How not to be normal, lessons I’ve learned with turning 32

Recently I celebrated my 32nd birthday (thank you to all those birthday wishes that I received), and I have to admit that in the last 2 years, I’ve learned more about life than the previous 30.

Every year I like to take a look at what I’ve learned, what I wish I knew, and what I think I need to ingrain in my being to continue living a life devoid of mediocrity.

Below is a list of “lessons” that I’ve accumulated over not only these past few years which do pertain to a bulk of the list, but for the previous 30 as well.

Not being labeled as “average” or “normal” is a title that I have subconsciously avoided for years now, not giving normality a negative title, but for me I’ve come to accept that I’m anything but normal in many ways and I feel that has allowed me to live and do things that most are just plain scared to do.

You’ll soon learn my definition of normal.

Before I give my list I want to point out that some of these “lessons” are fleshed out a to give the rules more clarity and context, but others you’ll get the point.

Some of these lessons are things that are my go-to for giving advice, in addition, to give you an insight to how I operate and what is important to me but understand that these are MY rules and lessons to MY life.  You can disagree with these due to lack of pertinence for your governing self.

(some of the details are a bit colorful but these rules are just real talk, as if you and I were sitting at a coffee shop before a workout)

My rules to not be normal:

  • Worrying is overrated – Sure I wish we could all just do this and it’s easier than it sounds I know.  This is still a work in progress with  me but I can tell you that my stress levels have gone down A LOT when I adopted the psychology, “Well, can I do anything about it now?” If I can’t, I don’t’ think about it.
  • Dream so big it scares you – This I’ve begun to realize more and more over this last year when I had a mentor of mine tell me that I thought and dreamed too small; not many people tell me things like that. His reasoning  was if you’re not nervous OR if you’re NOT wondering if its achievable then your not pushing it hard enough. Great risk comes with great reward and really in the end, its all about the journey to your reward anyways.
  • Do what makes you happy NOW, not what you THINK will make you happy – The one time that I did NOT follow this piece of advice, it changed my life forever and it was a miserable few years when I kept pushing for a life that I THOUGHT would make me happy. What you will see is that if you do what you THINK will make you happy, a majority of the time circumstances will NEVER be in that ideal scenario to give you the happiness that you seek. Be happy NOW, don’t spend the rest of your lift working for something that you HOPE will make you happy, even if you survive to the end of your journey, you will have been an unhappy and bitter person for so long it won’t matter.
  • Be nice to everyone, but know when to punch them in the face – You never know what kind of day a person is having or what has happened in their life to cause them to lash out for any unprovoked reason, so even to those people be nice because it CAN and sometimes WILL be the only positive thing in their day. It doesn’t matter who they are, just give them the benefit of the doubt and be nice.  With that said, there is a line that everyone just needs to be punched for being an ass (Immature; maybe, but you’ve thought it too).
  • Surround yourself with quality people – If you wanted to take away anything from this blog then listen to this… “You are the sum of your 5 closest people” If they are trash then, yes, you’re heading down that road as well.  Surround yourself with people that will better you and help lift you to the goals you want to achieve, not the ones always pulling you down to their level.
  • Don’t be a douche to waiters, lawyers, police officers, your trainer – See previous rule of being nice to everyone, but it has NEVER made any sense to me to act like a jerk to people that have some control over your immediate situation. Tick off the waiter… we’ve all heard the horror stories. Make your lawyer mad, suddenly your left high and dry with a large bill. Upset a police officer, yeah… that’s just brilliant move you tard.  Make your trainer mad… you will not walk for days. Just saying.  Be nice and respectful, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT, because it will ONLY make you life easier and karma will come back to you.
  • Take lots of pictures – Never trust your memory, I forget many important things on a daily basis so I can’t expect to remember every positive memory in my life so take pictures ALL the time.
  • Yes this one:

John Waters | How not to be normal | Fitness Revolution Rowlett

 

  • Break rules – There a certain rules in regards to life that have been MADE up by people who don’t know there is another way or don’t want you to try something different.  Think of the cliche fitness rules “eat small meals, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, only do slow cardio” if we didn’t take the time to break and challenge those rules the industry and YOU would not be as far as we are now.  Ask why its a rule and if it doesn’t make sense don’t do it, be the bada$$ you are, break it achieve something great and love every bit of it.
  • Never hold back from giving a compliment – A number of times we see something that we appreciate and will have an interval conversation in our head complimenting that person; just tell them because you may be the only person that does.
  • Stretch your hip flexors – I’ve said this all the time, they are deviant lil bastards that will make your life hell if you don’t take care of them. So start NOW I promise your low back will thank you for it.
  • Dont’ trust people that don’t like dogs – They have have no souls
  • NEVER trust spell check – I’ve personally learned this the hard way.
  • What ever you do to procrastinate your time with you should be doing for a living – A lot of people hate their jobs but not me, I was lucky to have a family that ALWAYS told me just find a way to get paid to do what you love.  Well, what do you love to do? What wakes you up in the morning and gets those gears turning, what do you spend time on YouTube watching when you should be working? When you can identify that find a way to make a living doing it, I promise your life will be so much more fulfilling.
Travis Body Shot
Yes that is me!
  • Do Sprints – Yes its hard but so it being unhappy with your body. Pick your hard.
  • For once in your life get absolutely shredded – I’ve NEVER heard anyone complain that they looked too hot or they were upset they had abs… but I hear the opposite all the time.  Push your body for about 3 months and you’ll learn more about yourself and love the results.
  • Don’t care what other people think – What they think about you is not your business. In all honestly its not as bad as you make it out to be. Most of the time they are worrying about what your thinking or they aren’t’ thinking a thing about you at all.  Don’t worry about it, move on and do something else.
  • Have sex often – Preferably with someone hot.
  • Don’t’ date someone with another persons name tattooed on their body – Unless its in memory of a lost one or a relative then its an indicator of two things: Unfinished business and the ability to make irrational decisions, which neither are worth dealing with.
  • Don’t own a lot of things– You end up spending money on things that do nothing for you and eventually you’re broke; live a minimalist lifestyle and enjoy moments not things.
  • Have three things you’re always working for – Pick three things that you want in your life, pick anything you want; it does not matter how shallow, pretentious, vain or noble, just pick three things that you want and light a fire under you a$$.  Now, whenever you’re having a moment that you can’t make up your mind ask yourself if it will get you closer to your three things; if it doesn’t then don’t’ waste your time. You’ll find that you’ll get your three things and life become a lot more clear.
  • If you want to get good at something then teach it – When I wanted to become better at fitness I began reading, the discussing and finally helping others until I began having people pay me for my advice. When I made the transition to teach others and not just myself I noticed that my knowledge and understand of HOW the body works skyrocketed greatly.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that this can apply to everything, not just fitness.

This WHOLE speech 

Next Step

Some of those may have hit home with you and others may give you the “omg he’s weird” type of mentality and that is fine, as I said these rules deviated from the norms of life’s standards.

What I hope this does is inspire you to write your OWN rules to live by, although you’re more than welcome to take any of mine and apply them to your own life or list.

Take some time to sit down and write these out. Don’t worry if they are witty or not and do NOT try to make them fit into the norms of society, unless of course that IS your goal then f-in go for it.

In time I hope that you always refer to your “rules” to live by and I’m sure that you live a more fulfilling life than the other “normal” people out there because as we have seen most average Joes are working jobs they hate, broke and living a life without happiness.

That last sentence is exactly why I don’t want THAT type of normal.

 

In Health and Awesomeness,

Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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