Being an avid philosophy reader I have always been interested in the study of philosophy of physical being and conceptual self. The ultimate self-actualization occurs when the conceptual self takes over, it’s more long lasting than the physical, materialistic self, physical self is mortal in nature but a conceptual one lives beyond that. But sometimes in this era, self-conceptualization also seems to be overthrown by the rage wave of being extraordinary and exceptional. The standards and scale set by the structure of the society and the capitalistic interplay seems to favor only the few ones who we fondly call; extraordinary people. When I interact with my students, I often tend to notice that fame, popularity, public approval and a highly rated image is the ultimate goal or desire amongst the majority of them. They are not to be blamed as little is left around for their motivation and whatever is there, its highly artificial. Social media gurus, best sellers and the talk shows all of them churn out keywords like “how to be successful”, “how to earn the more”, “how to be famous”. In these echoes of how, little attention is given to genuine creativity, as everything is judged on its sales ability and popularity. Success is now the ultimate parameter to measure anyone’s intellect and self-worth. These set of artificial standards are benefitting only the capitalist industry and just building up consumerism. The body image that has been portrayed is nearly impossible to achieve, the flawless skin with super glow and highlighted cheekbones that’s quite an impossible look in day to day life. The sculpted jawline, the perfect date, the perfect child listening to everything, achieving high grades and then the perfect where everything is supposed to be alright in the end. These all-time perfect icons are on our minds all the time that we are literally emotionally sabotage ourselves. Emotional abuse is not actually just being bullied or being mean, it’s also creation of certain yardsticks which makes people seek approval and those who feel rejected and dejected feel emotionally hurt and abused, the baseline of these very values makes them an outcaste and ignites emotional turmoil. Emotional abuse is not actually just being bullied, it’s also creation of certain yardsticks which makes people seek approval and those who feel rejected and dejected feel emotionally hurt and abused, the baseline of these very values makes them an outcaste and ignites emotional torture For being successful one doesn’t need to have social approval or be famous by any standard. Knowing the purpose of life, one’s own dreams, inspirations and inner peace has nothing to do with social media clicks. The fabricated world created by following the standards of experts, icons, celebrities and other google rated personalities does not last, it keeps on changing and as are highly fluid and relative to context. Many a times just these benchmarks cause anxiety, low self-esteem and loss of happiness. The reason is simple as all individuals are being measured by certified, standardized and approved yardsticks. Income, lifestyle, clothing, career, education, professional attainment and children all will be tested and measured by the pre-set scale. Those chanting for art, creativity and parallel thoughts now also want to be part of the mainstream ones asking for equal popularity and approval. The appetite for fame and success is raising the culture of envy, where one despite achieving so much feels belittled or many a times others around, do their very best to make him/her feel inferior. The very urge to prove something and living life through screens’ perspective is just far from reality. It’s highly common that speakers, writers, intellectuals, artists and performers are now only judged by their google account, the account tells about the depth of their creativity and intellect. Somehow there’s more reliance on social media rather than our own human senses in understanding and giving an opportunity to others to enable them to display their talent. One can only wish that online intellect was as genuine as it appears to be. This world of instant sharing is creating a world that highly needs and survives only on affirmation by others. The underlying idea of happiness and peace doesn’t lie in being exceptionally successful, it is rather found in simple joys. The purpose of life is relative for us all and following some purpose of life and a cause to fulfil that is the food that the conceptual self-breeds upon. Google accounts do not give insight of people’s intellect. Extraordinary world is just a world based on worldly affirmations and approvals, in reality Einstein, Marx and Galileo all faced harsh rejections and non-approvals in various stages of their intellectual journey. Probably Karl Marx if born today would have never been invited by any university to deliver a lecture due to an unimpressive google account. In a race to be extraordinary and live a life beyond reality, purpose and peace is often left far behind. The narcissistic self-portrayal on social media, addictive responses and distorted bubble life has taken over, some become narcissists and others become victims. The self- injected pain is the least desirable thing to do, explore meaning yourself and let the journey be itself a joyful experience rather than borrowing the experience and killing the joy with comparisons. In our journey we tend to forget that many a times the destination is often just like a blind date, many a times reaching there reveals what was in our heart e. Don’t let the joy be spoiled by the race and the so called measures, find the purpose of life, define your dreams, the bedazzlement of just being extraordinary in itself is a mirage, the speeches of others, shouldn’t give us grief, we should just keep on working on our self. In Rumi’s words, “Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon, How much it can fill your room, depends on its windows” Keep the internal windows open, don’t get dragged in the race to be exceptional, we all are already exceptional by just being ourselves. Writer is a sociologist, child right activist and teaches at the University of Punjab Published in Daily Times, December 30th 2018.