Hi, this is Brian.
Welcome back to another Areté +1°. We're having fun looking at some of my favorite micro-chapters. There are 451 of them in my new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.
Here's another one of my favorites…
THE HEALTHY DEVIANT
WHEN BEING WELL-ADJUSTED ISN'T A GOOD IDEA
Pilar Gerasimo is one of the wisest humans I know.
Among many other things, she created the award-winning Experience Life magazine and is the author of a GREAT book called The Healthy Deviant: The Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World.
You may be wondering…
What’s a Healthy Deviant?
I’ll answer that in a moment.
First, let’s look at some stats from the first chapter called “The Crazy That Passes for Normal.”
• 50% of U.S. adults are diagnosed with a chronic illness
• 68% are overweight or obese
• 70% are taking at least one prescription drug (for folksover sixty, the average is FIVE)
• 80% are mentally or emotionally “not flourishing”
• 97.3% are not maintaining healthy habits (decent nutrition, adequate exercise, not smoking, healthy body composition) Which leads us to Pilar’s guess that 99% of us are not healthy, happy, or on track to stay that way.
Which leads us to one big sad face.
Which leads us to what she calls the “Unhealthy Default Reality” of our modern culture.
Which leads us back to the question…
What’s a “Healthy Deviant?”
Here’s the answer…
Pilar says: “A Healthy Deviant is any person who willingly defies unhealthy norms and conventions in order to achieve a high level of vitality, resilience, and autonomy.”
The lead quote in the book is the quote I come back to more than any other in our 300-day Heroic Coach program.
It’s from Jiddu Krishnamurti.
He tells us: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Yep. That’s about right.
In a society in which the VAST majority of us are sick and tired and anxious and depressed and, well, blah…
IT IS NO MEASURE OF HEALTH TO BE WELL ADJUSTED TO THAT SICK SOCIETY.
That’s our +1°.
Embrace your healthy deviance.