Wow, no wonder mental health issues are on the rise.

This morning I was greeted with an email with the subject line “Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.” If that didn’t drill it home, the quote was displayed in the featured image at the top of the email copy (a guy climbing a mountain… sheesh) and again in text just below…

“Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.”
~Seth Godin

Just to be clear, the email was not from Seth Godin but from someone else who apparently wanted to inspire his readers with this quote. This weekly email update is normally full of interesting resources and helpful hints related to my work, but seeing this in my inbox on a Monday morning is making me seriously consider whether my values jibe with this content.

Do people really need this kind of ‘inspiration’? Let’s open our eyes, minds and hearts and really ponder over how many people out there are struggling on a daily basis in their own personal way – with putting food on the table, long hours at a shitty job they were lucky to get, accessing quality childcare, access to clean water, access to healthy food, painful relationships, medical issues and on and on. In many cases, getting to average IS exceptional.

There are always people better off than you, and worse off than you. This changes from moment to moment, week to week, year to year. Want a surefire way to make yourself feel inadequate? Strive for constant exceptionality.

Today I’m feeling average and happy. But allow me a moment of exceptionality as I click ‘Unsubscribe’.

My exceptional photo

The photo above is of an ‘exceptional’ mineral called Smithsonite. I took this photo some years ago on a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum. While this example is beautiful, thankfully the earth is full of many ‘average’ rocks and minerals we rely on for useful and practical purposes during the course of our lives.