Excellence Ain’t Normal

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Excellence Ain't Normal | Dre BaldwinPop Quiz: The last time someone asked you how you were doing — by text, phone or in person — what was your response?

I’m good. 

I’m Ok.

I’m doin’ alright. 

Am I right?

I was listening to some personal development audio tape back in college and one of the messages was that the language we used, and the energy behind that language, had a huge impact on our life experience. I decided that when people asked me how I was doing I would change my habitual responses.

How are you, Dre?

Fantastic! 

Excellent!!!

I am OUTSTANDING!!

Tremendous! 

Fabulous!!

People laughed. Looked at me funny. Some freshman girl — I was a senior at the time — asked me if I was gay.

Under the unconscious peer pressure of those responses (being that no one came out and told me to stop doing it), I unconsciously stopped my experiment.

I thought being excellent was better than doing OK? That outstanding was better than good? Well, isn’t it? So why is it weird and abnormal to BE that?

We are all in cultural hypnosis of average-ness. And I just showed you how you — and I — reinforce this average-ness every single time we encounter someone.

If I asked you to describe to me how Stephen Curry plays basketball, you wouldn’t say he’s OK.

If you needed to explain Drake’s musical skills to someone who had never heard of him, you wouldn’t say he’s alright.

You would pull out the superlatives so that other person could have a firm grasp of just how outstanding he is.

Well, how about yourself?

Every time you say something, you are driving the grooves of those words — and the feelings and energy (or lack thereof) attached to them — deeper into your subconsciousness. And your subconscious beliefs about yourself and the world around you are what truly control you; there is a limit to the conscious mental energy we have every day, so our subconscious controls most of what we do and say. Do you think about your route driving to work or school every day? Do you think of the words to describe how you feel when someone asks you? No — it is an automatic, unconscious response that you have an ingrained habit for.

Can you change this? Of course: 3 days of staying in a certain state can do the work of 30 days when the energy is high enough. Do you want to? That’s a different question that I can’t answer.

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