work out regularly in the past yet always give it up after a weak or two?
Start making more new friends with healthier lifestyles who workout regularly. The more time you’ll spend with them, the more you’ll start living a similar healthy lifestyle automatically. Start making friends at the Gym so that you are excited about going there frequently and catching up with them. Sign up for some personal training sessions. It’s much harder to skip a workout especially after paying a personal trainer for it.
Question the mainstream. It’s easy and almost natural to go along with flow, and to never stop and ask questions. Here is quick example for you. You know how it’s always been said that it’s much easier and quicker for a child to learn a new language than it is for an adult. Well that is very false. Usually it takes a child several years to learn a new language in school. However an adult can learn a new language in 2-12 months.
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