When I typed in these words in google “How to be ordinary”, one of the first things that popped up was Mike Kewley’s video on “How to be ordinary: a short guide to happiness.” Didn’t like it… you can watch it here: TEDx Talks
What I was looking for was if someone had created a few steps on how to be ordinary, not about mindfulness, meditation, happiness or reasons as to why one needs to aim for being ordinary. ‘Cause that’s already been done.
The above stated are the reasons to be ordinary. And I will explore here with you exactly how. Normally the trend these days is about how to become successful or more successful and motivational gurus are advising against this hollow kind of success and permanent happiness, as are psychologists. Because, as you may have discovered by now, that emotional intelligence, consistent diagnoses of our emotions throughout the day, and the fact that we as humans, like everything in the universe, experience ebbs and flows of ups and downs in our days, months, years, in every aspect of our lives. And that is supposed to happen: just like temperature changes in the weather are normal, just like high and low waves on the shores and seas and oceans are normal and necessary, and just like the changes experienced in any season including the monsoon seasons are inevitable. We adapt and other circumstances and people around us adapt to our changing needs and desires. So here it is.
Oh yeah. A bit about ordinary: I do recall in the middle school years, I used to have this dire need to blend in with everybody else, to fit in. And then, as you would have experienced too, growing up, that we were being trained to set ourselves apart and aim for the highest achievements: to be more successful and better than everybody else. Two very conflicting scenarios, that a lot of ted-talkers and famous gurus have studied, explored and shared, which I will share with you in a following post, for reference.
Definition of ordinary
1a (1) : a prelate exercising original jurisdiction over a specified territory or group (2) : a clergyman appointed formerly in England to attend condemned criminalsb : a judge of probate in some states of the United States
2often capitalized : the parts of the Mass that do not vary from day to day
3: the regular or customary condition or course of things —usually used in the phrase out of the ordinary
4a. British : a meal served to all comers at a fixed price. b. chiefly British : a tavern or eating house serving regular meals
5: a common heraldic charge (as the bend) of simple form
1. Be consistent! As you can see from definition #2: to be ordinary means to be consistent, a very useful habit of highly successful people. It’s a tough habit to build! Even in my experience. If you’ve been like me: easily distracted, attracted to more fun stuff than you can handle in a day – you know hobbies of all sorts, knowledge and news of every kind, you know, everything and anything that fascinates the mind and heart, and the curiosity that leads you down a winding path into a paradisaical forest with tremendous lookin’ birds and helping others when you have a tighter deadline than they have, but because their work seems easier an 10X more rewarding than yours because of all the gratitude they share.
The thing I just couldn’t understand was how half of the population is so routinized and structured, and mundane and boring and capable of carrying out mundane tasks every darn day. So frustrating !! Right?
Well, good for them! Cause those are some of the skills I have managed to finally build and wreak rewards from even for my creative disciplines. It took a lotta ego taming leme tell you that!
b) Compassion to yourselves and others. Give yourself the honour of being heard… by yourself. Yup. I said it. Lots of folks have that internal dialogue that is always thinking about the others and always wanting to cater to them and so much so that there is much less than half the time and energy spent listening to our own needs, and making the the very very difficult effort of taking care of our own selves. It’s the hardest thing for a giver type personality to do actually. This involves, physical, emotional, mental health, yes as much as we hate doctors visits, go and get your vitamins D, B and iron levels checked, sugar, cholesterol, and demand and insist on them, pay for them, that’s why you earn, take some mindfulness classes, or do a one on one with a mental health professional, explore your inner workings (introspection), close your eyes and intuit one person from your friends and family circles that your heart feels like connecting with that day and give them a call and half that 2 hour conversation with them, lighten your burdens, add value to their day, give yourself and them a reason to smile and miss you more. It is soooo energizing! I was very surprised by the power of emotional energy…. a Harvard grad helped me explore this in my hardest times. I highly recommend her philosophy:
Ps. Vitamin D is the essence of life, a huge source of physical energy: if you’ve got tan/olive south asian skin tone you need 2 hours of sun on half your body exposed to recieve a day’s worth of vitamin D. The maximum I can do is roll up my sleeves to my elbows and not wear a head scarf.. So I aim for 2 hours a day, and then some serious tanning on the weekends. Ask your doctors about Vitamin D tablets that you can take once in 2 weeks of a high dose of 50,000mg. I shall continue looking for this scholarly article for reference of absorption profiles according to skin color.
c) And as for the taker type personalities – the other half of the population: do the opposite a little more: be compassionate to the others around you too, pay attention to their need just as much as yours and sometimes even a little more. You need others and they need you. That’s how the world goes round. Here’s Harvards review on the study about givers and takers, quite brilliant; thought it is too simplistic and black and white, but Harvard is Harvard: https://hbr.org/2013/04/in-the-company-of-givers-and-takers/ar/1