Do you settle for a life of mediocrity?

I do not believe that most of us think about living a life of mediocrity but in truth that is exactly what is happening.

Mediocrity is when we do not strive to be our best and stretch ourselves to reach our goals. If we do not expect the best out of others, then we are settling for something less; and if we are settling for something less, we are allowing ourselves to get caught in the mediocrity trap of expecting less in life. I have often found myself being impatient with people because I can't tolerate incompetence or someone's lack of interest in their work. I find myself needing to take a step back and breathe in deeply just to release my frustration with people's willingness to accept second best for themselves and for others. I was recently in a restaurant waiting to be served while watching two of the waiters holding their personal conversation and oblivious to the needs of their customers. That is not even mediocrity, in my opinion that is substandard behavior. Look around you and you will see what I am speaking to each and every day.

Mediocrity is becoming an epidemic in today's world because too many people - men, women and children are not striving to succeed. They are not willing to struggle and fight for what they want. There is a decline in the desire for achievement and a lack of motivation on the part of many to take self-pride in their work and in their lives.

I just read an article on how some school districts in the U.S. are making the teachers abide by a dress code, which includes no jeans in the classroom, no tattoos and no body piercing. I was completely surprised but pleased by the action taken by the various school boards. There appears to be a movement of back to the basics. How can we as a society expect the children to look presentable, act presentable and use their intellect to their fullest capacity, if those who teach them and that includes the parents, do not set the example and become their role model?

It is time to illustrate the value and importance of striving for excellence for all the children of the world to see and emulate. It is about teaching, encouraging and showing by example. It is our job as a society to make every effort to be at our best because if we fail to take the higher road, we will certainly descend further into mediocrity.

As a civilization, we must look for ways not only for ourselves but for all those who are within our sphere of influence to create higher standards of achievement. Discuss your values and endeavors with your children and grandchildren. Share stories that will inspire and stir their imagination. With enthusiasm and conviction we must strive to raise the intellectual standards of people and specifically the children. But we will not be successful in gaining their attention if we ourselves do not believe in those principles and/or attributes.

Here is a powerful quote from Colin Powell, a retired four-star general in the United States Army and the 65th United States Secretary of State. He said: "Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase

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you will eventually decrease you."

With those powerful words, I will leave you to think and decide what you want for yourself and your children.

Joan Marie Ambrose
Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker

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Blog Date: 
Friday, August 17, 2012