I believe that we all agree that we as a human being wanted to live our life to the fullest. I usually refer it as a high-quality life.
Now, I wanted to discuss with you about the opposite of a high-quality life. The “not-so-good” life. Or I would refer it as the mediocre life.
Being mediocre usually describes as being the same like everyone else. Only follow the rules, be good, and live in your comfort zone forever.
A life where you wake up, go to school, get a good enough grade, graduate, get a good enough job, get married, buy a good enough house, struggling to get a promotion, get the pension fund, and live happily ever after.
Wait, do you really believe that a life like that will make you feel happy and content?
Are you kidding? When are you going to enjoy your life? In your 65?
The Unlived Life of a Mediocre
Despite being mediocre, the same people who live a mediocre life actually don’t want to live in mediocrity. They usually have an aspiration to be an artist, a musician, a CEO, a writer, a pilot, a firefighter or anything else.
But they never do anything to fulfill their dream.
There is always a gap between the life they now lived and the life that they aspire to be. In his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield refer the gap as “Resistance”. He defines it as the force that keeps us away from our dream.
To be a writer, the hard thing is not the writing part, but to sit down and write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.
Behind every creative work, there is a war. Not a war that consists soldiers shooting with guns and bazookas, but a war in the creator’s head with the Resistance.
It happens to all of us, not only creative worker. If you have a body and you breathe, it means that Resistance is your enemy.
To live your life to the fullest and escape mediocrity, you need to win the war with the Resistance. But before that, let’s identify 7 common traits your mind will tell you to do that will cost you a high-quality life.
1. They tell you, “Just Be Good Enough”
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.”
― James C. Collins
Mediocre people are satisfied when they reach some sort of standard that called as “good enough”. They stop to innovate and get better because it’s just enough. Why bother doing more effort to be great if good is enough?
Those set of mindset will set a limit to a certain level that will stop yourself from being great.
People usually set this standard because they are not doing something that they truly care about. It’s natural for a person not to be great in something that they are not passionate about.
But, if you care and passionate about your work, don’t stop on good, stop on great.
2. They tell you, “It Needs To Be Perfect”
“The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.”
― Eugène Delacroix
This trait is the opposite of the “Good Enough” but it also as dangerous as it.
Mediocre people usually think that they need a perfect plan before they can execute it. They think, think, and think. But never do. Thinking of perfection will only make you not doing anything because you will be afraid to create.
In my opinion, not limiting yourself to aim for perfection is a good thing. But when you are obsessed with it and you don’t know when to stop, it’s starting to get really bad. Especially when you only think about it and do nothing.
3. They tell you, “Do It Later”
“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.”
― Mason Cooley
Mediocre people always thinks, “If the deadline is tomorrow, why should I do it today?”
Sure, it really is easy to do nothing and just wait until the deadline comes. But, did you realize that everytime you postponed to do your task, it will make you think the same thought over and over again?
And it’s usually resulting in having an overthinking that will lead you to a negative thought in the end. Eventually, you will forget, you get panic, and the quality of your work will be just enough.
Instead of putting a long deadline for a task, challenge yourself and put a short deadline to it. You will never have time to enjoy your life if you always do your task later.
4. They tell you, “Get a Quick Fix”
“Without delayed gratification, there is no persistence.”
― Sunday Adelaja
We live in a quick-fix society where we need instant gratification for everything. Too fat? Get lipo-sucked. Stringy hair? Glue on extensions. Wrinkles and lines? Head to the beauty shop for a pot of the latest miracle skin stuff.
Any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity, will have a huge amount of resistance to it.
If you wanted to escape mediocrity, you need to delay your gratification and focusing on the process of long-term growth.
5. They tell you, “Know About Everything First”
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
― Mark Twain
Mediocre people think that they need to know everything first before they could start to do anything. That’s the reason why they consume so much content but never start to create anything.
What you actually needs to master your work is not to know everything about it but to starts now and get better every single day.
6. They tell you, “Ask a Permission First”
“Stop looking for permission from other people to do what you know you are meant to do.”
― Adam Kirk Smith
Mediocre people feel that they have no control of their life. They always feel like they have to ask a permission from another person first before they do anything.
But believe me, the only permission you need is from yourself. When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.
It’s always better to say sorry than to never do anything.
7. They tell you, “What If Everything Get Wrong?”
“To live a creative life we must first lose the fear of being wrong.”
― Joseph Chilton Pearce
This is the most classic reason why mediocre people never do anything outside the comfort zone. It’s because they are scared to do something wrong.
The fear of doing wrong usually arises from the fear of being judged by another person. There is no one in this world that never do anything wrong. But you need to understand that you can always say sorry and fix it.
You will never discover your passion and live a high-quality life if you always afraid of being wrong.
Now that you identify 7 traits of how your brain tells you to just be a mediocre people, the real battle is just getting started.
Don’t just read this article and hope that you are not a mediocre person.
Do something about your life. Start to create. You are the only one that can turn your mediocre life to be a high-quality life. Remember, you did not wake up today to be mediocre.