by Cheryl Wright
"Are you satisfied with just getting by with the minimum of effort? But where is the deep-down heart-swelling satisfaction in that? Mediocrity is a life-stifling mindset that affects both the young and the old. We can only be successful if we rid ourselves of the tendency to perform at a mediocre level in all areas of our lives. It is only when we push ourselves and give our best can we appreciate our achievements and enjoy the benefits they bring.
Success in life depends on the self-discipline that comes from approaching any project with enthusiasm and an eye towards success. Naturally, if we start from a standpoint of half-hearted interest, we will make only mediocre efforts and can expect mediocre results or failure. If we say that we want to succeed in life we must be willing to do not just some of the work, but all of it. We must be willing to push ourselves that little bit further, run or swim one more lap, read one more book for your research, add that second row of stitches to strengthen the seam, etc.
Most times, we start out with the best of intentions. We shoot out of the starting gate and head down the straight. But many of us falter at the first hurdle. When the journey becomes arduous we surrender to the pressure, run out of steam and stumble half-heartedly to the finish line content with second or third place or just to make the “also ran” list. Even worse, some of us pull up short, give up and crumble on the sidelines while everyone else continues to the end. Often it is in hindsight we acknowledge that with a little extra push, a pause to catch our breaths and a final sprint down the home stretch, we could have shot through the finish line and earned the prize, our goal, our dream.
Of course the people who are successful don’t just rely on pushing themselves. They have a strategy and are willing to be flexible because they know hurdles litter the runway. We have to be able to adapt to these unexpected happenings when they occur and not get bogged down. We have to take them in our stride, skip around them and continue in the race. Use these strategies to help you banish mediocrity, develop and infuse the dogged stick-to-itiveness that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Don't Give Less Than Your Best: Regardless of the size of any project or goal, put your all into seeing it through successfully. Even when you think you are giving it your best shot, pause and ask yourself, “Could I improve?” There is no way to avoid obstacles. But being flexible and willing to brainstorm and break through blockages will help to throw off the cloak of mediocrity or at least keep it at bay.
Don't Follow The Crowd: Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves trapped in the claws of mediocrity because we are afraid to be different. Are you so petrified of standing up and being true to yourself or your beliefs that you play the chameleon, mingling and adopting the look and practices of those around you? Maybe you don’t dare to be different because you are trying to meet other people’s expectations. But living someone else’s life is a wrong way, a sad way to live yours. Why should you miss out on the opportunity to live a better, more fulfilling and successful life because of what other people say? Don’t be bound by other people’s rules. In fact, let your convictions guide you to write your own.
Don't Ignore Your Dream: Having a dream sets you apart. If you don’t you are running on the steam of mediocrity. Maybe you haven’t heard the voice of your dream because you’re too busy to sit still and listen or too afraid of what you might hear. This is the right time to heed that voice. If however, you have found your dream, don’t sit on it. Doing what matters to you is a sure way to excellence since you will do it with all your might, passionately, even in the face of doubt, ridicule and inevitable obstacles.
Don't Play It Safe: Choosing the safe and easy way to accomplish anything is a copout. It speaks of laziness, fear and yes, mediocrity. Surely you don’t want to be a member of the ‘I regret…” crowd. Work and live in a way that whatever the outcome, you could be proud of the fact that you took the risks, did the work and gave it your best shot. Life is too precious to be lived in mediocrity and more of us can succeed and excel in school, at work and in life if we beef up our resolve and rid ourselves of the mediocre mindset. If you suspect that you are swirling in the midst of a mediocre life current, adopt these strategies to help change your mindset and steer you to achieve excellence in all areas of your life."