Updated: Jan 13
Why It's Ok to Be Ordinary in an Extraordinary World
In our culture today, with the rise of social media and reality tv shows, being ordinary is something no one aspires to be. We are bombarded with reels, videos of people who have become sensation on social media and living an extraordinary lifestyle. But why do we need to be Extraordinary? What will it bring us? And in the desire to pursue this extraordinariness, are we becoming unhappier and burning ourselves out? Let's figure out that in our post below:
Why do we want to be Extraordinary?
We want to feel Significant
Yes, millennials grew up with a need to make a mark and stand out & this has led to the desire of being considered special by the World. It stems from the deep seated belief that you matter only when you are extraordinary. This comes from low self love and feeling not good enough in who you are as a person. The truth is, even if you are ordinary, you matter. Your existence on this Earth itself is an indicator that you matter.
We want to leave a legacy
Maybe it's a subconscious biological need to carry on our legacy so that people remember us even after we have passed away. Or we have grown up listening to our families the importance of everyone remembering your name. This ingrained deeply in our minds a need to be Extraordinary.
We compare our lives with those who have Extraordinary lives
With the rise of social media, we see so many influencers with millions of followers and our dream lifestyle. Whether or not we also aspire to have the same or whether that lifestyle will make us happy or not, we start desiring that because it is considered happening by the majority of the world.
Our talents should be recognised
Another reason why we seek extraordinariness is that we need our talents to be recognised and praised. We think that if we are gifted with certain talents then those are worthy of something extraordinary.
Why we should stop trying to be extraordinary
So society and biology are encouraging us to strive for extraordinariness. Well, here are a few reasons why I think they’re both wrong:
1. Most people can’t name their great-grandparents!
If you’re worrying about how you’ll be remembered, don’t. Most people can’t name their 8 great-grandparents. (Quick test: can you?) That means that, in a few short years after you die, it’s more than likely that nobody will remember you anyway.
Sorry if you find that depressing. It’s actually meant to be a liberating thought, to free you from the pressure to leave a legacy. There’s no need to waste your one precious life worrying about how you’ll be remembered. You can simply concentrate on living for now. Focus on how you can have a positive impact on the people you interact with now, rather than focussing on how an imaginary future generation will talk about you.
2. Ordinary doesn’t have to be boring
Our culture frames ordinary as boring. We’re told that we shouldn’t want to live a life like everyone else, that we should strive for something different and better.
However, normal doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, the most “normal” things, like getting married or having a baby, can feel miraculous when they happen to you. Even the daily routine doesn’t have to be boring. The “9 to 5” is only mundane when we aren’t experiencing any growth or progression.
The irony of trying to live an extraordinary life is that it’s actually the ordinary things that make us happiest. If we find meaningful work, cultivate close relationships and develop our skills, this can create a deeply fulfilling life, even if it isn’t “special.” We don’t have to do something different to everyone else in order to have a good life.
3. We don’t need to be the best, we just need to get better
Life is not a race that you need to keep winning. Any endeavor we take, should be followed by the question, how will this help you grow a person? Will you become the better version of yourself by taking this endeavor? If the answer is yes then go ahead. But if the answer is that you are doing it for boost your Ego in order to feel special, then maybe all these achievements may give you a temporary high but the feeling will soon fade away and you will start looking for the next best thing to give you an ego boost.
4. Talents are tools
We think, if we are talented then somehow we deserve to live an extraordinary life and deserve laurels and accolades for that but remember these are tools gifted to us by the Universe to bring Joy in our lives. And if our cup is full with this Joy, then use the spillover to impact those around you with it.
5. We must Follow Bell curve
The Bell Curve as we know it has the majority crowd sitting on the average range and just a minute proportion sitting on the extreme end. One, the very best and the other extremely worse. So the very best or the extraordinary are a handful and the majority remain in the middle range. This is called Normal Distribution. Look at our history as a human species. You remember a handful names of people who have created a major impact in the world. Rest lie in the average crowd. You remember the name of Shahjahan who built the very famous Taj Mahal for his Queen but the beauty of the Taj Mahal was created by all the forgotten workers, architects who worked on it for years. So even if it's a brick of an impact that you are creating, it still matters in the bigger overall picture.
The point is not to become complacent and be satisfied with what you have or who you are but just to become aware and do a check whether you are running after extraordinariness in order to feel Significant or Worthy? If yes, then it will not make you happy in the long run. But instead, if you chase progress and growth of yourself then even the Ordinary will feel special in the Journey!
A significant part of the article has been taken from the following blog post. Do give it a full read , it's a wonderful perspective
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