Celebrating mediocrity is not fun. Heck the word mediocre sounds insulting. Imagine if a boyfriend were to rate his girlfriend average! Or a manager were to rate his employee ‘just ok’! I do not sing or speak for mediocrity. That certainly (in some areas of your life) should not be your goal. But what if there were a remote possibility that you will spend the rest of your life hung up somewhere in the middle of some ladder. What if you know only way to climb that ladder is to be reborn again in this world as someone else! Should you stress about it? Should you beat yourself up on some things you just cant seem to excel at?
I will rephrase my question: Is there anything positive about sub optimality? Can it be in anyway constructive for my life? I somehow lately have been coming back to this point: What if I am average, should I be worried or should I just move on. Ill answer both questions now.
- Acknowledge: I have realised that geniuses are rare. Rich geniuses rarer still. So, if I do lie somewhere in the (big) middle of the bell curve with people on either side, why worry how high or low am I in the middle? I have stopped stressing about the ideal or the best. I’m focusing my attention on better. How do I make myself, that area of my life or that habit better. Aiming to be the best is great if it does not stress you. If it does, take baby steps. What is the most immediate room for improvement. Focus on small causes than one big leap.
- Saying No: If you do finish step one, i.e. acknowledge being average. You can now say no to so many things. Broadening your scope and horizons are good things. But with focus. I cannot master everything. You cant master everything. Focus on one thing. Say NO to the rest. Learn to deny yourself the worry of not being able to do X, find time for Y or meet Z. Give yourself room to leave things and move on. You cant be the best at everything. Im sure I do not need to tell you all superheroes have weaknesses.
- Enjoy the Peace: Acknowledgement and refusal certainly give you some peace. You know where you are and you know where you cannot go, now all you need to do is operate on paths that are still open to you. This freedom and self awareness is sometimes liberating simply because you have less things to worry about! I have recently given up trying to do certain things in my PhD, ever since then, I find it very easy to focus on some problems that I am genuinely interested in. I try to find simple and constructive ways to polish myself in that small area and not worry about things I thought I had to learn to get things done.
- Ignore destructive comments: Ignore anyone and everyone that is telling you that you are not good enough. If someone says such a thing, ask them in return: Ok, tell me how do I make it better?. You’d be amazed at how many people are at loss of words when asked that question. They don’t expect to hear a counter question but a meek response ‘I know I suck at it!’. If someone says you are bad, ask them why. And do not stop prodding them until they give you some actual,real and ‘CONCRETE‘ action points to improve. Not some philosophical bullshit. Ignore them completely if none of these points can be acted on. For me, this one has worked wonders in recognising the ass-holes from people who genuinely care about my growth.
- Enjoy the mediocrity. You are a unique average. Savour yourself: both your strengths and weaknesses. Let the onus be on the superheroes to try and do everything. Meanwhile, breathe in and take a moment to reflect on where you are right now and where you want be tomorrow. Focus on within than seek from without.
I love my life, all its ups and downs. I also love my averageness. That is my sole USP. I am the underdog, the person who will shine with hard work and persistence.
Time for office 🙂