I have this guilty pleasure of watching culinary shows. Right now, I’m watching Mind of a Chef on Netflix. On season 1, episode 9 mediocrity is discussed. I tried to define it but most define it with itself, which is super irritating. The best definition I’ve found is the state of or the value of being mediocre. Until I found a picture that had it defined as to settle halfway up a difficult mountain. Who would want to settle on the side of the mountain? I mean come on. Even in terms of taking a walk, I hate when I get tired and don’t feel like walking back. No one wants to be halfway though. At least with the walk, I had already arrived. The person on the mountain never accomplishes anything. So let’s define mediocre. It’s defined as of moderate or low quality, value, ability or performance. To this point I found an interesting article about the subject on the Inc.com by Suzanne Lucas entitled. 5 Reasons You Should Strive for Mediocrity. In it, she lists reasons why we should be mediocre but ultimately, makes more of a case to rethink those decisions. In theory most people don’t want to be mediocre and yet we are. We like our comfort zones. We like the idea of fitting in. We like the standard. We are a C society on the grading scale. We certainly don’t want to fail but we don’t like to draw attention with the audacity to be great.
You never reach greatness without the risk of failure, point blank period. We are a society that knows that but instead of putting your greatness to the test, we rather use it to devise schemes to avoid failure. Nonsense, there’s only two options. Either you, allow yourself to be susceptible to failure and success or you play it right in the middle of things, coasting in the mediocre. FYI, if you’ve ever uttered the statement “That’s good enough…” followed by anything, you are a coaster.
I like the whole idea of steps so let’s explore some steps to get out of mediocrity
- What are you passionate about? Honestly question yourself and be willing to accept whatever it maybe. If you’re having trouble with this question, you can always ask yourself “If you weren’t getting paid, what would you do with your time?” No pretenses. No open ends like ” I would help people.” What does that mean?
- Be willing to explore your answer- Prod your answer. Be willing to do this upfront because it will be done when you actually get into business and your passion flees
- Do it-if you don’t know how to start with what you have and then be willing to give yourself over to it. Fall, leap or whatever you have to do to do what you know to do, do that.
- When the student is ready, the teacher will appear-through attraction as you take steps, other doors will open for you but you first have to do what you know to do after that trust the process.
- Know that your passion will flee-I’ve always been told that when God gives us a vision, He always shows us the end. I guess because those are the good feelings, the celebration that’s going to serve you as you actually have to go through the process. The process of getting to the finish line is not easy and if God showed us all we would have to go through to get there we would probably not even try.
- The first part of Habakkuk 2:2 is “Write the vision and make it plain.” Do that so that when your passion is no longer present, you have something to keep you grounded. The second part of Habakkuk 2:2 which most forget to quote is “…on tablets so that the runner may carry the correct message to others.” (NLT) This is proof that we need others. It may be the vision given to us and that’s great because we was trusted with it but it is also our responsibility to inform others of it’s purpose and to do that by plainly writing it down, not just for understanding but also so that it may be visible to others. Those people who are meant to help you carry out the assignment will catch the vision and run with it but you have to be somewhat willing to release control so that those that are assigned can understand the boundaries as well. This is bigger than you. Get out of your own way.
- Don’t be afraid of failure-use it to your advantage, you know what not to do next time. What if you fall, but what if you soar?
- Be committed-regardless of passion or not, find a bigger reason to do it and stay focused on that. Sometimes the outside elements need to witness that you are serious and will assist once they know that you are committed
- Be flexible-you may have an idea of execution don’t be married to any one thing. We make plans and God laughs, not saying that we shouldn’t make plans or goals but often times things don’t happen the way we planned because we plan them with finite minds and vantage points.
- Have fun, be creative, live your best life and know success is in your future
Hope my 10 steps helped, not just for reducing mediocrity in career but in all areas of your life. I think if I had to take one of these steps to heart it would be to completely give yourself to your concept. There’s something so poetic about immersing yourself totally with your passion. When you are totally in, there’s no fear, just complete trust. You know that you know that you know that it will work out. The key to this is to change your perspective about failure. You may fail but you know that it’s ultimately for your good and that it is simply a vehicle to teach you a lesson to aid in your success.