Do we teach, even encourage mediocrity? Of course not, we would never. On purpose.
Being below average is unacceptable for most people. Being average is nothing to strive for, and being above average is great. But why stop there, be the best, right? Many hearing phrases like, be the best, keep climbing, never stop progressing, are thinking, geez that sounds tiring. Can’t I just be good enough?
Admittedly, I’ve thought the same in a few regards before. However I realize that mediocrity is anyone’s game, the real change is made at the top, and that’s where I want to be. We can all admit that we notice the bar is lowering in terms of what’s average. We would rather be comfortable and safe than take a chance and bet on ourselves to do something huge.
Examine this time in America. Yes, there’s job uncertainty, robots are taking over, there’s division, competition, so now more than ever is the time to take a leap of faith right? We’re all optimistic here, but let’s look at the practical options. Be below average and work for minimum wage where you’re nothing but an easily replaceable number, or graduate and be a desk worker, which is a solid choice for a lot of people, especially minimalistic lifestyle people like me. I could comfortably live on $45-60,000 a year, working a desk job, but I want more! I’d rather make the same amount of money doing what I want to do and being my own boss than making someone else rich. Now’s the time to do it! That goes for you too!
You know the recipe for mediocrity: go to school, pass, play a sport, join a club, go to college, get a Bachelors, and maybe get a job, hopefully one you like, and cross your ﬁngers it has a long lifespan and pays well. There’s so much competition in mediocrity. It’s astounding, millions of people follow the same path toward mediocrity. Yes, they too had dreams when they were younger, they wanted to be the head honcho, and so does everyone, but so many just stop at a level of comfort. Why?
We’re all afraid. Some more than others. What about the possibility of accomplishment? You may be too afraid of failure to even start something, so you play it safe and get a desk job, helping someone else above you get rich and successful. To some that’s ﬁne, but it is average. Aim higher and you’ll get there, but it takes bravery to succeed.
I’ll add this too, you can work an “average” job, like nurse or teacher, and still live an extremely productive and successful life. Those are the kinds of people we need and they help keep our country running.
This is all information I have learned and put to work in my daily life. There’s no such thing as failure unless you give up. Think of all the people who got knocked down 99 times and made a choice to get back up that 100th time, and boom, the law of big numbers and persistence ﬁnally paid off, the feeling of success never tasted sweeter.
Our generation. We are not patient. We want overnight success and instant gratiﬁcation. We want change to come when we ask for it, not when we work for it, and if not, we complain. Better idea here, use it as motivation. We choose to let some things affect us, and we can choose to let them not affect us just the same.
Dr. Ben Carson, think what you want about him, but he made a great point in his run for presidency that got overlooked. When speaking on his race, and running for president not only as a black man but as a black republican, he acknowledged that there was racially based hate toward him. He said something that really clicked with me and it may click with you too. He talked about how it’s all about different kinds of people. There are haters and there are lovers. Haters will ﬁnd things to hate, even something as superﬁcial as color. Lovers understand what is more important, being happy and content, especially with things you can’t control, and working hard to improve the things you can control. If someone has a problem with you, it’s not your problem, it’s their problem. Walk into a room full of people, some of them won’t like you after nothing but a glance. Well fuck that little shit bucket! (Not Carson’s words, but can you imagine haha.) You can choose to let it affect you, or choose to not. You’re not the one with problem, they are. Let them hate. You continue to love.
Who’s fault is it that we are becoming a nation of mediocrity? Young people? Old people? You? Me? Mommy and daddy being too overprotective? Too aggressive? Who knows, we can only control ourselves, so start with you. You’re a wolf. Don’t dwell with the millions of sheep. Everyone will call you crazy, they’re only right if you give up. Succeed, and now you’re a genius, while the sheep are stuck in the gate (cubicle.)
What is the point of all this? Well, I don’t know you, you know you, and you ultimately know what works for you. Not your parents, not your teachers, not your guidance counselors. It might sound cliche, I heard this kind of talk all the time before it really started to click with me. I hope this clicks with you and you walk your own path toward success and happiness with conﬁdence and persistence.