It’s 80 degrees in San Francisco today, so naturally they’ve issued a heat advisory.

This is comical, since I’ve lived in Charleston, South Carolina for the last decade where it hits 100 and humid. But it’s to be expected. 80 isn’t normal here. Abnormal is harder for humans to handle than any objective material suffering.

I remember when we first moved to Charleston and saw alligators dotting the banks of neighborhood ponds, right behind houses with small children and no fences. This is crazy. Unless it’s normal. My knowledge of gator risks hasn’t changed at all, but my fear of living on a Southern pond has disappeared. Just because no one else seems to think it crazy. I guess it isn’t.

Every time an inch of snow falls in the South, northerners have a good laugh at the overreaction. I grew up in Michigan, and the need to start your car 20 minutes before driving was totally normal. No one treated it like a big deal so it wasn’t.

The normalization effect is amusing, but it can be really powerful if you weaponize it for your own purposes. Whatever stuff interests you, or whatever you want to accomplish can be viewed as crazy fantasy or totally doable. It depends who you’re around.

I’ve written before that I don’t think it’s primarily genetics or connections that cause the children of so many actors and athletes to become actors and athletes. I think it’s the normalization. Those career paths are seen as obvious, almost given, and therefore they are.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, put yourself in environments where that’s not super special. If you want to make a living selling art, put yourself in environments where nobody thinks that’s odd. If you want to avoid a stale, stagnant life, find environments where people are shocked and aghast at stale, stagnant lives.

Humans can be perfectly content living on the side of cliffs, in floodplains, on marshes, in deserts, around deadly predators, horrible insects, frozen tundras, remote plains, and dense, dirty cities. As long as others seem to think nothing of it, neither will you.

Go where your idea of life, or your biggest challenge is considered normal and you’ll increase the odds of achieving it.