How breaking social norms will help you achieve a higher level of success.
Society kind of sucks…How breaking social norms can help you achieve mega success
I say this because now more than ever with the power of social media, society has a huge impact on our daily lives. But the truth is, society has been manipulating our parents, and certain beliefs have been passed to us. But what I’ve learned over the years is that Society Sucks, and most of the things society teaches is us is really bad for us.
When I say society I suppose I am talking about the education system in America (because that’s where it all started for me) and then the news, social media, and people around us who adhere to society’s standards.
Up until the last 3 years of my life, I hate to admit that I lived a life somewhat dictated by the social norms that have been created for me. I had children, got married, have a house, went to college (for a year), worked a full time job, that sort of stuff. But you know what? I wasn’t happy.
College put me in debt. Working a full time job made me exhausted, we didn’t travel enough, we didn’t know how to manage our money, we were kind of just…existing instead of living.
I’m not saying that the way I lived my life was society’s fault, but I am saying that it took me getting pretty darn depressed before I decided to turn my life around, go against social norms, and create the life of my dreams.
These days my life has changed more than I could have ever known. I have to say that I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. I also feel more free. And I want you to wake up like I did and take full control of your life. I’m going into detail about the social norms that I broke in order to improve the quality of my life.
#1 Lack of Financial Education
Being out of high school over 10 years, one thing I learned from my High School experience is that I didn’t really learn much of anything. I learned CPR once in gym class and that was really the only thing that was truly valuable for me.
I know that everybody’s experience in high school is different, but one thing I know is that most students don’t learn basic financial education. Things might be different now as I graduated from high school 11 years ago, but when I finished high school I didn’t know anything about saving money, taking out loans, investing money, none of it. But when you leave high school and start college you are expected to be out on your own…so I don’t know how that makes any sense.
I spent my late teens and early 20’s mismanaging my money and just plain making terrible financial decisions that I would eventually regret. Partying and enjoying life was the only thing that my friends and I cared about. A terrible waste of the precious time and money that I was given in those years.
I lived nearly 10 years in the dark about financial education and proper money management. I ended up going to school and not finishing, having a baby, working a 9-5 and living paycheck to paycheck.
2 years ago, I started getting serious about my money. I did something that I wish I had done when I was in high school. I started educating myself on money. I read tons of books, listened to podcasts, watched you tube videos and anything else I could get my hands on.
I highly suggest that you do the same. While most people are watching netflix and trash videos in youtube all day you should reading books, studying the world’s wealthiest people, listening to podcasts, and following financial education accounts on social media. I promise it will change your life.
#2 Going to college
For decades society has told us to graduate high school and go to a four year school to get a degree so you can get a good job so you can live a good life. There is so much pressure for young adults to get into a good college and there is pressure on parents to have kids that make it into prestigious schools, so other people around them can be impressed. But times are changing, and I am not a fan of college immediately after high school for a number of reasons.
The first reason is debt.
When parents don’t have enough money to pay for their kids to go to college, it becomes the student’s responsibility to foot the bill.
I know this because I was in this position. I decided to go to college because I thought it was the only way to make something of myself. I took on a huge amount of debt under the impressions that I was going to an amazing school that would have tons of opportunities for me when I graduated.
Taking on so much debt at the age of 19 was life changing and I am still paying for it today even though I only completed one year of school.
The best part is that the school I was attending actually got shut down because of shady practices. How crazy is that?
The second reason is that sometimes you don’t know what you want to do with your life right out of high school
Out of all the friends I have, I only know 3 of them who actually stuck with the same plan they had in high school. Life is so unpredictable and making the decision to go to college can be super risky if you aren’t sure what you want to do with the rest of your life.
College is a huge decision. You should always be well educated on the debt your are going to take on before you sign the agreement.
If I could go back I wouldn’t have gone to school and I advise anyone who isn’t 100% sure about what they want to do with their life to take a year off and just live life. Make smart choices with your money during that time, maybe travel around before worrying about college. These days, more and more people are breaking social norms and getting jobs from utilizing social media to share their skills with the world and I love that!
#3 Designer items
I don’t think society has ever been more judgmental that it is today. With social media ruling these days, people are under more pressure to look, act, and spend better than others. It can be easy to fall into this trap, because many people say that social media likes have a major impact on their mental health.
Society as a whole is moving towards cartoon style bodies, picture perfect moments on Instagram, designer handbags, clothes, and shoes, and other high ticket things. I actually read and article the other day about a person who had accumulated $10,000 of debt traveling the world just to keep up with others on Instagram. I had no idea that this kind of financial irresponsibility was a thing, but it is.
Successful people aren’t worried about fitting in with the rest of society. They are worried about minding their own business, making money, and creating wealth and happiness for themselves in a logical way.
They don’t spend tons of money on Gucci and Prada that they really can’t afford. They don’t put themselves in credit card debt to keep up with their peers.
Successful people understand how to make money, save money, they have mastered the art of understanding and appreciating delayed gratification and they do their own thing in life. Instead of spending time comparing themselves to others on social media, they are reading books, listening to podcasts, and expanding their education and increasing their knowledge.
#4 Financing everything and taking on debt
This is something that I see on a regular basis. People financing EVERYTHING. Cars, credit cards, vacations (on credit), home repairs, getting personal loans, just taking on SO MUCH DEBT LIKE IT ISN’T A BIG DEAL.
I also see a lot of people living well above their means and thinking that it is ok. Driving cars they can barely pay for, having houses that they can’t afford to live in, buying stuff for their kids that they can’t afford, just living an over the top life without the over the top budget.
We live in a society where people are always competing with each other. It also is a huge status issue also. People want to be perceived a certain way and they think material possessions are the only way to prove themselves.
And guess what? It never ends well. It’s as easy as signing an agreement to get access to money, cars, a home, etc. But once that paper is signed the financial responsibility is yours to bear no matter what happens.
I had to learn this the hard way, but even though financing things is an instant gratification thing. And once you pay interest, you end up paying more money than you would if you just paid cash. Now I know it’s harder to pay cash for high ticket items, but when it comes to small things like furniture, electronics, vacations, etc, it is way better to save up money and purchase these things with cash.
Successful people live below their means in every aspect of their lives. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have fun, they just know how to plan for what they want instead of taking on debt to get it. They save their money so that when they need something, they are able to purchase it without an issue.
Related: How to be a successful woman
I am practicing this in my own life and I can tell you from personal experience that it is amazing. I financed my current car a few years back because I needed it and didn’t have enough money to purchase it with cash. I didn’t have stellar credit and ended up paying a lot of money in interest over time. It was miserable and I was so happy when I paid it off.
Now, that car needs to be replaced and I am able to purchase my new car in cash. I won’t have to worry about monthly payments or wasting money on interest and it feels amazing.
The moral of this story is that you do not have to try and fit in with the rest of society. If you have tons of money and the means to live that kind of lifestyle, be my guest.
But if you don’t, you really need to focus on breaking social norms so that you can achieve mega success in the future. It is SO worth it!