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The Okayness of Ungreatness

Why you don't have to be great to be great

By Aaron PacePublished 8 months ago 3 min read
The Okayness of Ungreatness
Photo by Noah Blaine Clark on Unsplash

If you’ve read much of my writing here on Medium, you know I tend not to stick to a particular topic. A good data analyst might be able to derive some patterns, but I mostly like to write about what’s interesting to me in the moment. I’m exploring my own thoughts and ideas about life, liberty, and the pursuit of a great grilled Salmon.

So, you might find some of what I write in this little piece contradicts some of my previous writing. Life is filled with contradictions, and much of the opinions I once held fast have become fluid as I’ve gotten a little bit older. Who knows? Maybe next week I’ll attempt to prove myself wrong.

Let’s dive in, shall we?


A Google search for the term “work in your genius” yields 616,000 results. “Be more productive” yields 34,900,000.

Opportunities abound, but in certain respects it’s a difficult time to be alive. There are many hands pushing us in all kinds of directions:

  • Be more productive
  • Be more mindful
  • Be more present
  • Have a side hustle
  • Be social
  • Be involved in a social cause
  • Leverage yourself
  • Make more money
  • Give more to charity
  • Exercise more
  • Eat healthier
  • Sleep better

I’m sure you could easily add to this list.

Of course, none of these things is inherently bad. They’re all wonderful modes for living life and improving ourselves. For me, working on improving myself is something I want to do.

It’s obvious, however, that trying to do many (or all) of these things simultaneously leads to rapid and persistent overwhelm. Living in a state of overwhelm for long periods of time is counter-productive. Even worse, it is detrimental to one’s health.


And what if you’re content with your life as it is?

Let’s suppose you have a job waiting tables. You don’t love it but you don’t hate it either. The clientele are generally good folks who enjoy coming to the restaurant that employs you and you only occasionally have to deal with one of those customers. Suppose you’re living in a one-bedroom apartment in the middle of a city that you like and you have friends that you hang out with sometimes. But, you really enjoy time just playing Rocket League with your team scattered across the globe.

Is there anything wrong with that?

I don’t think so.

I think that there are times and seasons in our lives when it’s okay to just be okay where we are. Productivity gurus would tell you that if you’re not improving your stagnating and that’s a bad thing.

It’s difficult to be objective about such a statement. I could attempt to draw a line: those below the line are stagnant and those above the line are okay and those above the other line are doing great.

In reality, though, there’s not a good way to delineate the human experience. One person may be completely content (and they deserve to be content) in the situation I described above while someone else may view that experience as a kind of personal prison to be escaped the moment the prison bus doors open.

Perspective and desire play a huge part in our all of our experiences.

Maybe you perceive yourself as stuck. Maybe you perceive yourself as happy. Maybe you are completely neutral on the whole experience. Whatever your perspective and perception, it’s uniquely yours. No two people will ever have the exact same experience because the lens of perception will always be different.

Today, maybe you’re okay with where you’re at. “I’m good,” is an acceptable response to invitations to improve yourself. I think the overall trend in life should be to grow and develop, but that’s my personal take on things. Even if incremental growth were a universal truth, who am I to attempt to assign a timeline to another person?

So, if you want to spend a few days, weeks, months, or years being okay, that’s great. Embrace it!


Thanks for reading!


About the Creator

Aaron Pace

Married to my best friend. Father to five exuberant children. Fledgling entrepreneur. Writer. Software developer. Inventory management expert.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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