I am overwhelmed, embarrassed, and just downright enraged by how much mediocrity I see around me. Not only mediocrity in products, but woeful mediocrity in service after the sale.
Let me be quick to say, I don’t think anyone is mediocre. Everyone has the capacity to be good if not great at something. My beef is that we’ve just accepted it. We’ve been raised in it. We’re dripping in it, and we’re all paying a price for it.
So what is mediocre you might ask? Well, here are five sure signs you’ve accepted mediocre as a standard for your life.
- You are mediocre if you’re a chronic complainer. I don’t mean you can’t be observant and have an opinion. But if all you do is whine, moan and complain about the way things are, but make no effort to make the world a better place, you’ve accepted mediocre.
- You’re mediocre if you jump from scheme to scheme trying to get rich quick. Mediocrity breeds in the heart that has a short attention span. Are you the kind of person who jumps from thing to thing, relationship to relationship, job to job? It takes time to get good at anything. As Malcolm Gladwell says in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours to truly become great at any endeavor.
- You’ve embraced mediocrity if you shift responsibility for your life to anyone other than yourself. Mediocrity loves to play the victim. It loves to shift responsibility for the life your life is on the economy, the company, or the government. People who get up and excel at their lives take responsibility.
- You embrace mediocrity if you become sloppy and dirty. I know a public figure who is wildly successful. I know him very well. If I were to say his name you would know him right off. I won’t say his name because I’ve observed something about him. Everything he does reflects excellence to his business, to his environment, to his home, to his cars, to the way he treats people, to the way he dresses. Excellence seeps into everything, evidenced by the fact that he’s neat and clean in all of his environments.Mediocre people are comfortable in filth and dirt and a chaotic environment.
- You’ve accepted mediocre of you have no written plan for the future. I see it all the time in marriages. They have no reason to be together other than they’ve always been together. They see their marriage as a business contract, and a lousy one at that. People, marriages, businesses, great companies, those who excel, those who have a written down plan, a goal worth going for, what I call a BSAD – a Big Scary Audacious Dream. Without one, you won’t push yourself to high levels of excellence.
Now that you’ve taken my little test, how would you rate yourself? And if you’re falling short of your own ideal, what are you going to do about it? Because you can, you know, you can become excellent the moment you choose to, and do something about it.