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Playing a Different Game than 'Normal'

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

What if I succeeded at playing this new game and discovered that it had a name? (Photo credit: and Markus Spiske from Pexels)

On the way to Different, it’s natural to recoil from the idea of doing something that isn’t “normal.” Whatever the current way of living happens to be, it’s all we know.

And after all, what makes you special enough to do something way different than what most people do?

Questions like that can slow you down from launching the life you really want. But maybe that’s because you assume your current normal is the only normal there is.

Yet what if another “normal” actually exists?

Once while pondering that thought for myself on the way to Different, an interesting analogy occurred to me.

Normal and Nameless

Suppose the life I’m living were a basketball game. I may not even know it has a name—basketball—because to me and the others playing, it would have no need of a name. A name is used to distinguish one thing from another, but if there is only one thing of its kind, not having a name is okay.

To name it implies that it needs to be distinguished from something else, but to most of us who are playing, it would make no sense to name it because it simply is what it is. It’s what we do.

But suppose one day I begin to think about the game I’m playing. Suppose I observe the good things about it.

It’s fun to bounce a ball up and down, and running up and down the court gives me good exercise. It’s also somewhat exciting to take a shot and see the ball go through the hoop. What’s more, the gymnasium protects us from the rain and keeps us warm when it’s cold outside (if we even know there’s rain or cold, or an outside). Thanks to our protected environment, we can play the same game day in and day out. It’s pretty enjoyable, really.

Then suppose as I’m making observations, I being to wonder about other ways to play.

Life by Any Other Name

Bouncing the ball up and down or tossing the ball to a teammate a few feet away is fun, but wouldn’t it be exhilarating to heave the ball as hard as I can and see it go sailing through the air for yards and yards?

And what if I could get my feet involved? As it is, I touch the ball only with my hands. Wouldn’t it be raucously fun to rare back and kick the thing as hard as I can?

And instead of dodging my opponents so I can throw the ball through the hoop, wouldn’t it be thrilling to charge right at the other guys, testing my strength against theirs, defying them to stop me from reaching the goal?

And once I got to the goal, what if I could somehow carry the ball through the hoop to victory?

It also might be nice to play somewhere we could see blue sky and sunshine and feel the breeze. Although I could dream about playing such a game, it would likely seem impossible to find a way to do such things.

But what if I tried anyway?

What if I dared to find a way outside? A way to get in a place where I could throw the ball with all my might?

And kick it.

To run in the sunshine, daring others to keep me from the goal.

And what if I succeeded at playing this new game and discovered that it had a name? And that the first game I had been playing really did need a name because there is another game to play?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I had spent my life dutifully playing basketball but dared to explore another way and found out that what I love—what I really should be playing—is football?

I think so.

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