Yes, we are experiencing major disruption and uncertainty. We are in a time we’ve never experienced before. Many are calling it a “new” normal. Some are calling it the “next” normal. I call it “never” normal. Why?
Normal is an illusion.
“Normal” does not really exist in the physical world. It’s a structure in language that was created along the way to “label” a state of being; in fact, it originally came from a carpenter’s square and morphed into a state of being.
As the phrases “new” normal and “next” normal started popping up everywhere I noticed myself cringing every time I heard it. Being the word freak that I am I was drawn to look up the word “normal” in the dictionary. Here’s what good ‘ol Webster says:
nor·mal /ˈnôrməl/ “the usual, average, or typical state or condition.”
Then I got to thinking…why on earth would I want “normal”? Or, even a “new” normal…or “next” normal?
“Yes, I would love the next average condition, please.”
Yet, we continue to hang on to words that keep us small, keep us safe, and keep us playing in the same idea pool.
The buzz “out there” is that in order to get through this pandemic, we need to create a “new” or “next” normal. We need to adapt. We need to be flexible in order to get through this. Yes, those traits are great to help move through a transition, but they will simply recreate more “normal”.
If we want to truly innovate and come out of this time in a different state for the better, it will take beyond transformation.
What it will take is to TRANSCEND. If we truly want to create a new world in which we live and a new place in which we work, we need to create something that hasn’t existed before.
We need to create a NEW REALITY.
Those who are ready to shift their reality during this time are the ones who will transcend. This doesn’t require voodoo spells or psychic surgery. It requires the willingness to let go of what was and let go of what is, for something completely new to emerge. Adapting and transforming is still working off of what is. When we do that, we just get new versions of “normal”.
Words have power. Language has power. What we speak has power. In honor of my obsession with words, I had to check out what Webster had to say about “transcend”.
To transcend means to “be or go beyond the range or limits of.”
This sounds a lot more empowering than “normal”, huh?
Normal, no matter what adjective you use before it still has limits. It has limits because we as human beings make meaning out of everything. It gives us comfort to be able to categorize something in our mind so we can address it.
If we have the ability to believe the story about “normal”, what’s a different story we can make up instead?
I have always been intrigued with creating the new and looking at what’s possible. Even though I was the “good girl” growing up I secretly wanted to break the rules because I thought they were so dumb. But, I played by the rules so that I could get good grades, get a good college education, and land a great job. It worked. I ended up becoming one of the founding partners at an amazing high tech consulting start-up in the early ’90s working with brilliant colleagues. At that time, we did something unheard of. We sold fixed time fixed price projects at a time when other big 6 consulting firms continued to sell time and materials. We took the risk for our clients and as a result, we did extremely well.
We transcended the way consulting was sold.
We were in the world of IT consulting but instead of always hiring for direct IT experience we hired for culture fit, character, attitude, and ability. We knew if we had the right people at the core, we could teach them the technical skills. It was true.
We transcended traditional hiring processes.
We were willing to let go of how others did it.
We created a new reality.
If we truly want to create a world that transcends how we have been living, we have to be willing to give up “normal” and any variation of it.
To transcend takes courage. It takes vulnerability. It takes trust. And, it’s not for the faint of heart. It is not for everyone and it is not for every company.
What does it take?
- It requires having to be ok with the unknown.
- It requires being open to what does not yet exist.
- Not knowing is uncomfortable. It’s messy. It’s scary.
- But for some, it’s exciting. It’s exhilarating. It’s freeing.
- It’s also the first step to transcending.
Are you willing to let go of what you already know?
Are you willing to unlearn what you’ve been taught?
Are you willing to explore a new way of working with your team, your departments, your organizations, and communities? Are you ready to create a new kind of business, a new kind of community, a new kind of world?
Are you ready to shift your reality? If so, let’s chat.