WHAT IF?

What if we settled for an ordinary life? What if we were happy with being enough?

BEING ORDINARY

So much has been written recently on simplifying our lives and on minimalism. I follow a few Facebook pages that promote the idea of choosing to not accumulate and to not compete with others and I really like that concept. Recently I re-read a lovely article by Krista O'Reilly-Davi-Digui on her A Life In Progress blog that asked "What if I want a mediocre life?"

She's taking ownership of her right to an ordinary life in a world where we're being told that we have to be extraordinary to be validated. Everyone seems to want their moment in the spotlight - their 15 minutes of fame. Everyone wants to be discovered and to become famous. All bloggers want their post to "go viral", all youtubers want their videos to be the next best thing, singers want their songs to be discovered by Ellen, everyone wants their greatness to be recognized.


BUT WHAT DO WE LOSE?

The sad thing is that we often lose our first love, our authenticity, and our joy in what we do when we strive to win favour and be recognized by the world at large. Before we know it we're following every new formula, every "how to" piece of advice, and buying every new online seminar or e-book that tells us the "secret to success". We forget who we are in the pursuit of becoming someone else and I think that's really sad.

I love this final paragraph that Krista wrote to summarize her thoughts:

What if I embrace my limitations and stop railing against them. Make peace with who I am and what I need and honor your right to do the same. Accept that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough.

What if I embrace my limitations and stop railing against them? Krista O'Reilly -Davi-Digui

BEING ENOUGH

I think we forget that we are already enough, that we already have enough, and that we don't need to compete or prove ourselves to have a valid life. It's enough to love and be loved by others, to contribute to the community we live in, to write if we love to write, to sing if we love to sing, to paint if we love to paint. We don't need to be discovered, we don't need to be the next best thing, we don't need to go on Ellen and have our 15 minutes of fame. It is enough just to be happy with an ordinary life.

There is always a downside to aspiring to be superwoman, people are always ready to cut down the tall poppy. I've seen bloggers who have been vilified by the same people who, not long before, had been singing their praises. I've watched people crash and burn after their moment in the limelight. The question is always "is it worth it?" and I'm not sure that it is. I think I am content to stay in my small part of the world and be ordinary.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you yearn for fame and fortune? Do you long for discovery? Or are you happy to settle for a quieter life and the peace that comes with it? Are we missing out if we're not striving constantly for more?

What if we settled for an ordinary life? What if we were happy with being enough?

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23 comments

  1. So very interesting. I think that we all need to determine who and what we are in life. I always told my kids that being happy is the best thing in life and that I know many people who are out there chasing money and things and are really unhappy.

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    1. I think when I finally understood the fact that it was up to me to decide what made me happy and what made me content that things really started to change. I am in a really good place these days - despite the ups and downs of life because I choose to be content with what I have and what I am - it makes such a difference doesn't it?

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  2. I find the older I get, the more I want a slow, easy life. I don't require as much excitement as I used to and for that... I'm grateful.

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    1. Me too Laurie - I just don't see the point of it all - it seems that with fame comes hassle and I don't need that in my life.

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  3. Hi Leanne! Not all of us want to be famous or to have posts that go viral...and I get the idea of not needing to be "special," but I also recognize I don't think that being "mediocre" is the answer for me. I want to be my true self. Nothing more, nothing less. I think we are all special, and when we find the music within each of us, then we each can fulfill the unique purpose we came here to provide. And yes, often that is a slow and simple version of what society tells us to do...Ultimately we need to find out that we are enough exactly as we are. ~Kathy

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    1. I know what you mean Kathy - mediocre seems to have a taint associated with it doesn't it? I think it's being content with an ordinary life - one you feel suits you and is warm and simple and encompasses the people and things you love is how I see it. Not always striving to be the next best thing.

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  4. I love this post so much! It is something that I needed to read. Thank you for reminding me that I am enough. I'm one that wants a quieter, slower life. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    - Natalie A.

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    1. Hi Natalie - you are not alone by any means! I think there are a lot of us out there that are tired of being told we need to constantly be more - and to always be asking "what's next?" It's nice to just sit back and say "you know what? I'm happy with who I am and where I am right now".

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  5. I agree Leanne. I'm a little over all the media encouraging us to be more than what we are when perhaps we are happy with ourselves. Everyone is an individual, we just need to work out what is good for us and try not to be someone we aren't.

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    1. I think we can become so dissatisfied with our lot in life if we are continually wishing for more and comparing ourselves with others Sue. There seems to be a lot of pain associated with fame and fortune - I don't think I'm prepared to pay the cost of what it takes to be in the limelight - not that it's likely to happen!

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  6. Yes to all your questions at the end there Leanne! But I'm happy with my life as is and know that I am abundantly blessed. The other stuff would just be a bonus if it happened x

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    1. I actually thought that way too for a while Janet, but I've come to realize that I don't think I'm made to be that kind of person. I wouldn't want all that comes with it - I think I've reached an age and stage where it's about "godliness with contentment"

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  7. I appreciate your thoughtful discussion of the topic (and my short essay). I wrote that two years ago and still have to walk this out daily - the self-acceptance, keeping my eyes on my own life, saying no (to many of my own desires to do new things and challenge myself and to most pressures or wonderful ideas and invitations from the outside), saying yes to doing hard things that feel important to my personal growth, etc. It is a daily dance.

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    1. Krista I so appreciate you taking the time to read this and leave a comment. Your words really spoke to my heart (and I've read your post several times over the last year or so as a reminder to myself). It took me until I was 50 to figure out that life isn't a competition - it's about being your authentic self and loving what that brings with it - you grasped that concept much sooner than me! :)

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  8. Thank you for the thought-provoking post, Leanne. I'm certainly not looking for fame or fortune at this point in my life. My battle is more with myself. It's always a fine line for me, striving to be my best self and accepting who I am right now. I love the comparison to babies I read somewhere. We celebrate each new skill or development, and at the same time we see them as perfect just the way they are. We are thrilled when a baby learns to roll over or crawl, but before that, we don't say, "Oh, he'd be perfect if he could just roll over." I want a life where I continuously grow and learn, but I also want to be able to enjoy the moment and not feel like every minute has to be working towards something else. I just need to find the right balance.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Christie - it's a fine line isn't it between wanting to be your best and not feeling the need to compare or compete? I am trying to be my authentic self and tune out what the world around me thinks - their values seem to be getting further and further away from mine!

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  9. Makes you think! I over do it and put to much on my plate! Its really not good for me! I strive for peace, and healthy life. Very nice post. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. I'm learning to do that more every day Maria - not sweating the small stuff and focusing on what is important to my core values rather than being told what's important by others.

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    1. Thanks so much - I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it x

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  11. This is such a great post. I've never been a competitive or particularly ambitious person. Whenever I'm asked what I want out of life, or to be, my answer is just "happy". I know that means different things to different people, but to me it just means having enough to live comfortably, to spend time with the people I love, and to live healthily and with minimal stress. Just enough, not too much.
    #anythinggoes

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  12. I think it really depends on the type of person you are. I am one of those that is not shy but hates to be in the spotlight, I am not a natural leader so I make a great right hand person, so to speak. My idea of success certainly would not be to be famous or to be in the spotlight (the irony of which is not lost on me since I am a blogger). But I certainly would not call my life a mediocre one. I think that we should stop labeling things. So much of what we each experience has different meaning for each of us depending on what road we have traveled in our lives. And now I am getting too philosophical Leanna! See what you made me do? ;)

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  13. I do not think we are missing out if we are not striving for "more" but I also think that is very dependent on your goals. If you want more and then do not push to get it I think you would feel disappointed.

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