Why Do People Choose Mediocrity Instead of Mastery?
On most weekends I spend the good part of at least one day looking after my property. It’s a lot of work, but at least for now it gives me great joy to rake and haul and trim and plant and all of the other things that come with the upkeep of my little slice of property. I find the activity of maintenance to be more of physical exertion than mental which leaves me a good deal of time to think. As I was mulching the yard this weekend, I got to thinking about why people choose mediocre over masterful. As I pondered this, I wondered if it was fear. Fear of failure? Fear of leaving the big crowd of mediocrity where it is easy to blend in? Are they stuck in the ‘herd mentality’?
Willingness to Fail
It seems to me that to evolve into the best version of ourselves, we must be willing to fail, and fail a lot. Failure helps to develop our vulnerability muscle. We get a chance to laugh at ourselves and not take life so seriously. We get to embrace humility. A couple of years ago I started taking painting classes with a few of my pals. As I look back at my very first painting, I indeed am humbled. I have come a long way since those bright yellow calla lilies against a black background. Don’t be the person who waits all day for 5 pm. Don’t be the person who waits all week for Friday. Don’t be the person who waits all year for a holiday to roll around. And for God’s sake, don’t be the person who waits your entire life to be happy. If you want to do something, start. Don’t wait; time does not pause until you feel ready.
Believe in Yourself
Most recently I have had a chance to cuddle up to the possibility of failure as I started doing podcasts. I have done five so far. Here is the excellent news, the guests have all been terrific. They have gone through inspiring life transformations, and they generously share their journey with me. I, on the other hand, have in some way failed with each podcast. The audio is sketchy, I have said some really silly things, the intro and outro need work, and I could go on. But guess what, I am going to keep running at refining and refreshing my podcasts. I will seek out formats that work better, I will get bighearted coaching from friends who have wonderful podcasts, I will learn how to have better conversations with my guests, and one day I will nail this opportunity to expose the touching stories of everyday heroes to anyone who wants to listen to them. And, I will continue to believe in myself and be myself.
Stay Out of the Crowd
On the day that you accept total responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the day you claim the power to change ANYTHING in your life. I encourage you to choose to learn and grow. Take chances. Say yes to vulnerability. Stay in your lane and play the hell out of the cards you are dealt. Get comfortable with the enormous possibilities to fail because it leads to extraordinary opportunities to succeed. Most people will not choose to do difficult things. Being mediocre is far less demanding. However, a life of mastery is yours for the taking, and it is a lot less crowded. Fear not!
Stay true and be you —