Is mediocrity the path you are choosing?

“The signature of mediocrity is chronic inconstancy. The signature of Greatness is a disciplined and consistent focus on the right things.”

James C. Collins

Mediocrity = Chronic Inconsistency

Greatness = Disciplined Focus

The Right Things = What most fail to identify correctly…

How much time and effort do you put into identifying the most important things you wish to accomplish? Of course, I am talking about truly the most important, not the most urgent, the loudest or squeakiest wheel, or the coolest shiny object clamoring for attention.  

If you were to order the list above to align on desired outcomes and score each component on a scale of 0 – 10, how would you rate yourself? These questions could apply to you in the professional arena, personal life, etc.  

  1. Mediocrity:
    1. On a scale of 0 – 10, how am I performing today? Be honest.
  2. Desired outcome = Greatness: (as measured by…)
    1. Do I have clarity on what greatness looks like and how I will know if I have achieved it?
    2. How am I/are we performing against this measure on a scale of 0 – 10?
  3. The Right Things:
    1. On a scale of 0 – 10, how focused am I/are we on the few right things that would be necessary to achieve greatness? Do I have certainty on what they are?
    2. What are the most significant gaps between what we want to achieve (greatness) and where we are today? 
    3. Where are we spending time, energy, resources pursuing things that won’t help achieve greatness?

Are you choosing to sign off on your life with a signature of mediocrity, or are you going to pursue greatness?

Did you exercise free will today?

“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience, and being persistent.”

Billy Graham

As I read and meditate on this quote, it strikes me that all of the “part 2’s” of these statements are choices you have to make in life very intentionally. They won’t happen by accident.  

Did you have an opportunity to learn, grow, and be persistent today? If the answer is no, look harder. The options were there; did you seize them?

Will you choose to answer one question?

“Life itself is a privilege. But to live life to the fullest – well, that is a choice.”

Andy Andrews

What does “live life to the fullest” mean to you?  That is a deeply personal and uniquely individual question. Your answer might be radically different than mine, and that is the beauty of this fantastic world in which we live. We all have the free will to define our lives and live them according to that definition.  

The first step is to answer the question posed above. Only then can you actively choose to live out your answer. If you don’t answer the question, you are selecting an unfulfilled life, which is a waste of this incredible privilege we have been given…

Are you choosing to be careless and lazy?

“If you are careless and lazy now and keep putting things off and always deferring the day which you will attend to yourself, you will not notice that you are making no progress but you will live and die as someone quite ordinary.”

Epictetus

What is the thing you know you need to do for yourself but keep putting off? Why isn’t it a priority?  

The words that stand out to me are “careless” and “lazy.” It is incredible how careless and lazy we can be when it comes to taking care of ourselves. There is always a myriad of excuses we make to justify the deferral. And that is what they are, excuses…

What happens if you never do the things you know you should? Will you look back on your life with satisfaction or regret? Will you even live the full life you were supposed to live?  

Losing is a choice…

“When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure.”

Mary Kay Ash

Winning is a choice.  But then, so is losing.  

I was watching game four of the World Series between the Red Sox and the Dodgers on Saturday night.  In the bottom of the 6th inning the Dodgers scored four runs to take a 4-0 lead in the game with only 9 outs remaining for the Red Sox to try and come back and win the game.

The night before the Dodgers had won the game with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 18th inning to win the game 3-2!  (the longest game in World Series history).  So a 4-0 lead going into the top of the 7th inning was a commanding lead.  But the Red Sox players are professionals and they are winners and they didn’t panic.  They chose to overcome.  The Red Sox scored 3 runs in the top of the 7th, and then another run in the top of the 8th to tie the game.  

Then in the top of the 9th they went on a rampage and scored 5 more runs to move the score to 9-4.  But did the Dodgers give up?  No way.  They lost the game but not before scoring two more runs in the bottom of the 9th.  Final score 9-6.  I love that neither team quit.  They just keep slogging it out. 

My point is this.  At any point someone could have decided “this is too much, we can’t win, I need to quit and rest myself for another game.”  But that isn’t what champions do.  They win, they persevere.  They rise to the challenge and if they lose, they get up and they try harder.  Failures quit.  Winners don’t make that choice.  

Someone has to win a game in the end, but no one has to quit…

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dusty

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