2 min read

Consider which of your lifestyle choices are common but not normal

When I was a kid, I drank pop everyday.
If you wanted something to drink, it was water, milk, or pop. I usually chose pop.
I loved vanilla coke and mountain dew, but I couldn't have too much mountain dew; it had too much caffeine.
Everyone had a shelf in their refrigerator just for pop.
I'd go to a friends house, and their parents would offer a pop.

In High school I decided I liked pepsi more, because it was the underdog.
At lunch I'd always get a 20oz bottle from the vending machine.
My friend joined the track team. The coaches said, "if you're on this team you aren't allowed to drink pop".
I thought this was the most ridiculous idea in the world!
Who can give up pop!?

Pop Can Image

Drinking pop everyday was normal.

Of course now we know pop is diabetes-causing garbage and giving it to your kid makes you literally the devil.

I was watching a podcast on back pain with Theresa Larson. This is the kind of thing I do for fun.

"8 in 10 adults, whether you're a fitness person or sedentary will have [back pain]"
"Is that normal?"
"No, of course it's not."
"It's 8 out of 10 people I feel like that's pretty normal."
"Its common but not normal. Pain is not normal."

There's a distinction between 'common' and 'normal'. It was common to drink pop everyday, but it wasn't normal (still isn't). Ingesting 40g of sugar in two minutes is not a normal thing for a human to do.

What do you think is normal?

Is it normal, or just common?


  • Get the low-fat wheat thins to lose weight.
  • Vegetables are gross.
  • Buy a heavy lunch from a restaurant everyday. Wonder why you can't get work done in the afternoon.


  • Drink pop everyday. Water is gross.
  • Binge drink with your friends and co-workers until you feel sick. Live your life!


  • Run up a balance on your credit card, build credit and earn points!
  • Buy the biggest house you can mortgage, you might need the space later.
  • Shop the sales to save money.




  • That'd be nice, but I just don't have time.


  • Graduate college and stop learning. Never read a book again. Who has time for that?


  • Check your phone every time there's a lull in the conversation. Make sure you didn't miss anything important.


  • Be tired all day, have trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing.

What else in your life is common, but not normal? Let me know.

Further Reading

Ramit Sethi on Invisible Scripts