S:0108 Distinction: Natural vs. Normal

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


When you were a teenager it was perhaps your greatest desire for a while to go against the norm, to stand out, to be unique, different, at least different from your parents. Of course, most of us were different by being exactly like our contemporaries! We dressed the same, used the same language, even had the same belief that we were different. In other words — based on the standards of our special group — we were normal.

To be normal is to conform to expectations. We are “normed” through trial and error and through conscious decisions based on behavior that has been successful to-date. It’s useful to drive on the correct side of the road in your home country AND it’s useful to drive on the “other” side in countries where that is the norm.

Natural is what the universe is. Natural is the truth. Even when the truth is in conflict with what feels right or normal to you. If you had grown up thinking that the Sun revolved around the Earth (as direct observation would lead you to believe), then it would feel unnatural to believe the truth. Just because something doesn’t feel normal, doesn’t mean it’s not natural.

Coaching Point: Life gets easier when you always seek to discover what is natural. After a while, it will feel normal.


Copyright 1997 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.