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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Less Ordinary

 

The 2022 album A Life Less Ordinary, from rapper Kenneth Masters and producer BoFaatBeatz, features a song entitled “Less Ordinary.” Lyrics include:

 

Processes been established, no matter, before it happened

Old girlfriends passin’, like, “Damn, you still rappin’?” (Duh)

The implication, tragedy, maskin’ a life of naturally

‘Cause I refuse to happily settle for livin’ casually

 

When thinking about this track from the perspective of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I recognize a demandingness narrative inherent in the aforementioned verse. Unless I’m mistaken, Masters is inferring that he shouldn’t, mustn’t, or oughtn’t to settle for a good enough standard of living.

 

I hear similar pronouncements from clients. I also encounter corresponding messages from people on various social media platforms. I even hear similar declarations from people in my inner circle.

 

Why ought one not to settle for a naturally casual life? Why must one attain a higher level of living? If unable to realize the standard of living to which one irrationally believes one should achieve, what might be the consequences of one’s self-disturbing narrative?

 

Although I’d enjoy contemplating this matter further, Masters provides only a single verse on the track. The rest of the song is filled with a speech by character Mark Renton the movie T2 Trainspotting (2017).

 

Admittedly, I thought about placing this blog entry under the category EDM and REBT, because Renton delivered a similar soliloquy in the film Trainspotting (1996), and which has roots in ‘90s electronic dance music scene. Alas, Masters included the quote on his track, so I’m placing it in the hip hop category.

 

Since one is given so little to work with from the musical artist, it may be worth the reader’s time to briefly familiarize you with a snippet from both of Renton’s speeches. In the 1996 film, the character states in part:

 

Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life.

 

To the reader unfamiliar with the film, you may say to yourself, “Yeah! Why settle for such an awful existence?” It’s worth noting that Renton’s unhelpful demandingness narrative led to his choice of escapism through use/abuse of heroin.

 

In the 2017 film, Renton states in part, when speaking to character Veronika Kovach:

 

Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get, rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love, then as they fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see that one day in the future, piece by piece, they will all be gone and there’ll be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future, Veronika. Choose life.

 

Perhaps the reader is mulling over whether or not to agree with Renton’s sentiment, given his choice of substance addiction from the earlier film. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the ending of either movie.

 

Still, it’s worth noting that significant and unnecessary challenges stem from Renton’s unhealthy choices which are predicated on his unhelpful beliefs. For him, demandingness for a less ordinary life led to unpleasant consequences.

 

Through the lens of REBT, this process is understood as the belief-consequence connection. Whether in the case of Masters or Renton, demanding that one must reject an ordinary, good enough life isn’t without ramifications of such unreasonable demands.

 

Personally, I don’t tirelessly seek joy, pleasure, or escapism. Likewise, I don’t chase after wealth, fame, or power. Because I settle for contentment, which is an attainable and sustainable standard of living, I don’t unnecessarily suffer the lows associated with failure to achieve an unhelpful demand.

 

This is a hard sell for the people in my personal and professional life. Why aim for a baseline existence when one can chase after the highs while experiencing the lows as a consequence? The choice is yours.

 

Choose life. Or, heroin. Or, a less ordinary cradle-to-grave journey. Or, whatever it is you prefer from your self-determined and autonomous existence. I’m not here to tell you what you should do. So, dear reader, what will you choose? As for me, I choose an ordinary life.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


 

References:

 

Bandcamp. (n.d.). BoFaatBeatz. Retrieved from https://bofaatbeatz.bandcamp.com/

BoFaatBeatz – Topic. (2022, September 22). Less Ordinary [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/nn0Ulv_7nbc?si=sYjMfVb_3uj2J6ym

Chopped Herring Records. (n.d.). Kenneth Masters & BoFaat - A Life Less Ordinary (vinyl). Retrieved from https://www.choppedherringrecords.com/product-page/kenmasters01

Discogs. (n.d.). Kenneth Masters. Retrieved from https://www.discogs.com/artist/166598-Kenneth-Masters

Heroes Wiki. (n.d.). Mark Renton [Image]. Retrieved from https://hero.fandom.com/wiki/Mark_Renton

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Blog – Categories: EDM and REBT. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/blog/categories/EDM-and-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (2023, December 26). Good enough is good enough. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/good-enough-is-good-enough

Hollings, D. (2023, December 26). Happiness is a trap. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/happiness-is-a-trap

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Knudsen, A. (2020, May 3). Trainspotting - Choose life - Opening scene - HD with English subtitles [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/SaP7qmsQbSI?si=CHI3y7HW69Pv5oAa

Pham, M. T. (2017, May 21). Choose life - 2017 [HD] [CC] [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/PgsfVJMWL0E?si=xkS9bdK0InroLb9U

Wikipedia. (n.d.). T2 Trainspotting. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T2_Trainspotting

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Trainspotting (film). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trainspotting_(film)

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