Am I Just Ordinary?
Aren’t movies exciting? They always seem to have that character who was just a normal person living a normal life until one day…it happens. It isn’t always the same event, but they get pulled into a world that is extraordinary. It changes everything, and their lives are never the same again. It is the tried and tested plot to nearly every film you have ever seen.
But life isn’t like that. Most of us won’t become the center of a conspiracy. We won’t save the world from a threatening foe. We will never get that letter to Hogwarts, join the Jedi Academy or become the very best Pokemon master (sorry, fellow geeks). In fact, most of us will just go about our daily lives doing the best we can, with occasional ups and downs.
In other words, most of us will not be the person who discovers the cure for AIDS or wins the Nobel Peace Prize for ending conflict in the Middle East. We will just be regular people…ordinary.
What Is Ordinary?
The definition of this word, as given by The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, is:
- Commonly encountered; usual.
- a. Of no exceptional ability, degree, or quality; average.
b. Of inferior quality; second-rate.
Ouch. It is no wonder people are so afraid of being called ordinary. Based on that definition, it is quite an insulting (and depressing) term. Of no exceptional quality? Inferior and second-rate? Is this how we define ourselves if we don’t manage to do something to impressive that it forces us to stand out against the billions of people on this planet?
I am of the firm belief that the word ‘ordinary’ has no place in describing a person. An object, event or thought…sure. But not a human being with emotions, ideas, passions and history. To sum up anybody with such a limiting term is wrong on so many levels. It minimizes their very experience as they have lived, and no one has the right to do that.
Why Do I Feel Ordinary?
Probably for the same reason so many others do. We see the achievements of the highest respected people in our society, watch movies where everyone lives an incredible and exciting life, and we compare both to who we are and what we have done.
When you do this, of course you are going to seem ordinary. But you should always keep in mind that people who do incredible things usually don’t set out to do them. They want to make a change, or dedicate themselves to a cause. They make goals for themselves, surpass those goals and then set new ones to attain.
There is nothing that limits you from doing incredible things. Just remember a few rules of thumb.
- Success is measured by personal desire. Not everyone sees the same thing as extraordinary. Not everybody wants to end up in the same place. Decide what it is you want to do, what is important to you and what you see as being successful. Just reaching your own goals is amazing.
- Try to keep some perspective. Everyone speaks highly of a person who cured a disease or became famous. Well, for the most part they do. But think of all the times you have heard others talking about the impact certain people have made in their lives. A parent who worked two jobs to give them a chance at a better life. A teacher who encouraged their pupil to keep learning. A police officer who stepped up after a personal tragedy. These are everyday heroes who are much more influential than the â€œincredibleâ€ figures we read about.
- Never forget that you are in charge of your destiny. Who you become is up to you. Sitting around and waiting for something big to happen to you will never lead you out of that ordinary life you fear. Be bold and start creating some waves. Resolve to do something, not to be somebody. Greatness comes from struggle, perseverance and stubborn resolve. Whatever that greatness might be is up to you.
‘Ordinary’ is nothing but a word, and a meaningless one at that. You might feel average, uninspired and maybe even unimportant. But what you achieve in life, as well as what qualifies as true success, is up to you. Besides, I bet there is at least one person out there right now that thinks you are pretty special. Maybe you should start listening to them.