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The Road to Mediocrity

Sorry. You're still in the pile. No, that's not the way to get out. The problem is not that you need a diploma, or better messaging, or a new suit, or a new haircut, or more connections on social media. Those things are great, but they all suffer the same flaw. They just aren't the answer. The problem with them is that they are all trying to convince people of how good you are without you actually having to get better. Holding up a fancier sign does not make the street beggar more worthy of charity.

The path to excellence does not lie in convincing people you are worthy; it lies in being worthy.

One of the surest ways to mediocrity is "checking boxes." When met with an assignment or an expectation, people do the minimum to "check the box." It's the story of the employees working just hard enough to keep from getting fired, while the employer pays them just enough to keep them from quitting. Checking boxes is not the way to get out of the pile.

If you want to get out of the pile, here is what you have to do:

  • Show up consistently

  • Model excellence

  • Exceed expectations

  • Keep a good attitude

  • Don't quit

These things require extra effort and extra energy, which is why most people don't do them, and why there is a pile.

If the pursuit of excellence was easy everyone would do it. — Christopher Sommer, Olympic Gymnastics Coach

Excellence will most often be achieved when it comes from a burning desire within yourself to be the best that you can be. It comes from a decision that this is what I am going to do! I am going to get in the arena, and take the blows, and keep getting up, and not quit. It is what I am going to do.


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