A young male on a game site player forum recently posted “So up until now like every other child ever, I thought I was special or had the potential of climbing to the top. But as inevitable as the tides everyone must eventually grow up to realize that, there is nothing you truly excel at and therefore destined to a life of mediocrity. Now I am having some trouble and have a hard time accepting the fact that I do not have any outstanding talent; my name will not be remembered nor written in any history books. Heck when I die nobody will probably remember me at all, and the thought of that just depresses me as I have always been a believer in “either you are best or you are trash.” So as I am feeling pretty helpless and I guess desperate since I am asking an internet forum about this, how did you guys accept mediocrity?”
A 61 year old woman writes to Deepak Chopra sharing “I have been searching my whole life for my purpose, only to discover that maybe I don’t have one. I am even more questioning since I’m unemployed after working many years with the same company. Does each life have a specific purpose? (Don’t worry; I don’t expect a great revelation in your answer. You are only human.)”
In both scenarios do you hear the resignation? The “it is what it is” in both voices? The 61 year old although seeking answers from Deepak, doesn’t expect much. The young boy assumes that there are more like him out there.
I am saddened whenever I hear stories, or meet people as I go about my day, who seem to comfortably settle into a world of mediocrity. They think that there is nothing they can do; that they are powerless to change things in their lives. The resignation, the settling, the willingness to give up on one’s own magnificence is difficult for me to bear.
One fellow gamer responded “I just push it down real deep and forget about it”. Another “It’s not mediocrity to serve your purpose in life, to strive, and to live; just because by others or past or future standards you didn’t do much means nothing. The first step to anything is realizing the only opinion that really matters to you, should be your own. I do not look at myself as living a mediocre life.”
Chopra responded to the 61 year old “I don’t know if this will come as a revelation, but your purpose in life is to quit asking for so little. Working for the same company has dulled your excitement and sense of expectation. I’m sure you had those things once and they can be revived. The secret is to peek under the blanket. What have you hidden under there? I have in mind all the tiny seeds of dreams and desires that got tucked away for a rainy day. The RAINY day has arrived”
The thing is that I’ve been settling too. Not with complete acceptance that things can’t get better but that they can only get better with the approval of some external “they” who will decide “MY WHEN” – based on their recognition and acceptance of my work. I am waiting to be accepted into “this club.” and have given over my power to an invisible board who will decide my fate.
Recently I was talking with someone who claimed they were confused. I told them that they weren’t really confused they just chose to be in that state instead of having to face themselves and deal with whatever surfaced. Remaining in any situation, even one where you tell yourself that you’re confused is working for you on some level AND keeping you mediocre.
Melody Fletcher, owner of the blog ‘Deliberate Receiving’ shares this great analogy. “When you’re at an amusement park, you don’t sit on the roller-coaster lamenting the fact that you’d rather be on another ride. You enjoy the crap out that roller coaster while looking forward to the next ride and the one after that and the one after that.
What most people do, however, is go on a kiddie ride, not really exciting but safe, because even though they’d really rather be on the big, scary roller coaster, they don’t feel that it’s reachable for them somehow. Perhaps there are too many other people, or they don’t have enough tickets, or they’re afraid it might be just a touch too scary. For whatever reason, people talk themselves out of what they really want (or don’t even consider it as a real option in the first place), and settle for something less. They’d rather put up with mediocrity than risk going for something even better.”
What scares us is that there is no guarantee of better so we choose to stay with what’s familiar – where we are and what we know for sure!
Ali Davies, who has over 25 years experience specializing in helping people and organizations with effective change strategies asks us to think about the following:
1. If your business and work life feel mediocre or is delivering mediocre results, THIS IS KILLING the quality of your life, your relationships, and your lifestyle
2. If your important relationships are mediocre THIS IS DAMAGING you, your kids, your family life and your quality of life.
3. If your lifestyle is mediocre it’s like CHOOSING NOT TO LIVE!
This is a cost too high to pay. You are a magnificent creative being, sent here to change the world in your own way. You were never meant to settle for mediocrity.
It’s time for us to take a long hard look at where we are settling in our lives, to be honest about the damage it is really causing and what it is REALLY COSTING us and to commit to quit suffering, and start ASKING LIFE FOR MORE. We deserve it!