No one is mediocre

In the comments section of last Thursday’s post, three ways to get your confidence back with ease, a reader asked a question:
Perhaps many people are ordinary people, very ordinary, no skill, then for these ordinary people, what capital can make themselves more confident?
This reader is very kind and well-intentioned, but this kind of thinking can be mistaken.
What kind of mistake?
First of all, we need to be clear: in this world, with the exception of a small number of people who can make history, the progress of human civilization, the vast majority of people are“Ordinary people.”. After all, we are not great people, nor are we great scientists, entrepreneurs, our contribution to the world and influence is limited. In this sense, perhaps 99.99% of the population is“Average”.
But is everyone really just“Normal”?
I want to use today’s article to explore this question.

To start with: to divide people into“Ordinary people” and“Not ordinary people” this view, is actually a misunderstanding, is deep-rooted one-way thinking.
What is one-way thinking? Simply put, is that there is only one path in the world, an end point, a standard of evaluation. No matter what your goal is, you have to go to the same destination, no matter what you look like, you have to be put in the criteria, and if you meet it, you stay, if it doesn’t fit, filter it out.
With this kind of thinking, it’s easy to develop a set of ideas:

  • A person can be successful, it must be because he has certain characteristics, as long as we have these characteristics, we can succeed;
  • If a man does something, it must be because he has taken some action, and if we copy these actions, we can do it
  • All results can be measured by indicators, as long as we achieve a certain target, we can achieve the desired effect…
    Are they right? In fact, they are both simple attributions: in the real world, the causes of all outcomes may be complex, the product of many factors, but this approach, they are simply boiled down to one or two of the few reasons. They will tell you that cause and effect in the world is simple and direct: If You Do A, you get B; if you want B, you get A.
    But is the real world really that simple? Of course not. In fact, this is just an overly simplistic abstract modeling of the world in response to the brain’s need to“Save energy.”.
    Similarly, the so-called“Ordinary people” this view, in fact, is a typical one-way thinking.
    It is always easy to divide people into“Excellent” and“Ordinary”. It seems that you can only be a good person if you meet certain worldly standards. On the contrary, the unsatisfied are ordinary people, ordinary people are useless.
    But in fact, this division is only forced to use a single standard, to replace all the standards.
    As long as there is such a dichotomy between“Excellent” and“Ordinary”, there must be a standard for judging, and this criterion must be linear-it must be unified all the factors in the same reference system, with the same set of ratings to judge, in order to make sense.
    In childhood, it may be“Obedient”; in school, it may be“Achievement”; in society, it may be“Income”.
    No matter what you look like, engaged in what work, have what special skill, have what ability, like what, what character is… … all your qualities and attributes will be judged by a single set of criteria, whether or not they suit you.
    All the voices are telling you: you have to adapt to this society, to this set of external criteria, to this set of norms and constraints. If you don’t fit in, you’re a loser.
    This may be the source of much of our suffering.

