All your life you’ve been taught something along the lines of “shoot for the moon. If you fail, you’ll land on the stars.” This inspires you for the moment. You actually are convinced that if you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything. Let me be the one to burst your bubble: you’re probably mediocre and you will probably never accomplish anything of significance, and that is perfectly okay.
There’s something endearing about a good success story. People love stories about an average Joe (or Joanne for all the feminists) who does the unthinkable and overcomes the impossible en route to a fairy tale ending. These stories are captivating, tantalizing, stimulating, blah blah blah. They make us feel like anything is possible if we believe in ourselves and shoot for the stars. It fires us up, but what do we do with all this fire within us?
Some people dive into books. Give this post a like if you’ve heard of at least one of these books:
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
If you’ve read any of these books (or any self help book) you may find an awakening within you. With this newfound knowledge, you’ve developed a self confidence you haven’t experienced in maybe ever. As you move to apply what you’ve learned you may discover a devastatingly discouraging truth.
You don’t have what it takes.
Ten out of ten of the self help books you read will tell you that the most successful people have routines that the average person overlooks. Ten out of ten of the self help books will tell you to work your butt off and never stop pushing. Ten out of ten of the self help books will mention that self discipline and an iron will is what pushes you to the top. This is all true, but it may not be true for you.
You will apply these philosophies and you may notice that it’s just too exhausting. You enjoy treating yourself when you feel you deserve it. You hate waking up before the sun to workout. Staying up late to work on your business idea is exhausting. Is all this even worth it? This is where self awareness kicks in.
At this point, you really need to sit and think about who you are and why you have embarked on this journey to “success”. The key to remember is this: success is subjective. Success to you may not mean the same thing to me. You really have to determine what it is that makes you fulfilled. For some, it’s raising their kids to become decent human beings. For others (or me), it may be living on an secluded tropical island making a living as a writer. It’s not necessarily the millions of dollars and fleet of foreign cars that we’ve been brainwashed to believe determine our self worth.
It’s important to stay true to you. If you partake in the success routines described in the self help books and struggle to develop the unwavering self confidence to achieve anything extraordinary you should consider the fact that you may just be average, and that is fine! Sleep past 10 AM if you want. Skip the gym if you don’t feel like going. It’s your life, do what you want to do. Once you let go of expectations, you’re free to live life on your terms and that is what true happiness is.
This is not an attempt to discourage you from pursuing excellence. It’s about being true to yourself. Sure, the hard work and discipline will likely pay off, but a lot of people just don’t have it and you may be one of those people. I’m one of those people. I embrace my mediocrity and you should too.