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chapter 3: the siren song of mediocrity

No one is willing to be just mediocre in life. Everybody wants to be an achiever, everybody would love to be admired by others.  However, (unfortunately) the majority of people settle for mediocrity, while making excuses why they can’t make it; anyhow, it must be because of somebody elses’ fault that they do not achieve what they “could have”.

Mediocrity takes on numerous forms. When you start a new day, you’ll bound to face new challenges, big or small. Every new challenge would be a great chance for “stretching”, that is, for you to develop new skills by doing things you haven’t done before.  Of course, you could also see it as a “problem”, something that you hate to deal with. The choice lies with you.

One thing that the book doesn’t talk about here is specific techiques on dealing with effective stretching. When you deliberately stretch, you might see “stretch marks”, which are unforseen influence stretch brings on your life. This is the time you know how to take care of these “stretch marks” and keep moving on. For instance, your goal is to be phisically stronger and you decide to a lot of training, but all the training might lead to energy deficiency, and lower your energy level at work. If you didn’t see this coming, you might be overwhelmed that you might lose faith after a few “failed” days. This is a critical time not to give up just then. Look into the reasons behind your problem, and seek possible solutions.

Some people give up easily. It’s probably not in their genes, but in thier upbringing. When you were a kid, you had no idea of failure; you tried again and again, and didn’t feel a thing. When I was 5 years old, I wanted to learn how to ride a bike. I sat on the bike, fell; climed up onto the bike, and fell again. Was I upset because I couldn’t ride the bike right? Not at all. all I wanted was to master the bike, and I wouldn’t stop until I learned how to do it.  However, as you and I grew up, we might have been told that “you can’t do this” “you can’t do that” or “you should not do this”. Some people took it seriously, and actually believed that they were incapable of doing certain things, without even trying. As time goes by, they hold the believe  that there are things they should not even try, because they’d fail anyway. Such beliefs, usually deeply rooted but not realized, are what lead people to mediocrity.

Therefore, sometimes you should take some time, look back at your life, and see if there are any patterns of success and failure, and then figure out a way to improve upon it.


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