The signs of being ordinary.
We live in a world, where there is so much pressure to be special, to be great, to be different, that just being simple is lost somewhere. Just being ordinary is negative. The pressure to show yourself better than what you are, achieve more than what you can, is a sign of successful people, or well, most successful people.
If you are not one of them, then you are the ‘others’, the mediocre folks, the middle of the bell curve has haunted many lives and many minds. Yep, the same ones who sit in a corner, quietly go about doing their job. The ones who don’t thump a fist in a meeting, the ones who listen to your nonsense with a polite expression. The ones who will work extra time, step in for a double duty, and not make noise about it. They sit with you just to give company on a long hard day.
On the other hand, if you are the smarter one, the star material. You are still not happy because there is always a smarter one out there. It’s just a matter of time, before he, she, it, that, crops up in front of you. Then hell breaks loose. That’s when you intensify your sense of competition , up the ante.
Thus, begins a life-long herd race. Imagine mountain goats. You keep running to outdo the other goats, poke more, hustle more, stretch more, sacrifice more, envy more, and die more every day. You die climbing the mountain more and more, sometimes while reaching the mountain, sometimes seeing someone else already there on the top of the mountain and sometimes, seeing many more mountains as you get to the peak. You die a little more. Oh, wait. But you can you die more? Can you? Nope. You just die. Period. Yep.
This crazy world needs more sane, regular people. Yes, regular middle of the bell curve people, the non-alpha types. Is there such a category? Because if you travel at the other end, you reach an extreme of that point. Isn’t that what you aimed for? Isn’t that the definition of success around you? Hang on. So if you reach an extreme, don’t you become an extremist?
Now, were we not trying to get rid of extremism from our society? Oh, but that is terrorism extremism, you argue. This is not the same. This is ambition extremism. This is drive extremism. This is passion extremism. Errm, last checked the terrorists had similar parameters of success. Oops. No, this is positive extremism and that is negative extremism. Hmm.
Imagine, could everyone became a leader, everyone a leader? Possible? Nope. Nyet. At the zenith of excellence, there will still be a midpoint in the bell curve no matter how high you go?. Or do think it will become a single straight line? Unlikely. The motor of the world needs the nuts and bolts to keep the machinery running. The levers alone do not make the machine work.
So, if you just happen to be the regular person at work, doing your job well, and go about your business without the trappings of becoming the next big thing. You are not just doing fine, but, fantastic! You are the reason some of the alphas still have their sanity intact. You are the small reason why big things work. Because you know, big things often fail when small things go wrong. Without you doing your part, working well, the whole ecosystem would collapse.
So, for all those ordinary beings out there, those quietly , ordinarily, working behind the scenes , those ordinary no frills people, I want you to know – you are as great as anyone else, no matter how many people brand you as ordinary. They probably can’t read the signs of the ordinary.
Because to me, being behind the scenes means it keeps the show running, being no frills means , you are comfortable to work with, you are predictable , not erratic, being mediocre means you are steady and being so regular, makes you so special! Thank you for being you.
Have an ordinary week ahead!
PS : This week go and thank someone who works quietly without being Superman. And let me know your experience in comments below.