There is a lot of peer pressure to be exceptional or have some ability that makes us outstandingly different. Why?
We've all seen the TikTok video's where someone does some fluke trick and then does an air punch as if they have obtained some great achievement. They have not really done anything that makes them special, but they think it's worth posting it for posterity. One fluke out of years of a life does not make us exceptional. Of course there are those who have achieved a lot, but their whole life is not been the occasional achievements that bring them to be known by many.
Yet we are implored by an army of promotors to see them as some sort of inspiration or even as heroes. Behind them come the myriad wannabee coaches that make out that we should all strive to be as successful otherwise we are some sort of losers who let life pass them by. So many are invested in us being so dissatisfied with ourselves that we will drink their kool aid and sign up to become a stress-bag and perpetually striving for things that will never satisfy us. We don't need to go on that stress treadmill.
What we don't see is all the hard work that those who regularly get noticed have to do for those exceptional moments. Plus we don't see all the others around them whose time is devoted to supporting them, nor the family members whose own lives have been put on hold so they can revolve around their careers. Many have talent, but it takes more than talent to consistently be at the top. If we don't have that amount of time nor support, how are we supposed to be exceptional?
Of course, all the emphasis on exceptionalism is so that a few can make a lot of money out of the manufactured aspirations of the many. By its nature, exceptionalism is for the elite few, but holding them up as some sort of goal to strive towards is just cynical exploitation. We can't all be so exceptional as it would cease to be meaningful. Also, there would be nobody to feed our egos as everybody else would have their own that needs stroking! We are living in a society that is effectively turning us into nervous wrecks for some neoliberal wet dream. We don't need it!
It is ok to be unexceptional and be happy with what we do that allows us to be at peace with ourselves. If we stop measuring ourselves against other people and focus on what we find joy in, we will be much happier. Letting go of all the fake ambitions means we won't need the inflated incomes that require us to work for long hours for people who don't care about us. We can then spend time with our families and friends, or just our own company doing things that give us a sense of accomplishment in our own small way.
Life is for living what we feel we need to do, and not being deluded by the delusional who serve those who want to exploit us. We can take back our lives, and in doing so, we will give the planet a respite from the damage of excessive consumerism and greed. Then we will all live in a better society that serves us and the planet.