Meet my old friend Mediocrity from the 2nd Floor. Yes I think you’ve seen him before.
“We’re constantly getting these messages to mind our own business and look the other way if we want to be well liked, to not tell the truth or speak our mind or say anything too intense. Well, I’m telling you here that this approach not only makes you party to other people’s crimes against themselves but is a prescription for mediocrity and delusion.”
– Kelly Cutrone –
Today I thought long and hard about the concept of mediocrity. In previous blog posts, I have given credit to rappers for living the good life, and urged my readers to seek out true adventure for the simple reason that I don’t like my experiences to be mediocre.
In New York City, the standard of living for the things that matter to most young people, is incredibly high. We may not have large living space, but the key to enjoying New York as a twenty-something is to enjoy the spoils of this great City. Eclectic dining options, nightlife to suit all tastes, and beautiful people are some of the natural resources of New York City.
In this town, there is plenty of thrive for the mediocre to appreciate. While the mediocre may not be dining at Nobu on a regular basis, you can be sure they probably have their own neighborhood sushi place that they like just fine. In short, NYC mediocrity is still pretty good on a relative basis.
The word itself, mediocre, means ordinary or average. By statistical measures alone, most people I know will have ordinary experiences as they go through life. That is what makes those experiences ordinary in that they happen quite regularly. For some reason, once I figure out a way to make an experience extraordinary, I feel the need to speak my mind and try to affect the change needed to help others find the golden path. It is unclear to me if I am doing this for them or for myself, but I figure its a little bit of both.
It has taken me over 30 years of living to figure out some things about people. These are not pearls of wisdom ladies and gentlemen, but they are TRUTHS that eluded me because I see the world in a different way.
1) If an unattractive man or woman could push a button to become better looking, there is a good chance he/she would not push the button because they just don’t care.
2) Lets say there are two friends Guy #1 and Guy #2. Guy #1 has great game and has bedded 20 girls, and Guy #2 has no game and bedded 3 girls. Guy #2 may not be wishing he had better game like Guy #1, but instead may feel that “game” is not a virtue.
3) Not everyone sees him or herself as someone who can have a meaningful impact on the world. I can understand that people would be realistic and might think that it was unlikely to leave a mark, but I thought that most allow (and embrace) of the possibility of accomplishing such a feat. Sadly, this is not the case.
4) People don’t usually go after what they want most. Because by doing so, they know they will be more hurt if they don’t get it. So instead they go after things that won’t break their heart if they fail.
5) Many people in your life will want you to remain average, because it makes them feel better about their lives.
As we move forward in life, its easy to forget what is truly important to us. For many, the list of immediate goals is so long that certain life goals get put on the back burner. We may be too focused on a specific project at work to figure out that we haven’t thought about our overall career path in quite some time. I started this post with a quote that explores the idea of helping those around us to be all they can be. Being a ‘yes man’ is not always being a good friend, and I think that we owe a debt of gratitude to the people in our lives who are willing to toe that line and take on the consequences of telling us the truth.
Bright Lights, Be Truthful, Big City.