Chris Bertish – Normal

This is the story of how a skinny little kid from Kenilworth in Cape Town managed to travel halfway around the world without sponsorship, and then outwit, outsmart and outperform the world’s best-paid professional athletes on a day that changed his life, and the sport of big-wave surfing, forever…” – Stoked! An inspiring story about courage, determination and the power of dreams, Chris Bertish

“This evening I’d like to share with you an incredible idea…the first and most important thing to do would be to define a couple of keywords that will give perspective…the first word is something that has kept most of us small, most of humanity small for the last hundred years or so. It’s a word that sort of stopped everyone from living their full potential, and shining, and bringing their most greatest and most wonderful talents and gifts to the world. It’s a word that has kept us small, try to make us fit in, be like everyone else – normal.”

“If you look in the dictionary and see how it is described, it describes us being average, typical or common. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone in their right might who would ever want to be described as common or average.”

“…from an early age, from society, from education, parents – telling us to “don’t stand out, just fit it, just be normal…Well, normal never changed the world.”

“I believe that every single one of us is put on this earth for a particular reason. We all are given a particular gift, a talent that we’re meant to unlock and share and give to the world…”

What inspires me most about the last line is, we are all given a particular gift or talent in life, but it must be unlocked. You can be Albert frikkin Einstein, but if you Netflix and chill all day, well…the universe isn’t going to figure itself out. 

You need to get out there. That’s how you will discover what your hidden gift is. By doing things and living life – and most importantly, you are then supposed to use that gift to share and give to the world.

A quote that goes well with this is, “Your passion is for you. Your purpose is for others.” – Jay Shetty

Take what you love doing. Take your gift – and give it to the world. That will become your purpose. It will become the fire in you. It will be the reason you get out of bed in the morning.

Don’t be normal or average. Be you. Be unique. Find inspiration in the world around you and keep moving forward. 

Inspired by Chris Bertish


39 thoughts on “Chris Bertish – Normal

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  1. It is quite something to see a fellow South African who has made their way out and into the wide world to explore and share what they have seen. You have a lovely blog. I feel slightly nostalgic, even though we are strangers, we have this one connection. I have walked where you have walked, seen the same mountain in real life, in different moments in time.

    This particular blog is timely. Right now, I am a little lost. It feels like I have lost my passion and with that a purpose. So thank you for your kind words of encouragement.


    1. Thank you for your kind words.

      In regards to us being strangers on the internet but sharing a similar experience across time. A favourite quote of mine by William Butler Yeats, “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”

      I hope you find your way again and that you’re able to reignite the flame inside you. 🙂


  2. Beautiful, thank you for sharing. “Normal” and “acting normal” seems to be about other people’s comfort. You can substitute “predictable”, or “understandable” and the sentiments fit. But extraordinary people aren’t predictable and are often not understandable. That’s what makes them so precious.


  3. Being normal has a lot to do with how you’ve been conditioned and how you’ve been told. It says everything about the culture around us which made us believe that we need to conform to what is normal. This isn’t the way if we want to pursue our passion and give back our gifts to the world through our purpose. Thank you so much for this article.


  4. Yes, I agree. Both the words normal and abnormal are very restrictive. One makes us very ordinary and common and the later makes us stick out as a disfigured scar on the very “normal” society. It takes a lot of courage and self introspection to take the first step towards being not normal. Your article is very inspiring… hopefully more people will read and get motivated. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so true! This idea of being normal is so limiting, it limits us from being our best selves and to find out what we really are supposed to do in life.
    For our society being normal is choose a subject and 18, go to university, work the rest of your life on something when you chose when you were 18 and so on. Everything should happen so fast in life that it never gives us the time to reflect on what we could be, we just have to be “Normal”.
    Thank you for your post


    1. That’s absolutely true. Why would you want to be average? The point is to be the best you can be.

      In the end, it’s up to us. Let’s slow down a bit. Let’s recalibrate and try to remember what’s really important. It’s necessary to take time to reflect on your own life. To ask yourself where you’re going with your life. Are you going somewhere you really want to go? Or are you just drifting?

      You get one life, live it. Live it by serving others and the environment around you.

      Gandhi said it best, “You find yourself when you lose yourself in the service of others.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not big on cussin’ but Chris (as well as Twiggy Baker) is a total bad ass. I can’t imagine pushing over the ledge into a Mavericks bomb much less SUPing across the Atlantic.


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