“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” ― Will Smith
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One of the things that has always bugged me is my willingness to settle for good enough. I think we all have aspirations for greatness, but we often times let complacency set in.
Instead of pursuing our goals, we give up. We tell ourselves that there’s nothing to complain about. We tell ourselves we should be grateful for what we have. We tell ourselves we are doing good enough.
While all of these things might be true, that doesn’t mean we should stop aspiring for more. We need to ask ourselves if we want to settle for what we have or if we want to achieve more, to be more.
Realistic expectations are great if you are happy with mediocrity. But I’m personally tired of being mediocre.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with mediocrity. By definition, mediocrity is normal. It’s average. Most of us have to be mediocre for others of us to stand out.
That’s exactly what I’m advocating. I want those of us who are tired of being mediocre to start standing out. The only way we can achieve this is if we make an effort to do better.
We all need to stop being so realistic with our goals (myself included.) But how do we stand out?
I suggest we follow the advice given by one of my former podcast guests: Dorie Clark. In our interview, Dorie explained how she went from a journalist and documentary filmmaker to a business teacher, adviser, and author.
According to Dorie, there are three stages for standing out: building a network, building an audience, and building a community. I think the problem most of us encounter is going from building a network and audience to building a community.
Many of us can build a network. Fewer of us can build an audience. And even fewer of us are able to create communities around our work.
If we want to stop settling for mediocrity, we need to build communities around our work. The most well known and accomplished creatives build communities around their ideas and their work ( Tim Ferriss, Chase Jarvis, Chris Guillebeau, and Tina Roth Eisenberg to name a few.)
They have die hard fans that will travel from near and far to meet them. They don’t settle for realistic goals. They aim for the stars, and so should we.
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