Leadership

Why Tim Tebow says you should never strive to be normal

From winning the Heisman Trophy as a college athlete to playing in the NFL and now MLB, Tim Tebow's career has been anything but normal. And he's proud of that.

"You know what normal makes you? Average," Tebow tells CNBC contributor Suzy Welch in a wide-ranging interview. "Why would you wake up and say, 'Yes, today I can't wait to be average?'"

Tim Tebow
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Tebow made his NFL debut in 2010 as the Denver Broncos' quarterback followed by short stints with the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. He ended his NFL career in 2015.

In 2016, he made the jump from football to baseball when he signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets. Although some sports pundits scoffed at his decision to pursue baseball, the Mets announced in January that the team would invite Tebow to its major league camp after an impressive 2017 season that included two home runs.

In fact, Tebow is one of very few NFL players to also play professional baseball. Prior to joining the Mets, he hadn't played the game since his junior year of high school.

In his recent interview with Welch, the athlete reiterates the importance of carving out your own path. "If you're normal and you're average, you fit in with the crowd," he admits, "but you never have a chance to be special."

"I would rather be an outlier and fail," he tells Welch, "than I would be normal."

Unfortunately, he says, society tells young people that you should strive to be normal. However, Tebow adds that finding your life's purpose, making an impact, finding greatness and doing something meaningful should be the actual goal.

"Every single person is born with their own uniqueness, with their own traits with their own qualities," he says.

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For those struggling to find their purpose, he suggests asking two questions:

  1. What do you like to do?
  2. Have you ever seen someone in need?

Tebow explains his reasoning: "If there is some passion that you have and then there's also a need that it meets, you're probably pretty close to [finding your purpose]."

"Then it frees something in us to live," he says, "truly as who we are and not trying to put on a mold as someone else."

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