The curse of mediocrity is plaguing our society and no one seems to care! We let society push us into adopting mediocre lives. Then we wonder why we wake up every day and feel unfulfilled and empty?
But what is mediocrity?
Mediocrity by definition means ordinary, moderate, neither good nor bad or worst of all barely adequate. Let’s focus on this concept for a second. Barely adequate? No one would aspire to be associated with the idea of being barely adequate! Your precious life that you cherish so much is only barely adequate? I suppose the fact that your body is a self-regulating organism perfectly constructed by God is only barely adequate too? I beg to differ. We have not been created as barely adequate beings. Everything about this world and our bodies have been created with divine creativity and excellence. No mistakes have been made. And it is definitely not barely adequate.
Most of us go through life doing ‘OK’ and ‘alright’ rather than being excellent and amazing. People would rather become complacent than strive for greatness. But mediocrity can be difficult to identify. It lays dormant, ensuring our lives and society runs smoothly. It helps remove feelings of anxiety because we feel like we’re ‘in control’. It seemingly takes away the pressures of life and leaves us feeling somewhat content. To be honest mediocrity can be very comfortable. But there are some people that want more from life.
So why only go halfway up the mountain?
Why only go halfway up the mountain of life when you could get all the way to the top and see the beautiful view? This concept of halfway up the mountain is actually the core meaning behind the word mediocrity! Mediocrity comes from the French word médiocre literally translated as ‘halfway up the mountain’.
It was common practice for amateur mountain climbers to climb the French Alps before tackling greater mountains like Mount Everest or Kilimanjaro. Quite often they would stop halfway up the mountain and take a break. Setting up camp, eating food, socialising and resting. The group of climbers would usually intend to only spend a few days there to recharge and prepare for the rest of the journey ahead. But the climbers usually ended up spending longer than needed because they were comfortable.
Don’t let others around you hold you back
For illustration purposes let’s use a character called Mark. Mark is a 21 year old man fresh out of university with hopes and dreams of becoming a lawyer. He decided to go on an adventurous trip after graduation and opted for a mountain climbing holiday before attending law school in September. Mark had always been an intelligent boy and got top marks throughout uni.
Mark and his group had been at the halfway point for a few days. They were due to pack up and continue their journey to the mountain top. But night was setting in and no one seemed to be preparing to leave. Mark noticed this and decided to speak up “guys it’s getting late let’s continue on our journey to the top, we’ve spent longer here than needed”. But Mark was ignored by the group. The other climbers seemed disinterested in his idea. Eventually someone replied “let’s stay here for one more night. We’ll go tomorrow”. The group all agreed and they remained at the camp for another night. Mark secretly wanted to continue his journey to the top. He had paid a lot of money to come on this trip but thought it was a reasonable request to stay another night. So reluctantly he agreed to stay.
But that one more night soon turned into one more week…then one more month…you get the point. The group of mountain climbers including Mark never made it to the top. They all remained at the halfway point for 2 months and journeyed back down the mountain when they had enough. Mark was disappointed in himself. He had set out to climb to the top but let other people and the fear of being alone stop him from continuing his journey. But you can understand Mark’s decision to remain with the group right? Venturing up the mountain on his own could potentially have been a death sentence for Mark. The easier and safer option was to stay with the group. But staying with the group did Mark no favours. After his trip he went home unfulfilled and disappointed in himself. Why? Because he didn’t finish what he set out to do.
The momentous mountain of life
The mountain can be seen as a symbolism for life. We’re all on this journey to the mountain top. But somewhere along the line we meet an obstacle, a barrier or a halfway point. We all set out with the intentions to journey right to the top. But when we realise we can enjoy ourselves at the halfway point of life we stop and forget about our dreams. We begin to occupy ourselves with pointless ‘luxuries’ like regular clothes shopping trips on pay day and a nights out every Saturday to celebrate the weekend, forgetting that with a bit of hard work…everyday could be the weekend. But we lose focus and get comfortable. Only broadening our horizons as far as our salaries will take us. What is the point in experiencing a taste of the ‘high life’ then returning to your mediocre life on Monday morning? That, my dearest readers is the definition mediocrity!
There’s potential inside all of us
What if I told you, you had the potential to be the office manager rather than an admin assistant? Or a fashion designer rather than a retail assistant? Or better yet the business owner of an international corporation rather than a minimum wage employee?
Would you do anything different? Would you push through your current situation and work harder to get to the top? Would you be willing to make the sacrifices others are scared to make?
There’s potential locked inside all of us. Don’t make the mistake and go to your grave clutching onto your dreams and hopes. Release them and LIVE them! You’ll never get to the pinnacle of the mountain if you remain at the halfway point. So readers, I bid you to take a sharp curve from mediocrity. Change your mind set. Start believing anything is possible and most of all NEVER GIVE UP!
Have any of you decided that you’ve had enough of living a mediocre life? What steps have you made to change this?
Leave a comment below