How To Eliminate Mediocrity From Your Life

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Have you ever thought about why are there some people so successful yet others are stuck in mediocrity? There may be many reasons. It may be the difference in skills, talent or living environment and etc. But sometimes I wonder are these the real reasons that cause people to be mediocre?

I believe everyone have one skill or another that they are particularly good at. Even if they are not a master at it, they can still choose to polish their skills. How about talent? I had read this in one of Malcolm Gladwell’s book (can’t really remember which one, I think it is Outliers), it says that somebody had gathered a group of geniuses and tried to train them to achieve success. However the project turned out to be a failure because only a low percentage of those geniuses turned out to be successful. The others failed to achieve much success and some even end up working in low end jobs. Those are the talented people who had failed and this shows that talent doesn’t equals to everything.

Unconducive living environment may cause us to be stuck in mediocrity but I have my doubts about it too. There are so many successful people who came from poor living environment and probably one of the famous example would be Oprah.

So what is the reason that cause mediocrity?

The Reason Is…

I believe mediocrity will only happen when one settles for mediocrity. Talent, skills and living environment are factors that don’t really matter when compared to your mindset. Those who settle for mediocrity will eventually become mediocre no matter how talented they are. Those who chose to settle for something lower than their expectations will always achieve lesser. This means that you can avoid mediocrity if you choose not to settle for mediocrity.

5 Ways To Avoid Mediocrity

1. Have A Dream

A dream is needed for you to avoid mediocrity as it allows you to have something to work towards to. This means that we are moving forward instead of staying idle. You should always keep your dream in mind and constantly remind yourself to achieve it. Now is a good time to think about what you really want in your life. What is it that you truly enjoy doing that you would do it even if you are not getting paid for it?

2. Do Things Differently

If you do what others think you should be doing, what results do you think you will get? Results that are the same as others! So if you want to get out of mediocrity and get excellent results, then do things that are different from what others are doing that get them mediocre results.

3. Get Out Of Your Safety Zone

Are you staying too much in your safety zone? If you are spending too much time in your safety zone, that means you are losing out opportunities that can take you a level forward to your success. If you find yourself getting bored over things that you are doing now, most probably you are staying in your safety zone and not doing anything to move into a new level of playing field. It is the same as basketball game. If you spend too much time defending in your own zone, how are you going to score at the other end?

4. Do Something Challenging

When we start to slack and want avoid doing things that are hard, we tend to move into a slump in our life. In life, things that are worth doing are things that are hard to do. Things that are hard to do also guarantee you the best benefits. Someone who is able to repair an air plane will receive better salary than someone who can repair a coffee machine. A cab driver will not earn as much as a F1 racer. Enough said, you get the point.

5. Do Not Settle For Less

This is the point where I want to emphasize on. If you want to avoid mediocrity, don’t ever settle for anything less than what you really want. By not settling for less, you tend to get what you want if you can persevere on. Think about it, when you are a child and you really want something, you will throw a tantrum, cry or scream and do what ever it takes to convince your parents to buy it for you. Most probably your parents will give up and give in to you.

How about now? Think about the item you had bought recently. Most probably that is the item that you truly want and you do not want to settle for anything for less. Maybe it is your favorite dress, IT gadgets or your new car? Most of the time you will get the things when you want it badly, isn’t that right? You will get things you really want it. But you will fail to get it when you don’t truly want it and start to settle for less.

Parting Words

Nobody wants to be mediocre. It is something that everyone will try to avoid it. Everyone wants to have results and success in life but only a minority amount of people will achieve it. You can be the among the minority if you think big, persevere and don’t settle for anything lesser. This mindset will help you break out of the mediocrity and help you achieve what you have always wanted to achieve.


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  1. Nice article! This is my first time on your site but definitely not my last! Keep up the great work mate!

  2. Hi Igor,

    Thanks for your comment. 🙂

    Hi Srinivas Rao,

    Social programming is one of the thing that really stop us from achieving the best we can achieve. We tend to have the herd mentality and we will follow what others are doing. Which means that we will follow what others are doing even if what we are doing is not the best for us. We definitely need to have the courage and also know when to walk against the crowd to do things that are the best for us.

    Hi Paul,

    I agree with what you had said. Sometimes doing something easy can help us to take a break but doing easy tasks as an excuse to avoid something difficult is a sure fire way to mediocrity.

    Hi used tires,

    Only a few people are capable of climbing to the top and that is why there will be lesser competition when you are at the top. I love the quote you had mentioned,. Talent will not carry us any further if we do not put in any work.

    Hi Celes,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I had corrected it already. 🙂


  3. Hey Vincent, I like this post. It helps to shake people out of their current comfort modes and trigger them to strive for more, including me too. By the way, I think there might be a typo in the #4 tip. It says Doing something easy, but I believe you mean Doing something hard ?

  4. There is this quote that I am in love with “ hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. I think its soo true. I agree with you that many people will simply settle. They say they are ok with their life, with their accomplishments… they say that they don’t need anything more. Id say most of the people you meet out there will fall into that category. Its actually good news for you. The higher and higher you climb up the less competition. People aren’t often wiling to keep on running those extra miles. What separates you from the rest is your willingness to keep on going

  5. Thanks for the post – some good points here.

    Point #4 is an interesting one – sometimes doing something easy can be good to have a break from the hard stuff whilst keeping momentum going, whilst sometimes is can be used as a form of procrastination and needs to be avoided.

    Along the same lines of avoiding mediocrity, I stumbled across the following post which compares the “you can achieve anything” mantra with “stick with your strengths” – quite an interesting read (not an affiliate link, btw, I just thought it was an interesting and relevant article to share):

  6. Great post, now if only I could actually put in into practice. I guess I’ll start by applying it at work and trying to tackle the tougher assignments and really challenging myself.

  7. Great post Vincent. Many of these points are really important, and the challenge we face is we often come to these realizations in adult life when our social programming has gotten in the way of all of this.