There’s no doubt that our culture today makes it hard to measure up. The obsession with perfection (or should I say showing that your life is perfect on FB) leads to unrealistic expectations and constant disappointment. We can all be happy and healthy but we can’t all be the happiest and the healthiest. We can strive to good at something and we might even work hard enough to be better than others but we can’t all be the best. We can’t all be the one that everyone else admires and wants to be like, yet that seems to be the motivation behind posted selfies and idyllic holiday snaps that paint us in the best light. It’s pretty hard to measure up when it looks like everyone else in your circle is leading the perfect life. Truth is, of course, that they’re not but they just don’t want to look AVERAGE.
In Mark Manson’s blockbuster of a book he lays it out for us in the clearest way I’ve ever read…
“It has become an accepted part of our culture today to believe that we are all destined to do something truly extraordinary…. That we all deserve greatness… The fact that this statement is inherently contradictory is missed by most people. After all, if everyone were extraordinary, then by definition no one would be extraordinary. Being average has become the new standard of failure… This sort of thinking is dangerous… to both yourself and others.”
“The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement… They understand that they are not already great, they are mediocre, they are average and they could be so much better.”
Perhaps it’s time to stop desperately searching for a sport at which our children can excel and look for something they just enjoy. Let them be average, let them see greatness and aspire to it then work like hell towards it. They may never get there but at least they won’t feel like a failure for simply being average.