Mediocrity Loves Slavery

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The title of this post is one of my favorite quotes. It’s courtesy of Hugh MacLeod.

Life only has so many minutes in it. In fact, if you’ve seen Rent you know that one year has 525,600 minutes in it (and now you’re singing the song) . Not only is there an undetermined finite amount of time each of us have, we’re also born with natural gifts as well as shortcomings which we didn’t have a say in.

By the time you’re a young adult, a combination of the environment you were brought up in, and the experiences you’ve endured has given you a pretty good idea where your skillsets lie and what are not your best qualities.

Focus on what you’re good at. Find out what’s working and do more of it. Sure you can teach an old dog new tricks and it’s forever a smart thing to broaden your horizons, but don’t waste time fine turning your worst quality to make it a mediocre output when you can instead nurture a good talent, skill, or quality of yours and make it great. Great beats good every time.

For instance, I’m terrible at drawing. Absolutely atrocious. Now, I could hone that skill and get myself to draw a respectable stick figure at a Kindergartner’s level, or I could let my shaky hand be and, instead, focus on the things I do well. If I need a drawing done, I figure I can just hire someone to do it.

You do the world no service by not letting your flower bloom. Your short comings will be forgiven if your strengths make the lives of people around you better.

Think you’re a Renaissance Man? Da Vinci was a Renaissance Man. If you’re on that level, more power to you (and you probably don’t need to be reading this blog). But if not, don’t hide behind the veil of a Jack-of-all-trades mentality when it’s more like a Middle-of-the-road-Joe reality.

Dare to be better. If not for you, for the people around you who will be inspired by what you’ve done.