Mediocrity is an epidemic spreading across the nation. No one is safe anymore. Just when you thought you were in the clear, the talons of mediocrity latch unto you with a merciless force. One day, you’re a lively, creative student of life and the next day you’ve fallen into the trap of complacency.
The highlight of your day is watching reality TV in the evening. You drink too much alcohol. You say things to your friends like, “Can you believe what happened on Scandals last night?” You work a job just to pay the bills. You argue with your partner about the crusty dishes in the sink and then hold a grudge for weeks even though you can’t remember what the argument was about. You wonder where the holes are in your life that allowed for your big dreams to slowly seep out of you unnoticed.
Ah, yes, mediocrity. You thought it would bypass you if you took the safe route in life—go to college, finish grad school, get a decent job, get married, buy a house, pay off your loans, have kids, have grandkids, and die with money in the bank. Then you realize that this safe route (a.k.a. The America Dream) is a perfect breeding ground for…you guessed it…mediocrity.
At this point, you finally clue into the fact that the “happiness” you’ve been in pursuit of all these years cannot be found through more schooling, a better job, a bigger house, or getting divorced and remarried several times. No, mediocrity keeps rearing its ugly head after every significant life change so that you ultimately had to conclude that the problem wasn’t hidden in your external circumstances—it’s inside you. That’s how mediocrity secretly gets you.
This 2014, it’s time to break the cycle and STOP DOING MEDIOCRE SHIT.
There, I said it. I feel better now. The solution is that simple.
Ready to join me and take the pledge?
I pledge to stop doing mediocre sh*t in 2014. I pledge to conquer my fears, break free of my comfort zone and live the life of my dreams.
This year, it’s time to take back your future from the clutches of mediocrity. It’s time to switch into the driver’s seat of your life and take control of the wheel. You’ve been coasting for way too long. You know it and I know it. 2014 is your year to make shit happen—to stop waiting, to reclaim your dreams and to start living the exact life you want to live (i.e. not the life that your parents or society inadvertently pushed on you). This is your ticket to success.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a big undertaking. You have to be committed, but the payoff is worth it. Ready to get started? Ready to bask in a new life of personal and professional happiness, excitement and freedom?
Here’s what you have to do to give mediocrity the boot:
Stop thinking mediocre thoughts.
You might think that mediocrity is defined by your external circumstances, but it actually first begins in your mind. In fact, mediocre thoughts breed mediocre results 100% of the time. A mediocre thought leads to a mediocre choice which results in a mediocre outcome. As you repeat this pattern over the years, the mediocrity in your life expands until the instant it violently implodes and becomes the black hole to which your entire life gets sucked into.
Now I know you’re on the edge of your seat wondering: What is a mediocre thought? Mediocre thoughts are those that begin with phrases such as…
No one will…
Sound familiar? Come on, admit it. We’ve all had our fair share of mediocre thoughts. And god forbid, we’ve even said them out loud a time or two. Let’s look at some examples to get really clear about what we’re up against…
I can’t take a risk that big at this point in my life.
I don’t have time to start a side business.
I won’t ever be able to make enough money to sustain myself without a job.
I couldn’t imagine letting my family down if I fail.
I’ll never be able to quit my day job.
No one will ever care what I do.
Have you ever had a thought like this lead to a positive or worthwhile outcome in your life? Think hard before you answer. I’m guessing probably not. So why are you still thinking these thoughts? These types of thoughts hold you back from greatness. They squelch your dreams. They keep you from living a life of freedom. The bottom line—they aren’t serving you anymore.
I’m guessing that people like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Seth Godin, Gandi—or anyone else who’s made a global impact—didn’t let these types of mediocre thoughts clog their brain and impede them from sharing their passions and following their dreams.
If you don’t make an effort to shake these types of thoughts, you can press the snooze button on your life right now. You’ll be on the fast train towards conformity, compliancy and mediocrity. And it might be decades before you find an exit ramp.
So how do you escape? Well, the common thread is that all of these thoughts are rooted in fear. Mediocre thoughts are fear-based thoughts. Understanding this simple fact allows you to get a handle on them.
The first step to overcoming fear-based thoughts is to become aware of them. You can’t see the elephant in the room if you’re constantly staring out the window. Turn your awareness inward. Pay attention to the thoughts that are popping up in your brain repetitively. Are they thoughts that will guarantee a happy, fulfilling, passionate life? Or are they thoughts that are keeping you stuck in a rut? Don’t judge them—just pay attention.
The second step is to recognize fear-based thoughts for what they are—they’re merely stale voices inside your head that are trying to keep you safe and snuggly in your comfort zone. That’s it. They have no external power. They’re just left over from the caveman days when getting out of your comfort zone might mean getting eaten by a sabertooth tiger. Now that would be a serious problem! Fortunately, the local townspeople have told me that there hasn’t been a sabertooth sighting around these parts for going on 10,000 years now. Whew! You’re safe.
Step three is to replace these negative thoughts with positive ones. You don’t have to get rid of your mediocre thoughts—you just have to replace them with better thoughts. For instance, if you’ve been watching CNN your whole life (i.e. negative, fear-based news), it’s time to flip to the Discovery Channel (i.e. interesting and uplifting stories). You don’t have to eliminate CNN off the face of the earth, you just have change to a different channel.
Same with your thoughts—when those repetitive mediocre thoughts pop up like the persistent moles in the Whac-a-Mole arcade game, your job is to whack them over the head with a positive thought. My advice is to choose an affirmation to refocus your attention on. Here’s a list of 80 great affirmations for entrepreneurs. You might have to say your affirmation of choice a thousand times a day at first to stay on the right track, but soon it will get easier when your mediocre thoughts don’t have as much of a foothold.
If you change your thoughts, you will successively change your life.
If you stop thinking mediocre thoughts, you will automatically stop doing mediocre shit, and you will be free to start living the life of your dreams. You will be fearless. You will be happy. You will be successful. But it all starts in your mind.
This 2014, take a stand against mediocrity. Pledge to live your life exactly how you want to and not let anyone or anything stop you. It’s time to take the power back.
Photo credit: Photo by Kirsty Hall https://www.flickr.com/photos/fragiletender/ License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/