You Do Not Need to Be Extraordinary to Be Happy
In a world of the hustle and grind, people who are happy with the simple things in life may feel left out. But, there is happiness in being ordinary too.
Growing up in an underprivileged household is challenging, especially in a black one. As a child, I was constantly told that I need to be something special and outperform the rest of my peers.
For me, average grades were not good enough. Even achieving top grades was always followed up with, “remember there is always someone doing better than you are.”
In today’s world, I see no difference from my single mother who pushed me to become extraordinary. We live in the age of hustle culture. People now reward you for working crazy hours and losing out on sleep. And the pursuit for success is now called the grind.
Today, people who do not have an outlined plan or doing something out of the “norm” are seen as lazy or less competent. Even our social media feeds constantly show us how “easy” it is to make a tonne of money and achieve the life we want.
The problem is, who said anyone wanted a life of luxury, fame and glamour. Of course, it sounds great, but why is having a 9–5 and living in a humble home seen as less?
From my own experience, I can tell you that the pursuit of an extraordinary life is tiring. And unfortunately, it does not guarantee a life of happiness at the end of it.
As a young man growing up, I have personally struggled with the idea of needing to be extraordinary to achieve a happy life. The whole world seems to be on the side of those who stand out from the rest. However, there is nothing wrong with following the norm and defining what happiness means to you. And guess what? You do not need to be a hustler or grinder to get it either.
The Benefits of Following the Norm
The odds are, if everyone is doing it, it is probably advantageous. We are creatures that like to be part of the majority, and for the most part, it keeps us safe.
There is a reason why things like public speaking are hard for most of the population. Instead of being part of the pack, we are left isolated at the front with everyone staring at us. It puts us under pressure and causes us to double think everything.
However, safety is not the only benefit of being “normal” and part of the crowd. There are many aspects of happiness and pleasure that we all share.
Examples of this are:
- A desire to feel valuable to society
- A desire to be authentic/an individual
- A desire to love and feel loved
Even though there are important questions to answer in each common desire, the majority have found good ways to fulfil them. Things like having a profession, freedom of speech and staying in long-term healthy relationships are all good solutions. And you better be sure you are different from the majority before choosing otherwise.
The reality is, most people who go against the norm tend to find themselves in hard situations. There is no direction, and they can end up unhappy and feeling lost.
That is not to say that you should follow the norm, but there are clear benefits. And the pursuit to be extraordinary is one that is undefined and can lead to much anxiety. By being part of the group, you have your steps somewhat decided for you. It is just up to you to make the choices you desire.
For most, choosing a career, choosing a spouse, and a place to live is fine. And many end up living happy lives without grinding themselves to death trying to start a business or trying to be different.
You Are Enough
It was not until I pursued my love for writing that I learned that I was enough. I did not need to be extraordinary like Elon Musk or Bill Gates to find happiness. I did not need to be super intelligent to deliver value to society or myself.
It was not necessary to grind like a mad man and forgo all relationships to ensure my success. Instead, I figured I was ordinary and part of the pack. I just had a few unique requests that I would have to work for to ensure my fulfilment.
Do not let anyone tell you that your goals are too small or that you will never be happy. Just because you like your 9–5 and are satisfied with your pay, it does not mean you lack ambition. After all, most people are doing the same thing you are.
The problem with social media is that the minority can be loud to make it seem like they are the majority. One trending post or video could lead everyone to believe that trading crypto is the only way to become rich as a young person.
It is the same with being extraordinary. It only takes a few crazy working people with the desire to be extraordinary to make you feel less than you are. It looks like everyone is building online companies and are success stories of life. However, that is not the case.
Comparison and our lack of self-worth often cause us to feel less than we are. We believe that everyone is better than us and being ordinary only leads to a sad life.
Well, I am here to tell you that you are enough. And you do not need to have all the brains or be an amazing entrepreneur to achieve your lives fulfilment. You know what you want, so stop letting others make you feel less than.
So what if your goal is “ordinary” or “simple”. If it is enough for you, then own it. Some people will chase a dream for most of their lives, only to realise that it was someone else’s dream and not their own. So, do not believe you have to be extraordinary. I have found being ordinary is just fine.
For Those Destined to Be Extraordinary
There are still some of you reading this article thinking, “well, I believe I am part of the extraordinary. So what should I do?” Well, I also want to encourage you to be just that.
If you are super intelligent, have a crazy work ethic or are talented at one specific thing, keep going. The great thing about extraordinary people is that they are rare and only have a lifetime to influence the masses.
If you have a message to share or a desire to do something great, then do it. But do not forget that it is often the simple things in life that bring about the most happiness.
If you are on a path to becoming something special, then keep going. Do it Not for social approval, but instead, for the burning passion inside of you.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.