‘Mediocrity Creep’

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04th November, 2022

“Mediocrity will never do. You are capable of something better.” ~Gordon B. Hinckley

What is mediocrity? According to Google: “Of only moderate quality; not very good.” 

Here’s another definition: Being less than you can be.

Mediocrity preys on us all, and it’s primarily a pathology of thought—as the saying goes, ‘as we think, so we become.’

But mediocrity is insidious. It creeps into your life, germinating like a disease, and by the time most people realize they have it, they’re dug so deep they can hardly escape.

Avoid ‘Mediocrity creep’ in your life at all costs. It generally starts very small; a messy office, an unanswered client query, the ‘I shall do it later/tomorrow attitude, what’s the hurry syndrome, an unattended call.

It is generally invisible and mediocrity just creeps into your life, and as Robin Sharma says, ‘The danger of letting mediocrity creep into your life, is that it soon becomes The New Normal, so you don’t even see it’s there’, thus not only lowering your standards but also ensuring that you are not able to achieve your true potential.

If you want to remain mediocre, or become so, it’s really easy: just don’t do anything.

The slope to an unfulfilling life is automatic. In the absence of activity is decay; you can’t sit still even if you wanted to! It’s a slope, and unless you’re intentionally moving, guess what? You’re backsliding.

It’s like riding a bicycle, either you keep on pedalling or you fall down. The only way you can avoid pedalling, is when you are going downhill.

Most people let themselves fall prey to mediocrity.

Not because they are not incapable of greatness.

Not because they are stupid.

Not because they lack what it takes.

But simply because they don’t do anything about it.

I can think of several examples from my own experience, but here’s a more light-hearted one:

In school, I was to act in a play. I was quite timid then, not one to stand up for myself, uncertain and antisocial. When the day came to present in front of the packed audience, I went through three phases of thought:

1) I doubted whether I could do it.

2) I became afraid of what others would think. I feared their ridicule. I feared failure.

3) The idea popped into my head that the whole thing was stupid, that my group members were all fools and were forcing me to do something I didn’t want to, that it was a pile of crap not worth doing.

You can guess what happened. I didn’t show up on the appointed day, I took the day off, I just quit.

It may not have been a very crucial event, but I still regret it, because I know I could have done better, Because I know I gave in.

So be careful when those thoughts start. Guard your mind. Because when you’re about to do something radical, something that will change everything for you, a bold move that will set off a whirlwind of change:

Doubt will tell you that you’re not good enough.

Fear will tell you that it will hurt and to avoid it altogether.

Cynicism will mock it and tell you it’s not worth doing anyway.

Here’s the truth: they’re all wrong.

You did not wake up today to be mediocre. But mediocrity sure as hell woke up today to try to make you. And you know what? Most people let it happen. Some even welcome it.

But you should not.

You know what you’re capable of.

You want something better and you can do better.

At times like this, I am reminded of the profound words of Tony Robbins, “My teacher Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle: every day, stand guard at the door of your mind, and you alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life. For they will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.” 

Avoid the ‘Mediocrity Creep’ at all costs and stay blessed forever.