We humans are a highly adaptive species. We might not enjoy it, but we are all getting used to living in between 4 walls. Getting used to seeing the same 1-2 faces every day, getting used to moving face-to-face activities online. This is not a dream world but it is far better than the worst scenarios.
The panic quickly subsides and we are on to wondering when we’ll be going back to normal. We miss it, yet we are slightly terrified of it. After all, we can’t even be sure what “normal” will look like after this is over.
Hopefully, we’re going to come out of these unprecedented times with refreshed outlook. Better equipped to live a “normal” life.
Because, let’s face it. We’ve been taking so many things for granted.
The lives of our loved ones.
The food we put on the table.
Our (non-)fulfilling job.
Our social life.
Our mental health.
Our own life.
When all of this is over, I sincerely hope we will get to go back to normal. And yes, I’ll be glad to meet up with friends and to go to parks and pubs and go on that trip to a tropical island and start that exciting new job.
But that’s not exactly what I mean.
What I really hope for is we can go back to being cool with being normal. Because nowadays, this is something rare.
With the rise of social media and connectedness, we started to feel like being normal is not normal. It kind of looks like what’s normal these days is for each and every one of us to be extraordinary. To be a standout with his Instagram followers, his post retweets, his worldly goods and status.
I can’t deny that the opportunities to make it big right now are more than ever before. Our parents and grandparents never had these options.
However, fewer chances to succeed also means fewer chances to feel like a failure.
Scrolling down on Facebook/Instagram, every 5th post is an ad of someone who wants to tell you their secrets of how they managed to get… (insert here count of followers, subscribers, clients, fortune). Most of these are standing casually dressed in front of a pool, not as often in front of shiny cars. They preach and they preach, and they curse and they tell you to hustle and to aim for the top 0.000001%.
Not to rest until you get that.
And I totally get that. I know there is a God dormant in all of us who is just waiting to be awoken to start working wonders. I know we are capable of far more than we can even start to imagine.
And I can’t agree more that most of the time we need a little nudge to get it all going. Or a massive push.
What I want to say is, if you are a hustler, do go ahead and hustle. The world needs all kinds of people. (But please, if possible, do not walk over kind hearts and the environment while on your endeavour).
But if you are not a hustler, just don’t do it. No need to feel like less of a person if you are not reading 5 books per day or not cold-calling 1000 companies per week. If you are not followed by the thousands or read by millions.
If you want an example of how doing what everyone else is doing is not always the best idea, just remember the events of a month ago.
Everyone rushed and bought toilet paper because everyone else was buying toilet paper. People fought over toilet paper and hoarded rooms with it without even knowing why. Just because everyone else was doing it.
Then we paused, we looked around, we realised toilet paper will not save us and comfort us. We condemned humanity’s stupidity, and we stopped buying toilet paper.
So yeah, hoarding toilet paper and expecting to be safe and hoarding money and expecting to be happy are kind of similar.
Success is only real success to us when it is also fulfilling.
And being fulfilled starts with accepting who we are right here, right now. With or without all the achievement badges. With being fine to be nobody, just yourself. Because this is when you can start to become somebody. Somebody you’d be happy with.
Yes, the most pressing question right now is “When are we going back to normal?”
It has gone a bit out of fashion and it’s time to bring it back.
*This is not a call for you to lose your identity and conform. It is a call to accept yourself just as you are right now, and THEN go be extraordinary, if that’s what you are after.