This is my idea of being successful: Be a nobody. There is no need for Abraham Lincolns, no need for Adolf Hitlers. Just be ordinary, nobody, and life will be a tremendous joy to you. Just be simple. Don’t create complexities around yourself. Don’t create demands. Whatsoever comes on its own, receive it as a gift, a grace of existence, and enjoy and delight in it. And millions are the joys that are being showered on you, but because of your demanding mind you cannot see them. Your mind is in such a hurry to be successful, to be somebody special, that you miss all the glory that is just available.
To be ordinary is to be extraordinary. To be simple is to have come home.
But it depends: the very word ordinary and you start feeling a bitter taste – ordinary? you and ordinary? Maybe everybody else is ordinary but you are special. This madness, this neurosis exists in everybody’s mind.
The Arabs have a special joke for it. They say that when God creates man, he whispers something into each individual’s ear and he says: “I never made a man like you or a woman like you – you are simply special. All others are just ordinary.” He goes on playing the joke and everybody comes into the world full of this bullshit – that “I am special. God himself has said so, that I am unique.” You may not say so because you think these ordinary people will not be able to understand it; otherwise, why say? – there is no need to say, and why create trouble for yourself? You know, and you are absolutely certain about it.
And everybody is in the same boat. The joke has not been played only upon you, God goes on playing the same joke on everybody. Maybe he has stopped doing it and he has just fixed a computer which goes on repeating the same thing, a mechanical device.
It depends on you how you interpret. The word ordinary is of tremendous significance – but it depends! If you understand… These trees are ordinary. These birds are ordinary. The clouds are ordinary. The stars are ordinary. That’s why they are not neurotic. That’s why they don’t need any psychiatrist’s couch. They are healthy, they are full of juice and life. They are simply ordinary. No tree is mad enough to be competitive and no bird is bothered at all who is the most powerful bird in the world – no bird is interested in that. He simply goes on doing his thing, and enjoys it. But it depends how you interpret.
A father takes his little boy for culture to the Metropolitan Opera. Out comes the conductor with his baton, and out comes the big diva, and she starts to sing an aria. As the conductor is waving his baton, the kid says, “Papa, why is that man hitting that woman?”
The father says, “He isn’t hitting her – that’s the conductor.”
“Well if he ain’t hitting her, why is she hollering?” asks the boy.
Whatsoever you see in life is your interpretation. To me, the word ordinary is tremendously significant. If you listen to me, if you hear me, if you understand me, you would like just to be ordinary. And, to be ordinary there is no need to struggle for it. It is already there.