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Your place in the world. Or lack thereof


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I used to want to do something extraordinary. Something that would change the world somehow. I was always told i was brilliant, smart, insightful and would do great things. And right now i am working a regular job, doing perfectly ordinary things.


Now two things are bothering me. First, my girlfriend, whom i love very much is doing great things with her life. She is about to have a book published, going to speak at conventions and such. And is generally doing very well for herself. This has been slowly making me jealous of her and i do not want to end up resenting her and causing strain in the relationship.


Second, i'm coming to the realization i am never going to be someone great. I used to idolize people like Gates and Jobs for what they did in the computer industry. I am a decent sys admin, but i will never become as great as they are. Despite the perceived intelligence, i wont change the computer industry like everyone thought i would. I am going to be plain and ordinary.


It concludes that i am afraid i will no longer be good enough for my gf. I make a decent living and have some decent opportunities, but with her upcoming fame, im worried i will become nothing more then a side ornament for her. I just want the greatness she is destined for.


So how do i deal with the fact that i will never be anything special?

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i felt that way when i was with my ex, i always felt he was above me, he had started his own business, and at the time i was out of work, i started to feel jelous, which was stupid really, i imagined him in this big house, with a swimming pool, a big flash jeep in the drive, and well i didnt imagine me there....


haha how right i was...


and thought i was nothing compared to him, now i realise, im a great person that knows how to treat others, knows how to love, can give and take.


so i dont think its always about your job status and or money.


you should never feel your less than anyone else.

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Thank you for the kind words. Funny enough she herself doesn't want myself feeling this way, and she still thinks im some amazing person. Which makes me feel even worse. I keep telling myself she expects so much of me and im letting her down by being completely ordinary.


It is so frustrating.

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The expectations you or family or peers may put above your head can sometimes have the opposite result. This may sound ironic but you need to put yourself off the pedestal and take the pressure away. I had similar thoughts to you, they were debilitating. May I ask..


What's the background, are your parents high achievers?

Why did you want so much to do something extraordinary? What image did you want to hold on too? Was it to prove something to yourself or others?

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I too wanted to be someone who changed the world and if you only knew my life you'd see how greatly I failed. I was ordinary for a while but wasn't happy, now I have to aspire for ordinary. I guess what I'm trying to say is appreciate the life you have because everything will change. And if you really aspire to greatness what exactly are you doing to achieve it? Or was it in fact your parents expectations of you that you internalized?

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My parents put a lot of expectations of me. I was always a straight A student. Never did much for clubs, but grades were always top notch. Salutatorian in junior and high school (missed Valedictorian by .03 gpa, she deserved it though) was always good with electronics. I was always considered the "prodigy" of the family.


I held the ideal that i was supposed to do something great in life. Being constantly told how special i was or how smart i was, i was destined to do something important for the world.


Due to many factors in college, mainly with depression and attempted suicide, i never finished school. I have a decent job in network administration, and have completed a good amount of certifications. I have thought of going back to school, but circumstances right now prevent that.


For me I feel like i let every single person who ever believed in my supposed future greatness down, like i am a huge disappointment to my family and myself. And with my gf doing so many great things now, i feel beneath her. I should be having my own huge successful company by now, huge house, lots of money.


As far as trying to improve myself i have been taking every single cert exam i can think of to improve myself in the field. Make myself better than the others around me to stand out.


I just feel i failed.


Thank you for the encouraging words.

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Not everyone changes the world..but who cares..what is most important is that you feel good about yourself and who you are even if you don't have the high profile job and credentials. Not everyone who is or has done great things are really great people. Look at Einstein...nobody can dispute that he did great things...but the guy was a huge jerk who had a long history of infidelity and having mistresses. Also, for the vast majority of people who do very well in their careers are actually only big important people in their little corner of the world, within their field. Most other people in the universe would never have heard of these people. I have seen big important people who, once they retire, just kind of fade into oblivion...nobody really cares what marks they have made in the field because what they have done is sometimes no longer relevant, or other important people have replaced them. Be a good person, work hard, take pride in what you do, treat people right and be someone's world even if you are not the world to everyone.

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It's not others being disappointed in you, it's you feeling that towards yourself. So you lost a bit of focus, so what? It's never too late to get back in touch with your aspirations. How old are you? There are lots you can do, this is not all there is, you need to get your confidence and pride back and you can be the master of your life. Take the pressure off to be something incredible because the fear of failure can hold you back big deal. You can have your company, that big house, the lot. But you'll have to believe in it first. You can decide your dreams once again and it'd be a shame to lose the relationship just out of insecurity. Your gf is with you because she sees something in you. You have to see that in yourself again. Are you serious about making a change? If so I can suggest a few things because I made a serious change in my life 2 years ago.

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Hey OP,


I would say that it's never ever too late. If you want to be something or do something, be it, do it. If you wanted to open a business, do it. It's not too late. There are 50 year olds who goto medical school because they want to become doctors. They have at most a 15 year career on their hands. But they still do it because it's their passion. Do what you are passionate about.


Don't worry about your gf's success. Be happy with her. Ask her for advice instead of being jealous of her. Be happy that you're with someone who's that successful. Would you rather be with someone who doesn't do anything? I wish I had a gf who was an author and was doing conferences and such.


Having said that...


I'm 22 years old and like you in the IT field. I too want to have a company and a big house and stuff. I too want to make my dreams come true. I want to do something NOW. Not when I'm 50, but now. I have a great 9 to 5 job right now, but I am already itching to do something. Launch a start-up or a little something on the side.


What advice do you have for me? How do you feel you would have done things differently? How can I start to make that "great" contribution?

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I ended up talking to her about it.


I am just going to try and do my best. Hopefully something good will come out of hard work down the road. But as long as she says she is happy with me no matter what, that is all that matters to me.

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I guess I'm in a similar position to you. Throughout my life everyone has thought I was some awesome guy who was going to do something amazing.


I suppose the difference between me and you is that I never believed them. I just thought I was some ordinary gut whereas now I guess I accept that I'm an ordinary guy with above average intellect and aptitude. It sounds as if you are in the same boat


in terms of your work, you might not be changing the world, but I bet you are doing a good job for your employers and they really appreciate it. That's more than can be said for a lot of people. It also sounds as if you have a girlfriend who really cares about you. That's worth as much as any world changing invention

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