I took some heat for an article called 5 Signs you at Risk for Living a Mediocre Life. Understandably, there are many people who don’t buy into the idea of continually striving to live an extraordinary life.
Is everyone supposed to strive to be a DaVinci? That’s absurd. And impossible. If everyone were DaVinci, no one would be DaVinci. I am not a DaVinci, either.
Of course, these terms, mediocre life and extraordinary life are 100% subjective. My previous article did not attempt to define any term but focused on the principle of putting for your best effort.
If you know you’re giving it your all, you’re succeeding and avoid mediocrity. But what if you don’t have any interest in giving anything your all? What if you just want to chill? Cool. Then chill.
The title of my last article suggested a kind of judgment against people who might be living a mediocre life – the signs you are at “risk” of mediocrity. Yes, that’s right, it did come across as judgmental to many and I can see why. So…
Here are the reasons living a life of mediocrity is perfectly fine:
A documentary on Denmark, after it was named the happiest country on Earth suggested the key to their happiness was low expectations. They don’t pressure themselves. Lower expectations – especially when compared to American corporate and pop culture imagery – in many ways are freeing because whatever you end up doing is acceptable. What a relief!
And there’s a paradox in play: If you’re happy living what some might call a mediocre life, then you’re not living a mediocre life at all. You’re living a happy life, which is extraordinary. And that’s the bottom line. Do what makes you happy and don’t let anyone else determine what that is or how to define happiness. You know what’s best for you.
Take some pressure off yourself. You don’t have to change the world or be perfect. You don’t even have to change yourself. We can modify my previous claim that knowing you’re doing your best is the key to excellence to something like: An excellent life is one in which you define your own expectations.
Personally, I’m not happy unless I know I am putting forth my best effort. Even when my best yields mediocre results, I’m good because it’s not the results that matter in the end. It’s knowing within myself that I did all I could do. But that’s just me. What are your expectations of yourself?