The truth is, we’re all ordinary. Even the most accomplished of us does mundane things, like take a shower, eat, and empty their bodies of various wastes. Like everyone else, they feel sadness, want love, and have to wipe their nose when it’s running. Unlike the dramatic TV shows or movies, our lives are mostly average, with spots of brilliance thrown in.
Often, when turbulent, dramatic times come along, we crave the regular, mundane, events that used to make up our lives. We tire of all the excitement and it becomes more of a burden than anything else. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. Being ordinary and living a good life is fine. Reach for your dreams, achieve as many huge ones as you’d like, but hold onto that ordinary man who enjoyed the little things in life. To help you, here are some ways that highlight the greatness of being ordinary.
Being ordinary is an excellent icebreaker. For instance, this conversation:
“Hey, I’m ordinary.”
“Me, too. Wanna hang?”
See? When we accept that we are ordinary it opens up a well of humanity and empathy separate from ego. No matter where you go in life, become, or do, if you keep in mind that you’re ordinary, you won’t have to worry about unpleasant side effects of success like arrogance, a superiority complex, and people hating you because you act like you can walk on water. Another benefit of being ordinary is charm. People may worship others, but they are a lot more assured and drawn in when this larger-than-life person willingly brings themselves back to Earth. They want to know you are a person with fears, passions, and jokes that don’t work. Even if you are doing amazing things, remaining an ordinary person is a great way to meet others and share your vision.
If you were to write down a mundane event in your life you may not be able to see how it is extraordinary. In a month, or two, you may feel differently. After a month has gone by, you will have, most likely, forgotten the majority of the details of that event and upon rereading your script, you may find the event a lot more interesting and funny. This same principle can be applied to your interactions with others. While you may feel you did some questionable things, in a month’s time or later that person may recount that story to a friend of his with sentiments like, “Remember I told you about that awesome dude I talked to.”
Instead of looking at yourself, and events, as mundane, a great activity to kick start your wonder is to record mundane events. As time passes, this stuff will turn into gold. Have you ever looked back at a random event and realized just how odd it really was?
♦ Take a photo every day. Pick a certain time each day, or once a week, and take a photo, regardless of what you’re doing. Make a yearbook at the end of the year. You’ll be surprised how you’ve changed and how much you’ve done throughout the year.
♦ Capture your surroundings. Don’t wipe the table clear, use it as the setting, or another character, in the photos. Leave the messy garage, broken remote, and fly photo-bombing. These will turn out to be very interesting when you look back on these pictures. Seriously, how did your Grandma’s shoe get in the baby’s stroller?
♦ Reconstruct your day. After you wake up, briefly write down all of the things you did the previous day. During these events, what were you doing, thinking about, feeling? Rather than look at the external events, focus on what was happening internally.
♦ Create A Time Capsule.
As you go throughout your day, make a time capsule of ordinary things. This capsule can be digital or physical, but set a length of time (three months or an hour-long video) and stick to it. Record yourself thinking out loud. What do you say? Do you get philosophical, angry at someone, or really excited about a new project? How does your voice change?
Record yourself in the mirror when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. What facial expressions do you make? Do you tend to miss a spot? Do you manage to keep all of the toothpaste in your mouth while talking? If you switched to your non-dominant hand, what does your teeth and hair brushing look like now? Watching this down the road, especially when you’re in a low mood, should bring a huge smile.
Note: Do not try a huge amount of shaving with your non-dominant hand unless you have practiced or have no non-dominant hand, i.e. you are ambidextrous. If you do try this, be very careful. And yes, it will be very funny.
You’ll be surprised how amazing the world is when you’re looking for the extraordinary in everything. Throughout your day, slow down, and look at the trees, the water, the insects, and the birds. Focus on the ripple when a drop of water lands or the slow, amazing way tea brews in a hot cup of water after you’ve dunked the bag lightly. Look at nature. You may see two squirrels fighting a bird or a family of raccoons come out of a sewer. These aren’t just made-up stories to prove the point of this article, I’ve seen these things. The world is an amazing place, full of platypuses, sloths, and extraordinary people and things posing as ordinary things, just waiting for you to notice them.