Book : Being Normal from The Winner Stands Alone

This is taken from the current book I am reading by Paulo Coelho : The Winner Stands Alone. I was in the train, on my way to work when I read this two pages of list on what being normal means. A successful rich man asked his bodyguard, and when his bodyguard couldn't give him any satisfying answers, he took out a folded paper that he brings everywhere to :
" What does being normal mean ? "
" I always have this with me and I add to it all the time ".
  1. Anything that makes us forget who we are and what we want; that way we can work in order to produce, reproduce, and earn money.
  2. Setting out rules for waging war (the Geneva Convention).
  3. Spending years studying at university only to find out at the end of it all that you're unemployable.
  4. Working from 9 till 5 every day at something that gives you no pleasure just so that, after thirty years, you can retire.
  5. Retiring and discovering that you no longer have enough energy to enjoy life and dying a few years out of sheer boredom.
  6. Using Botox.
  7. Believing that power is much more important than money and that money is much more important than happiness.
  8. Making fun of anyone who seeks happiness rather than money and accusing them of "lacking ambition."
  9. Comparing objects like cars, houses, clothes, and defining life according to those comparisons, instead of trying to discover the real reason for being alive.
  10. Never talking to strangers. Saying nasty things about the neighbors.
  11. Believing that your parents are always right.
  12. Getting married, having children, and staying together long after all love has died, saying that it's for the good of the children (who are, apparently, deaf to the constant rows).
  13. Criticizing anyone who tries to be different.
  14. Waking up each morning to a hysterical alarm clock on the bedside table.
  15. Believing absolutely everything that appears in print.
  16. Wearing a scrap of colored cloth around your neck, even though it serves no useful purpose, but which answers to the name of "tie."
  17. Never asking a direct question, even though the other person can guess what it is you want to know.
  18. Keeping a smile on your lips even when you're on the verge of tears. Feeling sorry for those who show their feelings.
  19. Believing that art is either worth a fortune or worth nothing at all.
  20. Despising anything that was easy to achieve because if no sacrifice was involved, it obviously isn't worth having.
  21. Following fashion trends, however ridiculous or uncomfortable.
  22. Believing that all famous people have tons of money saved up.
  23. Investing a lot of time and money in external beauty and caring little about internal beauty.
  24. Using every means possible to show that, although you're just an ordinary human being, you're far above other mortals.
  25. Never looking anyone in the eye when you're traveling on public transport, in case it's interpreted as a sign that you're trying to get off with them.
  26. Standing facing the door in an elevator and pretending you're the only person there, no matter how crowded it is.
  27. Never laughing too loudly in a restaurant no matter how good the joke.
  28. In the northern hemisphere, always dressing according to the season: bare arms in spring (however cold it is) and woolen jacket in winter (however hot it is).
  29. In the southern hemisphere, covering the Christmas tree with fake snow even though winter has nothing to do with the birth of Christ.
  30. Assuming, as you grow older, that you're the guardian of the world's wisdom, even if you haven't necessarily lived enough to know what's right and wrong.
  31. Going to a charity tea party and thinking that you've done your bit toward putting an end to social inequity in the world.
  32. Eating three times a day even if you're not hungry.
  33. Believing that other people are always better than you--better-looking, more capable, richer, more intelligent--and that it's very dangerous to step outside your own limits, so it's best to do nothing.
  34. Using your car as a weapon and impenetrable armor.
  35. Swearing when in heavy traffic.
  36. Believing everything your child does wrong is entirely down to the company he or she keeps.
  37. Marrying the first person who offers you a decent position in society. Love can wait.
  38. Always saying, "I tried" when you didn't really try at all.
  39. Postponing doing the really interesting things in life for later, when you don't have the energy.
  40. Avoiding depression with large daily doses of television.
  41. Believing that you can be sure of everything you've achieved.
  42. Assuming that women don't like football and that men aren't intersted in home decorating and cooking.
  43. Blaming the government for all the bad things that happen.
  44. Thinking that being a good, decent, respectable person will mean that others will see you as weak, vulnerable, and easy to manipulate.
  45. Being equally convinced that aggression and rudeness are synonymous with having a "powerful personality."
  46. Being afraid of having an endoscopy (if you're a man) and giving birth (if you're a woman).
How many points in the list reminded you of yourself ? Things that we do without knowing the reasons why, things that we keep on following because the society tells us to do, those limitations because we are too afraid to step out of the comfort zone.

I should just print it and stick it on the mirror so that I'll remind myself everyday : not to be afraid to going off away from the mainstream, however risky it is, if that is what I strongly believed in.

Paulo Coelho is a very inspiring writer. I always categorize writers by their stories, how they think, how they behave on the social media network, writing routine, habits, also their lifestyles and histories. I do learn about them for fun, like most people choose to do with famous fever : Korean Popstars *which I failed to understand why : I guess human tends to love beautiful doll-faced creatures than intelligent wise people
So personally Paulo Coelho is one of the top level writer : Master Yoda.

I adore his writing greatly.

4 comments on "Book : Being Normal from The Winner Stands Alone"
  1. started his book with devil and miss prym years back. stopped at aleph. his writings becomes more and more soul searching. though i prefer his former books, he's a great writer.

  2. Oh, The Winner Stands Alone is a bit different, it's a thriller fiction, something different than what he usually writes about :D

  3. ok, bought it already at book excess, will read it :)