Listening to the news as I do, I hear a phrase used with great regularity, “The New Normal.” The phrase begs two questions, What’s normal? and what’s changed since the old normal? Certainly, the influx of technology is considered part of the new normal. Extreme weather conditions are also considered the new normal. And sadly, the continual economic woes have become the new normal as well, particularly for those who cannot find a job. Normal, it is often said, is not necessarily healthy. These and other factors that make up the shifting sands of our society are creating the face of the “new normal.” Out with the old and in with the new means change, and change is often met with resistance (this is code for stress). One person who is questioning what is normal and with equal measure, trying to create a healthier new normal is David Wann.
Wann first gained national recognition with his acclaimed book, Affluenza, a critical look at consumerism in America. Wann suggests that we all take a new look at what it means to be successful. For so long success was (and still is) based on keeping up with the Jones, a never ending competition of consumerism, which is now coming back to bite us in the collective butt. This normal has with an unsustainable lifestyle saddled with stress (Wann notes that the US ranks 5th in the world in stress right below the people of Afghanistan and Haiti; not exactly a healthy new normal.) Wann also speaks to the issue of “time affluence” in essence, leisure time, something many people seem to have little of these days.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Do you measure your success by various social tangibles such as the size of your house, the make of your car, vacation destinations? If so you are in good (perhaps quite bad) company. Just as people are looking at what it means to be successful, they are also trying to determine how to
best measure happiness, and the two certainly go hand in hand. Many people have countless possessions, yet are anything but happy. Consider making a strategy today for your new normal, one that allows you to create a sustainable lifestyle. How would you rate your time affluence? Do you even have any? How does technology impede your time affluence? Awareness is the first step to making changes for your new normal.
Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
I highly recommend you take a look at David Wann’s link and perhaps consider reading his book, The New Normal.
On a somewhat related note, over the holiday weekend I took refuge in a cool movie theater with a friend. The movie of choice was a pleasant surprise, BUCK. Living in the Rocky Mountains, I have ridden my share of horses, but this movie brought horse ridding to a whole new level. There are many great messages in the movie, about how to live your life, and I highly recommend it.
Quote for the Day:
“If you don’t like the culture you in, change the culture, be a culture of one.”
A paraphrased quote from the best selling book, Tuesdays With Morrie.
Photo for the Day:
Having just returned from our Spirit of Ireland Journey workshop, I thought Iwould share with you a photo I took while in the town of Doolin; a magical scene for sure.
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.