It is often said that change is the only constant and one thing that is constantly changing is what it means to be normal, the question is how do you become one of the people that helps to change what it means to be normal. Or rather how do you change what is normal?
This is a question that is easy to answer from one perspective and extremely difficult to answer from another, which means the first step in answering the question is to decide which normal it is you want to change.
For example, if you wish to change what is normal human behaviour then you have no hope because normal human behaviour as I have previously discussed is the desire to survive. Therefore normal human behaviour is to carry out any actions that a person deems will give them the best chance of surviving based upon their own internal risk reward bias.
This means that you cannot change normal human behaviour, that is unless of course you can come up with a way to make the majority of people decide that not surviving is better than surviving. But on the flipside this means that the beliefs and societal practices that the majority elect to practice and follow can be changed, but only if you prove that by changing people’s survival chances will be improved.
For example take facemasks, prior to Covid-19 people saw no reason to wear facemasks therefore outside of the healthcare industry anyone wearing one was seen as not normal, and at the beginning of the pandemic the majority still saw no reason to, meaning it was still normal to not wear one.
Yet the more and more evidence that was presented highlighting the benefits of wearing facemasks in regards to protecting their lives and the lives of those around them, the more and more people that started wearing them until eventually it became normal to wear facemasks and not normal to not wear them.
So normal human behaviour cannot be changed or rather it would be entirely self-defeating to attempt to change it but the behaviours that the majority carry out and elect to follow in the present day can be changed.
Or to put it even more simply normal human behaviour cannot realistically be changed but the present day normal beliefs and behaviours that people carry out in an effort to survive like wearing masks or not can be, and this is the normal we want to know how to change. The present day normal.
But the question is how do you change the present day normal? As always with the Equations Of Life Series I start with an equation:
What the most successful humans do + human desire for survival = present day “normal”
With that said, let’s get to it. To change the present day normal we must first understand how people come to adopt what is the present day normal, to which the answer is by copying others which is how humans learn to do everything.
That is to say we are all a bunch of copycats. The best possible example of this is children, whether it be learning to speak, learning to go potty, learning to read, learning to walk and much more, children learn by copying. Adults are the same.
Ever watched how a person has done something, for example a how-to guide on the Internet, and then tried to copy it? That is how the present day “normal” is created, just like children we watch someone do something and if we perceive them to have done it well or to be doing it well and want to do it ourselves, we copy them. This is of course why the majority of us are now wearing mask.
But how do we become a person that people want to copy? To answer this let’s go back to the times of ancient humans, to the point prior to them discovering animal fur as a means of warmth. And let’s imagine for example, a naked caveman, who we will call Bob.
Bob keeps himself warm by taking shelter in a cave, this is how all cavemen and women keep themselves warm, he learned this method from his parents and his parents from their parents and so on, which means this is the present day normal for Bob and his tribe. To be naked and to keep warm by taking shelter in a cave.
But one day when Bob is out hunting he sees another caveman, Philip, who is not naked like him, but instead is wearing the fur of an animal. Bob at first thinks Philip ridiculous for wearing the animal fur, wonders if he has lost his mind, and most definitely thinks him weird, after all why would he want to hide his naked body, it was just not normal to do so.
But then he asks Philip why he is wearing the animal fur, highlighting that it’s not normal for a human not to be naked. Philip responds by telling him that he wears it to keep warm, and then let’s Bob try on the animal fur, who finds that Philip is speaking the truth.
And right here is how new normal’s are born. Because Bob found that Philip was speaking the truth Bob now knows that in regards to keeping warm, wearing animal fur is far superior than being naked.
Because of this it is highly likely that Bob will go out there and try to get himself an animal fur coat. The reason being it is normal human behaviour to want to do things that benefit your survival, and Bob has just found a new method for benefiting his survival. Wearing an animal fur coat.
Or rather at first being naked was normal for Bob because he had learnt from others that being naked provided the best chance of survival, but then Bob discovered from Philip that he was wrong, and being naked did not give the best chance of survival instead wearing the fur coat did, and so Bob in all likelihood would copy Philip and get himself an animal fur coat.
This is normal human behaviour, we copy those we deem to be doing the best at surviving in the hopes that in doing so we will improve our own survival odds. We most often follow the crowd because the crowd most often are following the best practices in regards to surviving, but not always.
That means the better you are at both selecting the right people to copy and then copying them the more successful you will be and the more ahead of the crowd you will be, and the better you are at discovering better ways to survive and then passing on those methods to others the better you will be at changing the present day normal.
That means there are two ways to change the present day normal and both of them are based on the same principle. The first is to make a discovery or rather to innovate, like Philip did in discovering that animal fur was a great way to keep warm, and then try to sell it, the second is to be good at choosing which people’s behaviours you should copy, and then trying to sell those behaviours.
For example, let’s take Bob, Bob saw Philip doing something out of the normal, found out why he was doing it and realised it was a superior method for keeping warm. If Bob then attempted to sell fur coats to others then Bob would help bring about change. So to change the present day normal it is not just about creating better ways to survive, it is about selling those ways.
For example imagine if Bob’s tribe did not believe that Philip was doing well in regards to surviving. Even if they saw Philip wearing a fur coat and Philip tried to sell that fur coat to them if Bob’s tribe did not believe Philip was succeeding in life then Philip’s innovation would not take off, and in fact the tribe would just see it as another reason for why Philip was not doing well.
The reason being, even though the logic of Philip’s innovation is beyond doubt Bob’s tribe would never realise this because they would never investigate or even give him a chance to prove the merits of his innovation. Instead they would likely ostracise him for being weird.
That is until somebody like Bob decides to investigate. If we imagine that Bob is deemed by his tribe to be brilliant in regards to surviving, then if Bob decides that Philip’s innovation is beneficial in regards to survival then the tribe will.
That is to say if you want to change the present day normal you have to understand that all humans want to give themselves the best chance of surviving, and the way we do this is by choosing which people to copy off, in which case the only way to change what is normal is to offer a superior method for how to do something, and then to make yourself a person that people want a copy off by showing or rather proving that your method can make their lives better.
And the best way to do this is by selling your ideas to the very people who are deemed by society to be the greatest survivors, because if they deem you someone worthy of copying from then you will by default be deemed as one of the greatest survivors. And the greatest survivors in the modern world are classed as the rich and famous, or rather trendsetters.
This is why governments and scientists alike made such an effort to enlist the aid of celebrities and trendsetters when selling the notion of wearing facemasks to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
So the way to change the present day normal is to create something or propose something that will benefit people’s lives and then prove to people that your way is better than the present accepted norm, and the best way to do that is to prove your idea to a trendsetter.
Or rather to put it more simply, the way to change the present day normal is to come up with something that will benefit the majority of people’s lives and then prove that to a trendsetter.
That’s all from me for today, stay safe!