Culture Of Exceptionalism

I would say we have this expectation or this entitlement mindset more today than in any other time in history. And the reason is because of the nature of our technology and economic privilege. Having the internet, google, facebook, YouTube and access to 500+ channels of television is amazing. We have more access to information than any other time in history.

This flood of extreme information has conditioned us to believe that “exceptional” is the new normal. And since all of us are rarely exceptional, being famous, listed in Forbes top 100 richest people, gracing covers of Vogue and Time magazine, we feel pretty insecure and desperate to feel exceptional. “We must then compensate”. Compensate with over inflated ego, living in psychological stress of one day being greatly noticed.

There is this kind of tyranny in our culture today, a sense that we must always be proving that we are special, unique, exceptional all the time, no matter what. Only to have that moment of exceptionalism swept away under the current of all other activities and happenings.

The ticket to a happy life comes through accepting the bland and mundane truths of life, that we are all average in the grand scheme of things and the vast majority of our lives will be lived without notice, only the recorded part will be displayed. This will taste bad at first. Very bad. You will avoid accepting it. But once ingested you will wake up feeling more potent and more alive.

That constant pressure to always be something amazing, to be the next big thing, will be lifted off your back. The stress and anxiety of feeling inadequate and dissipate. And the knowledge and acceptance of your own mundane existence will actually free you to accomplish what you truly wish to accomplish with no judgement and no lofty expectations.

You will have a growing appreciation for life’s basic experiences. You will learn to measure yourself through a new healthier means; the pleasures of simple friendship, devotion to something, routine chores performed joyfully, helping those that need and seek, expanding in learning, laughing with someone you care about. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? That’s because these things are not extraordinary but maybe they are ordinary for a reason. Because they are what actually matter.

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