The 2 Pathways to Mediocrity
Doing anything meaningful requires courage. Actually it requires mountains of courage coupled with relentless dedication. Which is why most people find it easier to avoid the work that will bring them happiness than to actually commit to pursuing it.
But nobody’s going to come out and say, “I don’t want to actively participate in my own life”. We allow opinions & excuses to decide for us. This way it doesn’t look like we’re not committed. It doesn’t look like we’re ‘slacking on the job’.
Do you know why there isn’t anyone on Earth who isn’t familiar with either of these? Because they’re the cheapest ‘things’ on Earth. Everyone has them and almost everyone loves distributing them. The thing about opinions and excuses though, is that regardless of how many of them you dispense, they never get any less. And therein lies their allure.
They’ve become the drugs we use to try and silence silence the nagging voice of our conscience. The voice that says,”Get up and do something about your life. Build something that matters.”
Excuses give us something to do so that we don’t have to do anything meaningful.
When you make an excuse you’re actually saying, “I don’t have time to focus on my health or learn new skills because I’m using the energy I have to make excuses about why I can’t lead the life I want to.” Excuses are the new painkillers. They help placate the painful screams of a soul being destroyed slowly but surely. Give someone some sincere advice that will greatly help them progress and the chances are quite high that they’re going to respond with something that sounds like, “But you don’t know what I’m going through” or “It’s not as simple as you think”. Here’s the thing, NOBODY will ever know what you’re going through, they’re in their bodies and you’re in yours, they’re living their lives and you’re living yours – they’re not meant to know what you’re going through.
The battles you face are designed for you; they’re built to give you the greatest possible growth in every important area of your life. Making excuses is just a convenient way to avoid progress. Progress requires change and change is never palatable or welcomed…except by those who are intent on crafting lives that matter. The first step to building a life that matters is being brutally honest with yourself. If you’re worried about your health but your regular responses are,”I don’t have the time to eat healthy” or “I just feel too lazy to exercise” you’re not at all worried, because you’re choosing to divert your energies towards making excuses instead of towards what should be a goal for you. You can make excuses or you can make progress; just not both.
You can pay attention to your life’s work or you can pay attention to the opinions you come across. Everyone will have an opinion about you and your work.Regardless of what you do and how well you do it, there will always be someone who thinks that you’re not good enough. There will always be someone who looks at your work with disdain. Someone who believes that you’re just wasting your time. That it’s only a matter of time before you fail miserably and give up. In the beginning you might get defensive and try to explain your philosophy; try to get others to understand why you do your chosen work; why you believe so passionately and work with such dedication. Eventually, you give up and walk the unfulfilling pathway of mediocrity. You will have no energy or drive to approach your work with courage because all your energy was spent worrying about what others thought of you. You can pay attention to everyone’s opinion or you can do the work that matters; choose wisely.