Why being “ordinary” is extraordinarily underrated

In a world that favors and celebrates the extraordinary, we often overlook the beauty and richness of life’s ordinary moments. 

The more we focus on achieving our goals, gaining success, and acquiring more and more, the more we struggle to appreciate the small things.

This is why being ordinary should not be seen as a bad thing.ord

Being ordinary allows us to appreciate all the quiet joys that surround us. It reminds us that not everything has to be impressive and exceptional to be meaningful. 

So, if you see yourself as a “plain Jane,” I’m here to tell you to own and embrace it. And to help you do that, here are five reasons why being ordinary is hugely underrated. 

1) Being ordinary means you stay grounded

Goal-focused people spend most of their time in their heads, thinking about how they can make more money, increase their business’s success, retire early, etc.

While this can be wonderful in some aspects, research has found that being in your head TOO much can hinder happiness.

It’s true!

Researcher Matt Killingsworth analyzed the responses to questions about thoughts, feelings, and actions of over 15,000 people. 

Matt found that participants were significantly less happy when thinking about something other than what they were doing. So, he concluded that a wandering mind can limit our feelings of joy and contentment.

How does this relate to being ordinary?

Ordinary people are not always pursuing their “next big goal,” so they are more likely to be present and ‘in the moment’ rather than caught in their wandering minds.

Another thing they don’t get caught up in is their ego. As success and money are not valued highly, they don’t let their achievements and wins go to their head.

So, if you’re ordinary, you’re likely a very grounded, down-to-earth person who lives from their heart. 

2) Being ordinary helps you find joy and satisfaction 

Aside from not being in their heads, ordinary people tend to be happier as they are more content with what they have.

They are not constantly striving for more and more, nor do they see happiness as a destination they can only reach once they have achieved all their life goals.

No, an ordinary person’s contentment means they can easily experience joy, happiness, and satisfaction just from the little things in life.

In fact, you could say an ordinary person has mastered the art of appreciating the little things. 

If this is you, this is a beautiful quality as it means you appreciate the things that most people take for granted, such as:

  • Your pet cuddling up to you on the sofa
  • The sound of bird song in the morning
  • Watching the sunset
  • Being surrounded by nature
  • Having a coffee with a close friend

Ambitious people often struggle to understand how ordinary people can be so content. This is because they seek happiness and meaning through big achievements and wins. 

But for ordinary people, happiness comes from everyday life. 

Interestingly, science backs up this perspective. 

Professor Joshua Hicks, from Texas A&M University, ran a study asking people various questions about meaning in life. One question asked the participants to recall the most meaningful event they experienced in the past month.

Joshua found that more people found meaning in the smaller things of everyday life than through their big achievements. 

3) Being ordinary means you don’t have to deal with pressure

One of the biggest benefits of being ordinary is the lack of expectations people have about you.

People don’t anticipate much from ordinary people. They expect them to do the job but not go above and beyond.

However, people who show ambition and drive are increasingly expected to not only perform well but always do better than the time before. 

This creates a lot of pressure as the higher you are on the pedestal, the higher you will fall should you fail.

According to many psychologists, high expectations (from self or others) go hand in hand with perfectionism, which contributes to poor mental health, including depression and anxiety.

So, for ordinary people, a lack of expectation is a blessing. 

If you decide to set a goal and work towards it, you can do so at your own pace, with no one watching over your shoulder or expecting anything from you.

4) Being ordinary helps you get on better with others

Ordinary people see the world as a friendly place, while extraordinary people see it as one big competition.

When you’re ordinary, you don’t feel the need to compare yourself to others and compete with your peers. You’re not busy trying to show off, nor do you judge others on how successful they are or are not.

You’re also less likely to have conflicts with those around you. 

Without the presence of an ego, you’re able to have more wholesome interactions and develop deeper relationships.

You see the true beauty in humans as you look at their inner values rather than their external achievements. 

You appear humble, grounded, and authentic to others, which is why ordinary people are never short on friends. 

5) Being ordinary makes you more open-minded

If you’re an ordinary person, you likely handle failure much better than high-achievers. 

How?

Well, you don’t focus on impressing others or looking a certain way, so failing does not dent your confidence or self-esteem.

Because of this, you are more open to feedback and learning. 

Your ego doesn’t keep you attached to specific beliefs or ideas, which keeps you humble and increases your capacity for growth.

So, while others may believe ordinary people are always stagnating, this is not the case at all.

Final thoughts 

If you’re an ordinary person, you’re good at finding contentment in the here and now, cultivating gratitude for the small things, and honoring the steady progression of your life.

Your ability to slow down, pause, and be present allows you to connect deeper with your true self, find solace in simplicity, and build lasting authentic relationships. 

When you look at mediocrity from this perspective, being ordinary doesn’t seem so bad after all, does it?

Gemma Clarke

Gemma Clarke

I am a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and an experienced content writer in the spirituality and personal growth space. I’m passionate about sharing my expertise through the power of words to inspire and guide others along the path of personal and spiritual development.

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