If you’re anything like me, nothing has ever sounded as dull as simply “being normal”. Having a normal job and doing normal things like normal people. It turns you off because, deep down, you know you were made for more than that. You have a purpose, and “normalcy” is your enemy—or is it?
I just want to take a minute to say something that should be pretty obvious, but for some reason isn’t: People are not normal. People are complex, vibrant, mysterious, and deep—sometimes even beyond their own realization. You are one of those people. But unique people like you and I sometimes end up doing “normal things”—and we beat ourselves up for it.
“Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction.” That’s how author David L. Ulin put it, and I quite agree. In our culture, distractions hold a tyrannical reign, and unless we learn to resist them, they will devour our time.
There’s something special about reading—something you can’t achieve by watching a movie or listening to an audiobook. Reading a magic all its own. It draws your mind to focus; challenges your imagination to spin into gear. If you aren’t making time to read, you’re missing a lot of extraordinary benefits.
We all grew up with fairytales. Stories such as Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland can probably be found scattered throughout your childhood, and for good reason. There’s just something fantastic about them.
Children everywhere are fascinated by fairytales. They have always been had a high value placed on them in society. Albert Einstein said that if you want your kids to be intelligent, read them fairytales. There’s something about these stories that makes them very special—something that many adults no longer recognize.
Our generation is having difficulty leaving childhood. We readily embrace the Peter Pan-like admonition to “never grow up” without really understanding what that means. Adulthood is a Perilous Realm we Millennials collectively hesitate to enter.
As creative people, we are sometimes even more reluctant to embrace growing up; entering the real world. We’ve believed the lie that doing so will damage our creativity—but what if the opposite is true?
Words impact us. It’s true. The things people say affect us, whether we show it or not. But what affects us even more are the things we say about ourselves.
Labels mean things. Some we identify with voluntarily, while some are cast on us by other people. Others, we adopt out of hopelessness, discouragement, or desperation. These labels sink deep into our minds and affect how we think, how we act, and what we believe about who we are.
“What are you going to do?”
If you’re a college student, that question is probably as familiar to you as the air you breathe. Even if you’re still in high school, you’ve likely heard the same thing. What direction are you going to take your life?
In this culture, we’re okay with living small. We don’t like risks—especially if those risks may end up costing or hurting us. It’s scary to step out too far, so we rarely do. Living small is comfortable.
It’s difficult to break out of the mediocrity of small living: the comfort zone. Yet deep down, we long for more. For adventure. We thirst for a bigger purpose, and so we turn to stories.