It Is More Than Average
There’s a real danger in setting your goals within reach. It is a guarantee for mediocrity.
Why shouldn’t we aim for excellence, for the ultimate in success? It seems to me that there is only one reason that we don’t and that is uncertainty.
We don’t take the time to delineate exactly what our potential is. Taking the time to define what success means to us is an uncomfortable exercise. It focuses on the gap.
Focus too much on that, and it becomes a yawning abyss – and we stay where we are. We settle. We settle for mediocrity.
In relationships, business and money, we settle, thinking good enough is good enough. The truth is that good enough is a place to start, not to end.
I want to say that again another way: The first rehearsal is not opening night.
Why then, do we accept mediocrity in our lifestyles, relationships, business or any other areas of our lives? Like under-cooked cake the aroma is great but the experience is disappointing.
I read an article recently that said: “...what’s worse than failing is going sideways for years and years. The worst is being stuck in a quagmire of mediocrity. Things are going reasonably well, but not spectacularly well. The reason mediocrity is worse than failure is very simple: Failure lets you move on, mediocrity stalls you and keeps you from reaching your potential.”
I started today by asking what the value of your potential is, but the real question is what is mediocrity costing you?
Here are some very real examples of what settling for mediocrity costs.
- Compared to a good credit score, a mediocre one could cost you close to $50,000 in interest over the life of a 30 year $300,000 loan
- Not being engaged or committed to your work results in an average productivity decrease of 1.9%; that means you lose almost a whole week’s worth of work in a year
- The Japanese word, karoshi, means “death by overwork” and the Japanese authorities record around 10,000 cases a year, while the New York Times claims health issues related to job stress cost the US $200 billion a year
- Various economists put the value of a happy, long-term marriage at around $100,000
- Marital stress has been associated with triple the risk of heart problems – but divorce is not the solution as the end of a marriage is associated with 20% increase in chronic health issues
Enough of the bad news. What is the solution to all this? Stop settling! Find meaning in what you do.
Being genuinely fulfilled and excited by your work is one of the biggest contributors to disease prevention and promoters of self-healing.
Other biggies are fulfilling relationships and laughter.
- Find your strengths.
- Identify your values.
- Get in touch with your passions.
- Know your purpose.
And, for heaven’s sake, keep trying! Life is a practice, not an event. Don’t bear the cost of living with mediocrity and not reaching your potential.