Mediocrity pervades every facet of our existence.
We see mediocrity at work. It’s the person, maybe you, who does just enough to stay out of trouble with the boss but never enough to be recognized for their efforts. Instead of using time productively, they stare mindlessly at a computer screen wasting time, checking their email again, rereading the same messages for the third time.
As long as the required tasks for the day are completed, there’s no reason to work harder than what’s required. It isn’t like you’re going to earn more money by working any harder. All that matters is that the boss is out of your hair. Then everything will be fine.
Our schools and colleges are filled with mediocrity. Students are being filled with information that serves no purpose aside from being the answer to a multiple choice question on the next exam. In the words of the Greek author Plutarch:
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
Poetic words but not true of many students today. Instead of thinking, they memorize and recite facts, formulas and definitions. Students are not being taught how to think, they are being told what to think. This method of “teaching” is mass producing mediocre minds.
This isn’t only the fault of the institutions.Students have no reason to excel. They want to do the minimum amount of work in order to be successful. Maybe it makes sense. Why put forth extra effort to earn an A or B when a C or D will still get you a degree?
Mediocrity lives in our homes and our relationships. Our relationship with our spouse that was once full of passion and excitement now resembles a business arrangement. Instead of lovers, you’ve become partners. The youthful idealism of love has disappeared and been replaced with a big, adult sized pile of shit. What the hell happened? This isn’t what love is supposed to be like but we have accepted it as reality and we follow the status quo belief that passion and lust are not sustainable in a relationship.
We aren’t unhappy but we could be happier.
We go through life putting forth the least amount of effort necessary. If you can spend half of the day at work doing practically nothing without anyone noticing, you’re going to. If you can earn a degree in college with poor grades, you might as well. If you’re kind of happy with your relationship, at least you’re not miserable, right?
There’s no reason to push ourselves to do better when the results will be the same no matter what we do. Good enough is good enough.
Except, it isn’t good enough. If you float through life being mediocre, you aren’t living up to your full potential. You’re missing out on opportunities and the chance to have the life you’ve always desired.
If you wonder why you’re never recognized at work or are always passed up for promotions, try looking inward at your own performance. Is your work mediocre? Are you wasting time? Could you be more productive?
Learning really is fun, if you’re expanding your horizons and perception of the world. Life isn’t a list of facts and statistics and there’s much more to learning than memorization of names and dates. Learning is about understanding who you are in relation to the life you are living. It’s about finding meaning and purpose. Thinking and contemplation are the most crucial aspects of education and, sadly, are missing from our schools. I’ll let you in on a secret, there are no definite answers in life.
If your relationship has become the icon of mediocrity, you have to be the person to change it. Expect resistance from your spouse. They won’t have any idea what hit them and confusion will abound. Persist, rebuild the passion and lust that brought you together. Be dangerous, be spontaneous…wake up the neighbors! The ones across the street! Its okay, they need something to talk about anyways.
Break free from the cycle of average. Kick yourself in the ass and push yourself beyond the limits of your potential. Whatever you do, don’t be mediocre because mediocrity sucks!
Leave normal to the rest of the world, you deserve so much better.