Do something extraordinary.
Change the world.
Make a difference.
My veins have been pumped with these messages since I was young. The expectation was set: in order to live a good, valuable life, you have to do something impressive.
As a result, I feel a sense of urgency to be known, to be spectacular, to be great. It’s often paralyzing. And every day I don’t do something important, I feel like a waste.
This is the standard that has been imparted to a lot of us.
But here’s the thing: the bar was set too high. The expectations are crushing us.
So, I’m lowering the standards.
Today, just show up.
Today, give what you can.
And if you don’t show up or don’t give all you can, try again tomorrow.
That’s the new standard.
Lowering the standard isn’t a cop out. It’s not a lazy man’s ploy to feel good about himself. Rather, lowering the standards is:
A. A reflection of reality.
How many world changers are there today? How many people are doing work that is impressive and publicly recognized by people? 10? 10,000? 10 million? Even if there are 100 million, that’s only 1.4% of the total world population. The odds aren’t in our favor.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to change the world for the better. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make an impact. By all means, give it your best shot because Lord knows the world needs it.
But don’t base the value of your life on how much you accomplish or how impressive you are to others.
B. An infusion of grace.
Grace tells us that what we do does not determine our worth. It tells us that we are important, and loved, and extraordinary simply because we are human.
And do you know what people who believe they are important and loved and extraordinary do? Important things. Lovely things. Extraordinary things. What we do flows out of who we believe we inherently are.
So, today, just show up. Give what you can.
If you’re depressed and all you can do is get yourself out of bed and make breakfast, get out bed and make yourself breakfast like the freaking hero you are. That’s extraordinary.
If showing up means going to work during the day and watching Netflix at night and paying some bills and that’s it, it’s ok. You’re enough.
And if giving what you can means rescuing people from slavery or building wells or leading a company, give it all you have. Change the world.
The reality is, people are depressed and stressed and killing themselves because the standard of what it means to be have a good life and what it means to be valuable person is completely wrong.
But we are important, and valuable, and worthy of love simply because of who we are.
So let’s rewrite the standard. Let’s show up. Let’s give what we can.
And let’s be ok with doing that, as hard as it might be.