Why We Should Stop Getting Upset about Being Ordinary

Maybe success is about meeting our basic needs

✨ Bridget Webber

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In the distant past, people had heroes. They were folks who won battles, had supposed mystical powers, or helped ordinary individuals with acts of bravery. And ordinary folks sat around log fires listening to stories about them.

They didn’t expect to rise from their humble beginnings, though, and be like their idols. Now, we’re told we can do anything we want. If we don’t try or do but fail, we’re considered losers.

It’s no wonder if we imagine our lives are unsatisfactory. We see and hear about celebrities, overnight millionaires, and talented folks who have above-average aptitude, beauty, or luck. And it’s not surprising the media’s focus is on big shots. Who wants to watch movies and listen to news about everyday folk going about their business doing nothing remarkable?

There’s a problem, however. When we pay too much attention to a life less ordinary and don’t recognize a regular existence is good enough, we experience discontent. We believe we are inferior because we don’t measure up to our idols.

At first, society's message we were limitless and unstoppable, and all we needed to be the cream of the crop was to put in more effort, felt empowering.

Before then, we were the underdogs: People who would never amount to much and must endure the daily grind that led to a slightly less than comfortable living while we watched ‘special people’ have a wonderful time.

The message soured, nonetheless, when we realized, despite our struggle, most of us couldn’t get our feet on the next rung of the success ladder.

We gawked in awe as other people managed it (although, of course, it looked as though there were many when in fact, there were few). And we understood we would probably never make the grade.

And the result? Big dissatisfaction and feelings of worthlessness.

If you write, you’re expected to pen a bestseller, or society will imagine your chosen ‘career’ is just a cop-out because you want to be a layabout. If you paint but aren’t Picasso and don’t have regular successful exhibitions somewhere swanky, you’re a loser too.

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✨ Bridget Webber

Freelance writer, avid tea-drinking meditator, and former therapist interested in spiritual growth, compassion, mindfulness, creativity, and psychology.