Everybody wants a little extra of something. A little extra care, a little extra money, a little extra waakye; but never with people. We never want a little extra of people. We want them just right behind the line…. like everyone else. Not too different, just right to blend into our perception of a homogeneous society.

I wasn’t born to the most progressive part of the world. I was born in Ghana, West Africa, Africa. A wonderful land of abundant resources and extraordinary human potential. The only downside being that, we are still holding onto our potential in reserves just as the United States are doing with their oil.

Ghana by Night-by Charles Lawson

Growing up, I had a ton of mad abilities. I was like the offspring of Wonder Woman and Tony Stark (Without the money) with a splash of the entire X-Men cast. I don’t exactly remember what I could do but I am awesome now so I’m guessing I was awesome then. Along the line, the tolerance for my exploits grew thin. My expressiveness was misconstrued as frivolity and childhood exuberance which could attract undue attention. The typical advice my parents gave, just like any other African parent, was “Be modest about the way you carry yourself about because you know where you are from.”

This was the mantra a little boy grew up with. But here I was a leopard cub, how was I to hide my spots. They were not as conspicuous but as I grew so did they. I couldn’t take credit because that wasn’t humble and like Kendrick, society was right there to tell me to sit down and be humble.

Tituss Burgess being extra as usual

Not being extra means you don’t give off 100% of your true essence; I wasn’t giving my best. This could be because you’re not comfortable with who you are. Most of the disruptors of society as we know it are those who were truly comfortable with who they were and were not ashamed to do it. By doing this they were extra and we loved them for it. To give extra you need to be remain true to yourself.
Sometimes we are not extra because of fear but truth is everybody poops. We get too cautious and we lay back. In regards to relationships, we keep asking ourselves “What if we go all out and it all ends?”So we give off just enough to sustain but holding back so much. At work, the idea is that corporate structure has no loyalty so we work just hard enough right beyond the line of redundancy. The point is there are so many instances and reasons we give for holding back.

If you try to do your best, there is no failure- Mike Ferrel

Take away the rewards and consequences and you realize everything that holds you back from putting yourself out there is in your head. According to the WIN/Gallup International Association’s 40th End of Year (EoY)™ Survey 2016, 68% say that they feel happy about their lives. This increased from 66% in 2015; 22% are neither happy nor unhappy, and 9% feel unhappy about their lives. People are getting happier because we live a generation of expressiveness. The more you express the happier you get.

Acting in modesty doesn’t always translate to being humble. It’s the same way being extra doesn’t always mean you’re proud and a showoff. 20 years ago, when mobile penetration was almost 0%, being modest was okay because people had the luxury of time to observe you. Today, in our information overload world, you have only one  moment, one chance to make a major impact with your presence- never sell yourself short. Put your best foot forward and show the world your sauce.

So before you gather your thoughts to call me extra, ask your self this one question; “Am I even enough?”

The ever extra Salt Bae


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