    In fact, what does this amount to? It’s like putting all the people in a line and forcing us to look away, forcing us to look from a distance. So we can only see whether they are“Uniform”, whether they are“Exceptional”.
    But as long as you look closer and really pay attention to everyone, then there is no mediocrity, there is no“Ordinary people.”.
    The reason is simple: Time is equal to everyone. Then everyone in the same time, there will be their own accumulation. These accumulation and because of endowment, character and environment, will form their own different forms.
    So, on a micro level, everyone is completely different. But this kind of difference, is unable to put in the same set of standards to judge.
    Just like when we were in school, there must be“Top students” and“Bottom students” in each class-but are the students who are not good enough really useless? Certainly not. They may have a good heart, some can sing and dance, some full of ideas, some full of observation… … but these qualities are completely suppressed and obscured by the uniform criteria of“Achievement.”.
    Similarly, after walking into the society, many people will also have their own choices and orientations. They may not have glamorous jobs, high incomes, or exceptional social status, but that doesn’t mean they’re“Average” or“Average.”.
    If we take a closer look and really observe everyone’s life, we will find that everyone’s life is actually colorful, and everyone must have his own more outstanding than others, more“Excellent” place.
    A few simple examples:
  • Some people may be particularly good at painting, can draw a beautiful work;
  • Some people may be particularly good at telling stories, always able to have very creative ideas;
  • Some people may always be the karaoke bar in KTV, is the warm-up of activities and parties;
  • Some people may be affinity burst, always can let the people around like bathing spring breeze;
  • Some people may read a wide range of fields and topics have their own views;……
  • ……
    In fact, it was even more extreme. Even if some people did nothing but play games, swipe their phones, and watch TV shows after work every day, over time, they would focus on games, movies, and television shows, there must be accumulation beyond the ordinary.
    Is this accumulation useless? Not Necessarily. As soon as they talk to someone about something they know, they may open up and talk — and the joy they feel is also real.
    In the accumulation of time, everyone will have their own area of expertise. The only thing that matters is whether these areas of expertise are reflected in your daily life and bring you joy and feedback.
    So I’ve always said that excellence is compared to yourself. When compared with others, there is only diversity, no excellence, there is no mediocrity.
    Because under everyone’s own frame of reference, everyone can be the best.

    To put it bluntly, our reluctance to accept the idea that no one is average is based on one thing:Many of the areas we know and excel in don’t translate directly into value — in plain English, no money. That’s all.
    But is it really necessary to make money and be happy? Not Necessarily.
  • Money, of course, brings happiness, no doubt about it. But the development of positive psychology over the past few decades is really about one thing: money doesn’t have to be the only thing that brings happiness.
    I’ve written a lot about this: where does happiness come from? It comes from whether you think your life has meaning, whether you can experience an aesthetic feeling in your daily life, whether you can do what you are good at and love to do, whether you have a career that you are willing to commit to for a long time, … Whether can get enough sense of achievement from the action, whether has the harmonious and harmonious friendship…
    These, and money are not in fact a strong link.
    In fact, the relationship between material income and happiness, is more like a parabola: as long as you reach or exceed a certain threshold, and then go up, the happiness that money can bring is not particularly strong.
    On that basis, what does higher happiness depend on? Your sense of meaning, your sense of purpose, your sense of achievement, your sense of value, your sense of support.
    And these, can not be bought with money, they only depend on your own view of life and attitude.
    In fact, if a person is in good health, has a good family, has a job that he doesn’t hate, and is busy but still has free time to spend while he has basic food and clothing, being interested and motivated to learn new things, and having a few friends to talk to and complain about — that’s happiness enough.
    If on this basis, happen to work or their love, every day can feel their own growth, have an ideal and can adhere to achieve it, with like-minded bosom friends or partners, … With hobbies that pass the time…
    I think, such a life, may have been difficult to find regret.
    What is true wealth and freedom? Is a trade-off between desire and ability. Our pain does not come from the lack of material, but because the desire is far beyond the ability, this gap caused the pain.
    In other words, if one knows clearly the limits of one’s abilities, what one wants, and is able to keep one’s desires well within the limits of one’s abilities, then in fact, for him, he has achieved the freedom of wealth.
    If you feel that your strengths don’t translate into material wealth, making you feel“Mediocre,” think about it: Can your material situation meet your needs? What are the basic requirements of your needs, what are the things you want from your heart, and what are the non-essential desires of superiority and vanity that are disciplined and indoctrinated by the outside world?
    If you don’t want to take your life seriously, who else can make it count?

