Every child is special for their parents. That child is raised to believe that anything and everything is achievable if you work hard; that they should dream big and chase their dreams.
My parents used to take me to watch the circus every year. It was the highlight of my year.
Watching those girls wearing fancy clothes and performing gymnastics awed me as a child. I used to ask my parents, “Why don’t you ‘enroll’ me into the circus squad?” to which I used to get very funny reactions. Parents always want big dreams for their children or rather dreams that are financially stable. But while growing up, your mind has no bounds.
I wanted to act in the circus, work as a doctor, act, dance, open a bhel shop, be an engineer, be a painter, be a writer, be a teacher and be a TV anchor or just be very famous at various stages of my life depending on the interest and influence in related things at those times.
I ended up becoming an engineer, or a typical engineer in today’s terms; one who has a typical 9-5 job, typical day and a traditional life.
Did I want to become an engineer? I really did not ask myself that question.
During my school days, I was better than average at studies and extracurriculars. I was a normal kid who didn’t know much but kept going with the flow.
Are we given any chance to explore or really know what we love or are good at? I don’t think so. You have to be really lucky if your mind tells you that you prefer a certain thing over another. My mind didn’t. I did what everyone around me told me was the ‘in’ thing to do at that point. Engineering was cool; I did engineering. MS was cool; I did MS.
Life has turned out to be good. Nothing bad. It just feels too mediocre. Engineering is mediocre. Ten years, and now the perspectives have changed. Films like 3 Idiots or Wake up Sid have emphasized the fact that we should chase our dreams. Suddenly people around have started describing themselves as wildlife photographers, travelers, bloggers. They might have clicked 1 good picture, been to 2 trips, and written 3 blogs, and now they tag themselves with these cool professions.
There are genuine people who really have these as professions, but the fact that every other person has started tagging themselves this way bothers me. Everybody wants to show the world that they are different. That they are doing something interesting and they are not mediocre.
Having a dream is good, chasing a dream is good, exploring a dream is good. But staying grounded and also knowing and understanding our ability to achieve those dreams is important. Anything and everything is achievable if you work hard as well as have the skills, along with some luck.
I feel that if you work in a job that has a routine and there are thousands around you who do the same, it does feel mediocre. I have the fear of settling with this mediocrity. I love the financial perks and stability that come with it, but I feel the need to explore other sides of my personality to get away from this mediocrity. For me, to dance, to write, to cook something difficult is getting away from mediocrity.
I think mediocre or extraordinary is a relative term and is a state of mind that you feel about yourself or your life. It has got nothing to do with how much you earn or what profession you are in. A photographer who clicks pictures for his bread and butter might feel that photography is mediocre. But if he spends a day on a laptop for 8 hours figuring out some software, he might feel elated and extraordinary.
My fears of settling in mediocrity have driven me to think outside the box, inspired me to try and learn new things, keep an open mind, try something different, something apart from my 9-5 traditional routine. Spend some time finding your very own non-mediocre activities. And perhaps you will find a special, extraordinary place in your heart.