Perhaps you’re one of them.
The mediocre majority. The people who settle for mediocrity in aspects of their lives, whether it’s in their job, relationships, lifestyle, environment, or general enjoyment and happiness. The mediocre majority accept things for what they are, without much thought on if they are living the lives they really want. They sense something isn’t quite right with their lives, yet they don’t take the steps to fully explore or understand why. They feel trapped, confused, or helpless. They accept the status quo for what it is and seek to fill the void with consumerism, higher status and comparison points.
For those who truly know what they want and it includes the bigger house, sports car or promotion, kudos. As long as it’s true to them, these people will be full of drive, joy and fantastic energy on their journey. They are not settling for mediocrity. Reality is, that’s not the case for most people on their path of attaining higher status items or the next promotion. In the majority of cases, it’s likely to be full of stress, fear, uncertainty and attempts to fill a void that cannot be filled by external means.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” – Henry David Thoreau
Settling for mediocrity takes a greater toll than you may fully realize. This article is dedicated to those of you who have an inkling something’s amiss. You’re still searching aimlessly, not quite doing the inner work necessary, or simply don’t know where to start. This is for those of you who don’t feel an underlying sense of satisfaction, conviction, and inner clarity about where you are headed in life. Don’t stay in mediocrity; there are impacts to doing so.
Here are 10 different ways mediocrity may take its toll on you:
1. Your Energy – If you’re settling for mediocrity, it’s going to impact your energy – the levels, how you’re using it, and the mileage you’re getting out of it. We each only have a finite amount of energy each day and you’re probably wasting the bulk of it on a variety of tasks, activities, issues, and items you don’t actually care about. It takes a larger amount of effort and self control to get yourself geared up to do some things, which takes even more energy, hence you’re running through your supply faster. Perhaps in the process of gearing yourself up, you’re wasting some of your energy procrastinating by checking social media, email, etc. Trust me, you’ll have a far bigger supply of energy and get greater results when you’re on your true path.
2. Your Body – Whether or not you’re taking good care of your health, mediocrity still takes a toll on your body. When you’re spending the majority of your days in stress, fear, or uncertainty, it’s very likely translating into some type of tension or pressure within the body. It could show up as a weakened immune system, cramps, exacerbated headaches, some predisposition, or another of the many complex ways the body chooses to react. When you sense you’re not going in a meaningful direction, your body can’t help but take its share of the impact. The manifestation and magnitude will vary by person.
3. Your Relationships – Even if you’re a wonderful mother, father, sibling, friend, or whatever other relationship roles you have, your mediocrity will impact the people in your life. You’re setting an example for others whether you like it or not. Your energy, perspective, emotions, and other aspects will come through in your interactions. Perhaps you’d have more to give others on multiple levels if you weren’t limiting yourself. You’re also attracting the same level of outcomes and other people with what you’re putting out into the world. There’s a saying that you’re an average of the 5 people you spend the most time around. Mediocre attracts mediocre. Remarkable may attract both, however there is a stronger and mutual attraction towards others who are also remarkable.
4. Your Livelihood – Notice I didn’t say career, although livelihood certainly encompasses career. Either way, it’s not going to be as fruitful, enjoyable or successful over the long haul if you’re stuck in some aspect of mediocrity. You’re not going to put in as many hours, the amount of care, passion, and perseverance as someone else who’s clear on where they’re going. How I define livelihood combines the two definitions, “the means of securing the necessities of life” and “the quality or state of being lively,” into one. Thus, livelihood (as defined here) is the means of securing the necessities of life in a lively manner. You’re not as lively as you have the potential to be when you’re mediocre, and therefore, you’re not able to have a true livelihood with remarkable rewards.
5. Your Money – Yes, it impacts your money too. It impacts how you feel about it, how you spend it, and how important it may be to you. When you feel like you’re missing something, you’re more apt to spend your money in a variety of ways to fill the gap. You’re more likely to think more money is the answer. You probably feel like you’ll never have enough, and if money is what you think you’re after, you’re right. You can never have enough of a wrong thing.
6. Your Time – When you’re spending your life in mediocrity, you clearly aren’t placing a high value on your time. All time is a precious resource and there is only a finite amount of it each day and until your expiration (sorry, it’s reality). You say you value your free time? Weekends? If you truly valued your time, you’d be spending the majority (if not all) of it on meaningful activities you want to be doing.
7. Your Fulfillment – Whoever heard of fulfillment from mediocrity? Not me. I suppose it may be possible if you’re blissfully unaware, yet I would argue that’s not true fulfillment. If you’re feeling somewhat fulfilled, it’s from areas of your life that are working for you, not from the parts where more could be desired. More likely than not, you’re feeling drained, exhausted, frustrated, or bitter. There’s a sense there’s more to gained than what you’re settling for currently. You could be feeling satisfaction, joy and achievement from simply traveling on the path you’re meant to be on. What are you feeling instead?
8. Your Growth – When you’re one of the mediocre majority, you’re shirking something. Whatever it is, not addressing the issue is inhibiting your personal growth. In some way, you’re not stretching your limits, working, or learning as much as you could be. Instead of settling for mediocre, aim for the best of everything life has to offer. In the lifelong process of being the best you can be, offering the best you can offer, and going after the best of what you want, you’ll achieve the growth you’re meant to achieve. You’re meant to constantly evolve.
9. Your Contribution – Whatever output you’re producing, it’s not going to be as good as it would if you were fully invested in what you are doing. You’re not going to reach the level of care, ownership or desire to improve on your contribution unless it’s important to you. Mediocre creates mediocre. Remarkable creates remarkable. It’s that simple.
10. Your Tenacity – During times of challenge and adversity, you’ll have less of a foundation to fall back on if you’re wallowing in the mediocre majority. Without the inner clarity driving clear purpose, you’re going to have a tougher time getting yourself back on your feet when you fall. Without an underlying belief in your direction, you’ll be plagued by more doubt, fear, and weakened armor as you embark on the rest of your journey. In spite of many obstacles, some painful learning, and the nastiest of critics, the minority aligned with their true selves continue moving forward step by step with conviction and passion.
That was a lot to cover, and yet, there are probably even more impacts I haven’t mentioned above. The sooner you realize everything is connected in life, the more quickly you’ll realize how damaging it is to remain stagnant in any type of situation when it’s no longer working for you.
Don’t settle for mediocrity in the absence of knowing what to do.
Don’t settle for mediocrity because you’re comfortable, scared, or worried about what others may think. Take back the responsibility, do the work, and get intentional about your life.
Want to stop settling for mediocrity in your life? We can help at Uncoveries.