If we refuse to leave our comfort zone, the best we can look forward to is a mediocre life. We might do just enough to get by, but it means we have no chance of reaching out potential – the nearest we are going to get to success is watching the Olympics.
The Meaning of Mediocrity
‘Mediocre’ comes from the Latin word ‘mediocris’, and it can be roughly translated as meaning ‘half-way up a rocky mountain’. Mediocrity implies that we have given up on our goal because things became hard – we settled for something inferior.
4 Reasons Not to Settle for a Mediocre Life
1. Happiness is a By-Product of Moving towards Our Potential
I love this quote by W.B. Yates:
“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing”
The problem with mediocrity is we miss out on the amazing satisfaction that comes from pushing our limits. This is a level of happiness that just doesn’t exist for me when I’m doing the bare minimum needed to get by.
I’ve struggled with depression in the past, and it always occurs when I’m muddling along in my comfort zone. When I’m working hard to improve my life, I don’t have the time to be depressed.
2. Life is Too Short to Settle for Mediocrity
We are all going to be dead soon. It would be nice to think that there is something afterwards, but it makes sense that we should enjoy this particular ride as best we can. We came into this world with nothing, so we have nothing to lose by leaving our comfort zone and going after the big prizes in life.
3. We Pass Mediocrity onto Our Children
By accepting mediocrity for ourselves, we teach our children not to expect too much for themselves. Even if we do our best to encourage them to reach their potential, we won’t be leading by example – we are the exact same as parents who get drunk every night but warn their children not to do the same. If our kids do manage to become successful, it is going to be despite of us and not because of us.
4. Mediocrity Means Not Being Able to Look in the Mirror in the Morning
The fact that we are living below our potential is going to nag at us for the rest of our life. We may put on a show of bravado, but deep down inside we know we’ve sold ourselves short. This can lead us to become resentful of those who are successful because they are just a reminder of what could have been.
Humans blossom when they reach their potential. It is like we have been designed to briefly light up the world in our own little way. When we settle for mediocrity, we never serve this purpose and all that potential energy is transferred into frustration and depression.
How to Avoid Being Mediocre
• Keep moving outside of your comfort zone
• If you feel you are living below your potential, you are – do something about it
• Try to avoid spending too much time with negative people
• Do some research on successful people and find out what made them successful
• Stop making excuses and start taking action
• Do something every single day to improve your life
• Never feel guilty about wanting to improve your life and never apologize for it