    As I said before, everyone has their own areas of expertise, and the only thing that matters, is whether those areas of expertise, are reflected in your daily life, bringing you joy and feedback.
    So what if we simply can’t find room in our daily lives for our talents?
    A simple but effective tip: Get out there, connect with the world, meet more people, make connections.
    A simple truth is: in this world, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, have their own supply and demand. If you spend a lot of time in a one-way environment and are constantly asked to use the same set of criteria and frame of reference, you will only feel“Very mediocre” all the time.
    Because in this environment, diversity is not allowed and difference is not encouraged.
    But once you get out there and connect more with other people and different lifestyles, you may find that:It turns out that the world is so big and there are so many“Different” people. It turns out that the knowledge and skills I know, understand and master can help others solve problems and create value for others.
    For example: I have met some very“Good” people, but they do not know everything, there are also some ignorant, very naive fields. In these areas, they are the same as everyone else, without any superiority.
    But that doesn’t stop them from playing to their strengths, because when they need it, they can find the right people, pool their resources, and use the knowledge and power of others to create value and solve problems.
    To some extent, the whole world is a network, and each person is a node. How much value a node can deliver is closely related to the network it sits on and the other loops it connects to.
    Put a node into a larger network, let it produce more connections, it can exchange and transfer more information, create more value.
    Give it a try: join a theme group or offline organization, participate in an activity of interest, share your experience online, learn about different fields and industries, meet and meet more strangers… … and slowly build up one weak relationship after another.
    Do not bother to maintain, nor with a strong sense of purpose. What you need to do is to always be open and engaged, to throw yourself into a larger ocean, to connect with others, to collide with the world.
    You may find that you are opening up a bigger world.

    Finally, a quick post: What if you’ve always felt mediocre and haven’t found something you’re good at or interested in?
    Share a few tips to help you better build your self-awareness.

    1) when making small talk, ask what people think of you and what they think of you.
    For example:
  • What impressed you most about me?
  • If you wanted to introduce me to someone, how would you introduce me?
  • If you want to buy my time, what would you like me to do for you?

  • This is a visual reflection of your first impression in the minds of others, and is often the most intuitive, most subconscious of your interactions with others. At the same time, it can also reflect other people’s evaluation of you, help you understand other people’s perception and judgment of your abilities, strengths and advantages.
    Of course, you can not be so direct, but should be according to the occasion, atmosphere, “Appropriate” to ask, which needs to test your ability to communicate.
    2) in your life and work, whether it’s a task or a hobby, try to look outside yourself and ask yourself:
  • When I do this, do I feel happy or bored?
  • Am I curious to explore it further, or just business-like and not interested?
  • When I do this task, do I feel smooth and comfortable, or do I need to stop and think often?
  • Do I flow naturally, or am I particularly easily distracted and distracted?
  • What do people say about my work? Is it always one-off, or is it always fine-tuned and modified?

  • This can help you get a clearer picture of what you like, what you’re good at, What’s right for you, and what you want.
    3) make a conscious effort to accumulate positive feedback and praise from others, especially by writing down:
    For what reason do people praise me, what is the specific point?What my own feelings and evaluations are, do I agree with these compliments, and why?At these points, what is the average level of others, am I really doing better than others?
    This will help you understand your place in others’ evaluation criteria and reference system, and help you know yourself more fully and objectively.


  • Finally, to summarize:
    It is always easy to divide people into”Excellent” and”Ordinary”. This is a typical one-way thinking. This division simply forces us to look at them from a distance, to see whether they are“Uniform” and“Exceptional”.
    As long as you look closer, really to pay attention to everyone, then there is no mediocrity. Because time is equal to everyone, everyone will have their own accumulation in time, resulting in people are completely different. Therefore, everyone must have some strengths of their own, is better than others do, more superior place. Excellent is compared with their own, and compared with others, only diverse, not excellent.
    Many times we focus on“Mediocrity” simply because our strengths can not be translated into material wealth. But material things are not the same as happiness. How You View Your Life and how you balance your desires and abilities is more important than how much material wealth you have.
    If you feel like you can’t get feedback on what you’re good at, get out there and connect with more people. Always keep an open and participatory mind, throw yourself into a larger ocean, and find a place to meet the needs of others.

    I hope today’s article can give you some strength and help you clear up some confusion.
    Don’t forget that no one is mediocre.
    We are all ordinary people, but we are also not ordinary ordinary people.

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