Mediocrity doesn’t just happen.
Rather, it’s something people accept over time, almost unconsciously. It seeps into their lives daily, weekly, monthly and over years. Like bad habits, the chains of mediocrity are too light to be noticed until they are too heavy to be ignored.
Given the sinister nature of mediocrity, how does someone know when they’re starting to settle for it? Here are some telltale signs:
- It’s been over a year since you read a book on self-improvement. The best way to grow in your life is to get around people who have a better life than you. The next best way? Read a book on it. You should read at least one book on self-improvement a month. It’s a great way to push issues to the surface in your life and to fight back against the rust of self-decay.
- You worry more about appearances than outcomes. I see so many people buying things they simply cannot afford just to avoid even the slightest appearance that they don’t have the latest car, gadget or clothing. Let me make this simple. You’ll never become wealthy if you’re obsessed with pleasing others. If your ego cannot tolerate the slightest inconvenience, then you are not cut out for success. The truly successful focus on what matters – outcomes. Outcomes such as return on investment, net worth and goal accomplishment drive the successful. The mediocre are driven by the mundane – what brand of purse they carry and what type of car they drive, all the while being a paycheck hostage to pay for it all.
- Your roles in life feel like traps instead of freedom. Show me someone who complains about their marriage and kids I’ll show you someone who’s mired in mediocrity. A spouse and children are supposed to bring pleasure, not pain. Know this – marriage is not the thief of happiness. What is? A mediocre marriage. Most marriage problems stem from a lack of control with money. Starting today, forge a new money plan with your spouse and work together to get out of the quicksand of financial mediocrity. Here’s some more tips on how to do this.
- You’ve stopped dreaming. When was the last time you dreamed about the good life – sailing around the world, eating caviar and luxury jet travel? Have you let life become so overbearing that you’re just treading water? To push back on mediocrity, take time to pause what you are doing and to reflect. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, calls it P.W.S. – Personal White Space. A time when you can switch off your phone, disable email and interruptions and think about you and your plans. By investing in this for as little as 5 minutes a day, 1 hour a month and up to 3 days a year, you will be surprised on your ability to start dreaming again. You must first conceive it before you believe it.
- You think you’re a victim and you’re committed to blame. You think life is happening TO you instead of you being a contributing member. If only they would this and if only they would that… then you surely would be happy. Take responsibility for you. Grow a little. Play a bigger game in life. Speak the truth. Move past blame and excuses onto what’s really happening in your life and how you can make changes for the better.
- Everything else is more important than working on your goals. You name it: kids, work, friends, family, social life, whatever. Doesn’t matter what you’re putting above your personal goals… the problem is that they are not a priority. Maybe you’ll get to investing once you get that promotion, or when the kids or older, or when things gets so bad that it’s an emergency. If you want a happy life, then YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF IT. You don’t get to your 50th wedding anniversary by not paying attention. You won’t get to financial freedom by not paying attention now. Take a quick inventory of how you spend your time. How much of that time is spent on your top priorities in life? Resolve to focus on your priorities.
Mediocrity is a horrible insidious trap, because it doesn’t quite give a person the discomfort to get moving and changing.
Sitting down on a sharp rock will get you moving in a few seconds, because of the intense pain which motivates you to change your circumstances. And a minute or two later you’re doing just fine.
Same with a mediocre life – you can get trapped for years, living an alright existence. It’s not something that will get you to jump up excited out of bed at 5 in the morning, but at the same time it’s not painful enough to make you jump up and shout “I WILL CHANGE!”
Somewhere along the way people settle because they think it’s the only choice they have. Believe me, it’s not! Being mediocre may seem like a safe place at first, where things can’t get any worse. But what it also means is that they won’t get any better.
The only way to become mediocre is one step at a time – through the choices you make each day. And when you settle for it once, it will be a lot easier to do it again. Eventually, you’ll have accepted a mediocre life.
That’s not for you friends. Reject the mediocre life and keep working towards a better life – the financially free life.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
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P.S.S. What’s this got to do with you? If you don’t take action, absolutely nothing. But remember this – most people fail to achieve what they want in life simply because they never start. There’s nothing for sale on this blog or in my newsletter. I just provide actionable advice for free. Lastly, if your definition of achieving success cannot tolerate even the slightest inconvenience, then you are not cut-out for success. What do you have to lose? Subscribe today.
Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: