Before actually explaining why mediocrity is a choice, it first needs to be understood that mediocrity does not mean you are a low income individual, working a “lesser” job, don’t have a flashy car, etc.
That is not what mediocrity is. Contextually if you’re focusing into a specific hierarchy such as material wealth, then you can measure, objectively, where you stand as opposed to high/low income earners and pure materialists. Some people have more, some have less. This doesn’t mean mediocrity though, because mediocrity refers to a broader context which is your lack of action and reaching your own potential.
I work a job that is not a very high paying job at this point in time. I also get a tiny bit of income on the side from painting and written work. My financial levels are very much healthy because I’m smart about my money and invest appropriately, but nonetheless, materially I’m nowhere near a hedge fund manager or a high end banker.
But I am not even remotely close to being mediocre, because everything I do, I do to the best of my ability.
Here’s the reality – I have potential. Enormous pools of it. I excel in a number of areas and the reason I do is because I, on some level, recognize my own potential and work to capitalize on it. For every painting I do I think about how I can make the next one better. Every article or story I write, I consider the pros and cons and work to economize and make the next piece even more powerful than before. Every student I teach and lesson I conduct, I consider what worked and what didn’t, and then apply that to my next lessons so I can light the synapses up even further beyond what I initially considered.
Other areas I’m passionate in – singing, boxing and self-help/coaching/motivation..whatever you want to call it. I excel in those areas and improve on them constantly. Singing, I went from being rather limited and breaking easily to powering through songs I used to consider difficult without much of a sweat. Boxing I discovered through Virtual Reality, and through consistent bouts of VR boxing I went from gassing very quickly to smashing through 30-45 minute high intensity rounds, losing body fat and providing a compounding benefit to the rest of my life, that being in fitness, mental clarity and focus – and yes, I intend on joining a boxing gym soon to capitalize even more.
Finally, I help a bunch of people. Since the beginning of 2021 a part of me really woke the hell up and I started blazing through word after word, article after article in an effort to concretize and simplify abstract concepts down for readers so they can get perspective on themselves, their lives as a whole, and work to improve them. A year ago I did the same thing, but the Frog a year ago was not even close to the Frog now in terms of quality, clarity and focus.
Do I earn a lot at the moment? No. Do I think I deserve it? Yes, but it takes time and I need to keep at it. I can’t give out and say “good enough”.
And THAT is mediocrity. When you look at your momentum and see results, then say “good enough” and settle.
No. You don’t do that. That is what the mediocre man does. It’s the person who reaches a new height on the mountain of their life and decides that the view is good enough, without realizing that if they look up, beyond the clouds there’s so much more to climb.
Mediocrity is choosing to settle and not take your hunger and passion for life seriously anymore. It happened to me a few years ago – I strived to be the best I could be, then settled because I thought I “made it”. It weakened me, made me complacent, and it devastated my life in the long term. I lost belief in myself, I forgot what I gave a damn about, and all in the name of “settling” and saying “good enough”.
The lesson here is both personal and something that I really think young men in their 20’s need to hear. Society will tell you that you’re great “just as you are”. I’ve written about this before. The truth is, you’ve got a great platform to jump from, but you’re not great until you’ve worked to achieve great things.
You need to earn greatness. You need to justify the claim that you are great – you need genuine self belief and fire.
The platform you are on now is the perfect time for you to start building that greatness up, to start fanning that fire.
Fan it, fuel it, work hard and excel at what you love. It’s not about the financial success or level of material wealth you hold – perhaps your values are more spiritual or artistic. What matters is that you strive for those things and give it everything you’ve got.
And never say it’s “enough”. You’ve got decades of life in you – use it the way you feel is right, and focus on what matters to you. Never settle, always strive, reach for the stars, and to hell with the crabs in a bucket who try to pull you down into the pits.
You are not arrogant, stuck up, pompous or snobbish. You’re a human being with latent energy that is capable of building a soul that deserves the goodness of this world. Ignore the fools that try to put you down – pretty soon you won’t even be able to see them with how high you climb.