Accepting Mediocrity

These days, I feel more and more a sinking feeling that I haven’t accomplished anything important. I’m not sure what exactly it is I want – I say I should feel like my life is meaningful, but what exactly does that mean? While “meaningfulness” sounds like a noble goal, it could consist of less noble goals like winning the esteem of others, or being recognized as one of the “best” at something. Would I be ok if I was the best at something that everyone else thought was trivial? I want to do good in the world as well as do something meaningful, and I think those go hand in hand. But one thing is certain - there does feel like there’s a void in my life.

Part of the feeling of being unaccomplished it is that I have too much on my plate. I have a new job that has taken up a lot more time than my previous job. While I made less money at my previous job, I had a lot more free time. In addition to succeeding in my career, I want to learn Hindi, read a book every week, write for this blog and contribute to open source. I want to do politics in my local community and socialize. And when we have kids, there will be even less time for these activities.

I wonder if I should stick to one hobby. For example, while I know a decent bit of Hindi, I’ve been studying for four years and I am far from fluent in it. I’m reading one book a month. I don’t post to my blog often, but I do find myself having a hard time actually putting words together and forming a coherent point. I wonder if I have anything worth saying.

It’s not though that I haven’t accomplished anything. I am a talented programmer, and I’ve even written a book. I have a few open source projects, though none of them are revolutionary. Despite these things, I still feel lacking in accomplishment. Even if I did accomplish something I thought was important, I might cease to think it was important.

Of course, I could be doing much more. I waste time on social media and playing video games. I track how I spend my time on the computer now, and I can spend up to hour and a half each day on wasted activities. But it’s also true need time to relax. I just wish that my goals were my relaxation activities, rather than something like gaming.

I think now that the key is accepting that I’m average in a lot of ways, and being ok with that. I have to accept that I can’t have it all, and some things I’m not going to accomplish. I don’t believe in free will, so it’s not like I think anything could be different. There are 8 billion of us on the planet – why am I special?

This is of course, much easier said than done. I still feel a void meaninglessness in my life. But I’m going to work on it. And by accepting that my life is already extraordinary, perhaps I can shed my feelings of mediocrity.

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