The myth we all buy into

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All the participants gather at the 100 meters starting point.

“I am sorry Siva, what is going on here”

On your mark!

Siva?

Set!

“Are you there man?”

Go!

“Hey guys look, there he is. Siva running in a race with… wait WHAT? Am I seeing it right? He is running in a race with Bill gates, George Martin and the Google CEO Sundar Pichai. What the hell?”

After 10 long seconds, Siva finishes the race with a giant gap between him and his competitors.

Hi there guys! (gasping for air) Sorry for making you wait.

We call upon stage Mr. Siva, to receive the prize.

Seems like I am wanted somewhere. I gotta go.

“Wait but…” (I run off to the pedestal where I receive the medal and give my speech)

Thank you guys, it’s an immense honour to stand on this pedestal. As I have won Mr. Martin, Mr. Gates and Mr. Pichai, I am far more “extraordinary” and superior to all the other three who competed with me. I now call myself one of the best writers out there, the richest man and the CEO of Google.

“CUT THE CRAP ALREADY! Who do you think you are? You might have been faster than them, but you are no match to their skills. Never seen such as a sick, desperate guy like you. You aren’t extraordinary.”

Yeah agreed! But I think you are too…

“EXCUSE ME?”

You heard me!

“Yes, I can! Dare to challenge me?”

Yep! I will ask you one simple question, if you could answer that then I agree that I am sick guy as you find me to be.

“Bring it on, cowardice!”

Do you know what it takes to be extraordinary? The costs it holds to become one, are you well aware of that?

“Ha, stupid kid. Greatness comes with sacrifice. Cut down on the junk you eat, stop binging Netflix, continuously beating on your craft (blah… blah…). You will be extraordinary,”

Is that it?

“What else have you got? Huh?”

Let us first consult google what the word extraordinary person actually means,

Notice the above line. They have “SOME” special quality.

Now how many of you think extraordinary people are successful in all walks of life and they had it all figured out.

Let me break it down for you.

To excel in a single walk of life, there is no choice but to suffer in all the other ones. That’s the real cost of greatness.

Steve Jobs (the nerd who revolutionized the world with his products) was highly successful in terms of a tech guy. But he ill-treated his colleagues. His relationship with his wife was not smooth. And you think him as a guy who figured it all out.

No, there is nothing wrong in trying to be the next Steve Jobs, there is nothing wrong in having big dreams and aspirations, but are you really up for the challenge?

And to add, there is certainly nothing wrong with Steve Jobs either, he wishes to place his work before everything else as it was the value he held up before anything.

It is stupid to criticize Jobs for the poor relationships he had with his other social beings. He was on top because he focused only on his work and had no time for building a better relationship with his friends and family.

Let’s take this guy, Pablo Picasso. This little fella here painted the most fantabulous, mind-boggling sketches and there is no one beating this one any sooner.

He created an estimate of over 50,000 paintings.

Here is a fun fact: Humans live an average of only 27,375 days.

Picasso only started to paint at the age nine.

Reducing 9 years from the average life span gives him a rough total of 24,000 days.

24,000 days=50,000 paintings

Such a relentless guy he is and yet,

He had two failed relationships.

Ernest Hemingway one of the most prolific writers of the world, an inspiration to many aspiring writers, a legend. Won

  1. Noble prize for literature
  2. Noble prize for fiction (The old man and the sea)
  3. Bronze star medal

Suffered from depression, had four failed marriages, and hanged himself to death.

They are extraordinary yet they are flawed.

Why are we hesitant to accept that we are average?

If you have been in the digital world for a while, you could hear all those motivational speeches crying out

“Stop being average. Being mediocre sucks!”

From marketers to politicians everybody says it.

We believe that when we accept that we are mediocre people then we will stop growing, developing or achieving success. We equate failure to being average.

Failure =” Being Average”

If we consider life anything less than extraordinary to suck, then almost most of the things you do and the people you meet suck. This is a dangerous mindset.

Moreover, chasing something extraordinary sounds cool but chasing something average ain’t.

What should we do?

We have to realize that being extraordinary is just a made up title and being average is COOL too!

Let me help you realize this,

We spend a large part of our lives being average.

Think about the skill you love doing, a skill which you can beat other ones just with the slight of your finger.

It could be anything. Basketball, cooking, art, relationships, money, heck it could even be playing Mario forever. Now place it aside and consider all the other works you do.

If you don’t find any skill that you are that good at, don’t worry you will soon find it. But for now, let’s assume that you are a great orator.

Your talks are so inspirational and each time you talk, you receive a standing ovation.

Now, how do you cook? Ask your self,

Can you cook as good as your mother?

Probably not!

How good is your artistic skill, management skill, writing (blah… blah…)?

Are you extraordinary in all of it? You have got to be mediocre in atleast one. Ain’t you?

You might not be the best writer out there, but you might best wife your husband could ever have.

You might not be the best artist, but still your son calls you the “Best Dad ever”. Not a renowned skill yet it is worth it. And by the way, being a great dad isn’t easy either.

When you accept that you are average a huge pressure of becoming an extraordinary is lifted off your back, you tend to show great appreciation for life’s basic experiences, that delicious coffee which your mom made it for you, pouring in all the love she could; Your dog running all around you wagging its tail, listening to your favourite music, playing out with your friends etc…

They aren’t extraordinary and yet they makes us happy more than ever.

Mediocrity, as a goal, sucks. But mediocrity, as a result, is OK.

Mark Manson

I am average and I’m cool with it.

How about you?


This post is inspired based on the article In Defense of Being Average by Mark Manson.

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