You’re Not Important

Isn’t that wonderful? What do you mean you want to matter and change the world and be a somebody? I’m going to explain to you why being unimportant is great.

At the time of writing there are 7,532,338,589 people in the world (this figure changes by the second and will now – the time you’re reading this – be significantly higher). This means that the world is one seven billion five hundred and thirty eight million five hundred and eighty ninths about you. In other words, you’re not important.

We might think that we want to be important but actually it’s extremely liberating not being important. Yes, okay walking in somewhere they know you’re name is cool but that comes at a price. When was the last time you were between jobs? Or went on holiday and flew there on a plane with no wifi? Was it annoying that people weren’t getting in touch because of how important you are? No, thought not. It was bliss, right? No reason to answer the phone or emails, just left to be. Presidents and Prime Ministers and a lot of CEOs don’t get to do that. Ever. I’m amazed how they can get any sleep. They are so important that they can’t go anywhere without an awful lot of people knowing exactly where they are and what they’re doing. That sounds pretty average to me.

How does being unimportant help us day-to-day? Sometimes you really hope that someone is thinking about you – ex-girlfriend/boyfriend for example or your team when you’re away from work because of how important you are. But. And it’s a big but. What about the times you’re worried about someone thinking about you? You’ve stuffed up at work, your boss must be fuming about you in the evening when they’re at home. You’ve accidentally insulted a friend or acquaintance, they must think you’re awful and will never speak to you again. That person you cut up in traffic but didn’t mean to (if you did mean to them shame on you), they’re probably cursing you. Truth is they probably forgot about it almost straight away or at least something or someone else has now got their attention.

Could it be depressing to think of ourselves as unimportant? Sure. We all have an ego, no matter how self-effacing we might be, and it is nice to think that we’re at least a bit more important than the next person but that is entirely external. If we have low self-esteem we seek validation outside ourselves. We are all equally important or unimportant as one another. In a subjective way, a president or CEO is important because a lot of people need them to do things but objectively they’re just another person, the same as us. They have needs and wants, anxieties, joys, sadnesses, the same as everyone else.

Remembering how unimportant we are can liberate us to do whatever we want (in a good way or bad way, that bit is up to you) and to achieve great things. If [insert just about any famous artist, politician, entrepreneur] had worried about what other people thought of them, they would never have achieved what they did/have. So, believe in yourself and know that you matter and that what you do and what you’re capable of doing counts. Just like everyone else.

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