We hear a lot about common ailments plaguing society, but there’s little mention of mediocrity.
Mediocrity is a disease.
It is the easy road, the result of the “something for nothing” approach to living. Fewer people want to work hard anymore. Many of us settle for less, long before we try hard for better. We just aren’t pursuing our passions — with a passion — or at all. Based on my personal analysis, expectation and entitlement have become the antithesis of a meritocracy.
There’s an entire generation of us in the work force who have been praised for being “well-educated, gifted, and talented” — but are content working entry-mid level, mediocre jobs! Why are so many of us praised for merely “having a job”, albeit it being monotonous, common place, and/or soul-numbing?
What if I told you, that many of us aren’t any of those, “special” things? That the majority are indeed living out the safe, expected route …and aren’t particularly that remarkable.
Mediocrity is a poison that takes root in our minds and convinces us that the point of living is to simply get by. Fewer people are pushing themselves beyond the bare minimum, without a push from someone or something on the outside.
Sure, your job equips you with enough money to pay bills and a title to identify with, but how many people around you genuinely love what they do every day? At least based off my experience in the corporate world, there are not that many…
Few facets of life are impervious to mediocrity. Whether it’s career, monetary gain, our relationships, or pursuing a life of purpose and meaning, we’re all susceptible to merely chugging along and accepting an acceptable outcome.
Much like a viral infection, this affliction can be suppressed, but never eradicated. This virus feeds off fear, insecurity, doubt, and thrives on a lack of self-awareness. The good news? Mediocrity is treatable! The bad news? It takes a great amount of awareness, focus, and effort. Ready to stop being mediocre? Get ready to embrace the following:
The world caters to individuals who desire the safety of the majority. Despite this lifestyle being unfulfilling and subpar, it’s comfortable and secure.
Constant comfort is a fallacy. Growth and strength require a little discomfort. If we’re satisfied with our current situation, why should we strive to change anything? This may be why so many people become “trapped” for years, living an alright existence. When we’re unwilling to step outside of the programming and complacency, we remain chained to the confines of mediocrity.
Greatness is found in the quest for meaning; mediocrity is commonplace and it’s found in the attainable, safe, and expected.
Authenticity & Individuality
Most dreams are extinguished before they even get started, because most people are fearful of what others may think and say about them. People are scared to be their raw, true selves.
Someone’s propelled towards mediocrity, because they accept a version of success that isn’t entirely their own. Instead of truly knowing themselves, most people choose to while their time away with entertainment and distraction instead of learning and obliging group think. Critical thinking is paramount. Knowledge is invaluable, but knowledge of self is true power.
We give our power away the moment we engage in gossip, judgement and comparison. Guess what? The people you judge or compare yourself to most likely live equally unfulfilled lives, feel inferior, feel mediocre, put on a false front or adopt a pseudo-personality to either boost their own self-esteem, their sense of worth, or make others believe that they’re doing better than they are.
Guess what else? There will always be someone smarter, someone higher up the corporate ladder, someone wealthier or someone more attractive. This is where we have it all wrong! Instead of trying to be “better than” someone else, the focus needs to shift on becoming better than we were yesterday. How can we be our best, authentic selves when we’re chasing someone else’s definition of success or perfection? Food for thought.
I truly believe that the best gift we can give our children, and ourselves, is to find our passion! Afterall, what is a life without passion? Going through the motions and doing what’s expected is not really living.
Passion is electricity, energy, and vigilance; it’s all-consuming and knows no bounds. Passion propels us towards our goals, mediocrity keeps us stagnant. To know your passion, is to know your self — the authentic you at the core of your being. Perhaps mediocrity is just another way of describing individuals living without love and passion for anything in life.
Work hard to make a living and excel, but work harder to create that which feeds your soul.
Most everyone desires to have a better life, to be more, to better themselves through some value beyond the current limitations, but they’ve contracted the disease of mediocrity, complacency or entitlement. We must always take time to self-reflect and check ourselves. A person is not special just because they have been told all their lives that they are special, a person is special by doing their best, pursuing their passions, and accepting who they are and then striving to do things that no one else will do.
One of the major differences between success and failure is toleration for mediocrity. At the end of the day, a successful life has nothing to do with adhering to stereotype-consistent behavior or conforming to societal norms. Everything boils down to the few things you didn’t do, and that you are going to come back to later in life and wish you had.
Now, tell me, what are you tolerating?