This is truly one of my last blog post this year. Very impressed with how I have grown as a write over the last couple months and happy with the fact that for 1st time this year I have been able to write my thoughts out an idea that was just a mere dream and desire for me. Every end of the year I take off time to meditate on my life and look at habits and/or areas of my life I need to grow or improve in..in the coming year. Through my meditation this time round, I have noticed that if I am to serve my generation with my gifting I have to get rid of mediocrity and pursue excellence in every thing I do. As I meditated on this I decided to note down some of the mediocre habits I have observed in both myself and people around me and the potential causes of most of these. As you read through these I hope you be able to relate with some of them and draw up your personal strategies on how to overcome them. My job with this post is to help identify some of these and their potential causes. I hope in a later post I will be able to write about how to overcome most of the habits I will mentioning below:
- Complaining and blaming: I have come across very many of use who enjoy complaining and blaming other people even for things that typically concern us as individuals. Some people go to the extent of complaining about things in their personal lives to themselves on a daily basis; they never do anything about these things and yet they somehow think these things will get resolved somehow by someone who they are not sure where they will come from. A case in example I have a couple of friends who complain of how they are not good readers to themselves and instead of making efforts to start reading… they somehow think out of no where they will become good readers.
- Thinking what has been done or achieved in a specific area is the best that can ever be achieved in that area. Often times we hear sentiments like ndaba that is what my friends also did or if so and so could do it this way, since I have gotten to a level just below his/hers I have truly achieved. This is a very destructive spirit affecting our generation. My mentor usually mentions the greatest enemy of excellent is good. Many of us work towards just being good enough to fit in society even when we know we can achieve much more than the status quo.
- Incomplete assignments: Having very many incomplete assignments is surely another great sign of mediocrity. It is shocking that many people even with the many incomplete assignments do not even bother complete them or even strategize on how to complete these.
- Completing tasks at the last minute. Mediocre people even when given an assignments way in time wait for the very last minute and then they start panicking asking for assistance on how to complete it. A great story I remember was of a friend of mine who went to our university lecturer to ask for help on last day of handing in the project and the lecturer told him point black that “poor planning on your part should never be an emergency on mine.”
- Blaming others: For many mediocre people, it is always someone else’s fault and not necessarily theirs. They never want to take the blame no what has gone wrong; even in their own lives. Last week while in a planning meeting, the chairperson of the meeting kept blowing of how he had assigned tasks to specific individuals and how these people had not gotten back to him for over two weeks. When asked if he as the chairperson had contacted them to check on progress, he had not. To me, this would be acting sort of mediocre because as a supervisor you also have the responsibility of checking on the people you assigned tasks to at least midway the task period.
- Rejecting feedback: Many mediocre people I think because of laziness reject all possible forms of feedback from people because probably they do not want to repeat the tasks or polish them to make them better.
- Other qualities that came to mind included wasting time they have been paid for in doing their own things, spending a lot of time on very simple assignments, failing to respond to emails promptly etc.
Some of the cause of mediocrity include:
- Lack of exposure to great things/challenges than what one knows currently.
- Settling for less all the time
- Lack of access to the truth
- Lack of knowledge of the truth
- Fear of success
- Fear of failure
- Wanting to be like others
I know this feels like a very negative post as compared to all the others I have posted in the past but the purpose of this post is to expose some of their causes. I believe the first step to solving a problem is first of all identifying and agreeing that it a problem you are actually facing and then devise ways of how to solve it. So I would encourage us to now draw up strategies on how to deal with mediocrity head-on and then we should be able to achieve excellence.