No one wants to be mediocre – so why are you?

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Living a mediocre life

Mediocre Life?

 

It doesn’t have to be that way. Adventure will find you – if you let it …

Today’s guest post is by Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad. Discover what the other 4% know – and why they “love” living …

Imagine an evening at home, lying on your living room sofa. You are watching TV and flip through the channels to find if there is anything interesting to see.

Then you switch to a channel which tells a story of a man whose goal is to visit every country in the world. So far this guy has visited in 152 countries. You listen to his travel experiences with an amazement and excitement.

However, as soon as those feelings come, they fade away just as fast and you start to wonder: “I wish my life was as exciting as this guy’s.”

When you think of your situation bit more, you start to understand the life you are living: stuck in the same job for many years, doing things the same way – day after day.

Are you living a Mediocre Life?

Yep, no invitations to TV shows to talk your exciting travel stories, magazine articles writing on how you changed your life completely by losing weight or how you turned yourself from a stuttering and shy introvert to a magnetic public speaker.

You close the TV and feel a bit depressed. Life is boring and nothing exciting ever happens – is my life always going to be like this?

 

Is your life too bulletproof?

You can only blame yourself if your life has become too bulletproof: All the days are the same and you are not letting anything shake them up.

Also, you are not willing to push your boundaries. Even if you have plenty of potential inside you, you don’t want to utilize that potential for two reasons: you don’t know how or because you don’t believe in yourself.

Another major point for causing the boredom in your life is that you live based on nice and secure habits. That kind of living is also called living inside your comfort zone.

When you feel that life is good as is and any change will ruin it, you keep yourself inside the “bubble”- no matter what.

Avoiding a mediocre life …

The invisible wall between you and the traveller man

The traveller man that I mentioned in the beginning is a real hero and a brave guy. “Yeah, he is brave if he is going to visit all the countries in the world,” you say in an energetic tone.

Well, he is brave for sure, but that wasn’t the kind of braveness I meant. Rather, my point was that he took bold action. He wasn’t afraid of what others thought even if he was going to be laughed at or rejected by other people.

He acted on something he believed in because he felt that it was the right thing to do. He also pushed through the invisible wall of self-doubt, fear and the disdain of others.

This is exactly opposite in your situation. You are afraid of rejection, being different and about people talking behind your back.

That’s the invisible wall that separates you from possible interviews, magazine articles or from personal satisfaction of doing something that 80% of other people haven’t done or are not willing to do.

Putting you to the 4% of people

Years ago I happened to see an ad in a magazine. Although the rest of ad slipped past my eyes, there was one sentence that struck me: “World: 4% leaders, 96% followers.”

That sentence really made sense. It’s those 4% who actually do something spectacular with their lives and the rest are just following them (instead of creating that awesome life for themselves).

Instead of becoming the next Richard Branson or Warren Buffet (of course, unless you want to!), you can apply the same leadership principle to your own life and become that 4% of your circle of influence (family, friends, relatives, colleagues …).

The change starts by taking the responsibility of your own actions. Ask yourself: “Why are you where you are right now? What actions did you take that put you where you are now?” It’s only you who can answer these questions.

As you are starting the journey of change, one of the first steps is also to make a decision: You want to achieve something big and rise above mediocrity?

Then, you need to set your end a main goal and sub-goals related to the main goal.

Your main goal is naturally the thing you want to achieve, while the sub-goals are like navigation aids between where you are now and your destination.

Next, it’s time transfer the sub-goals to a daily action level: Do you know what action steps you should take to take to reach that milestone (sub-goal) of yours?

Your everyday life should consist of those actions and when you take them consistently, you will make steady progress.

In order to grow, it is also important to stretch your comfort zone – preferably on a daily basis. That way you can grow the capacity of your self-confidence.

This is very important since your escape from mediocrity is going to require a good heap of confidence as well. Confidence also gives you courage to act when you encounter that invisible wall again.

Even if you encounter these invisible walls during your journey, think of them like this: They are tests towards your motivation and it’s almost like someone asking: “Do you really want to reach this goal or not?”.

A strong indication is that if you push through the obstacles, you truly want what you are reaching towards, thus you are going to be the winner at the end.

Finally, if ever possible, have a support group of people that are there for you through your journey. They are going to help you to keep going forward when the going gets rough

The support group is also for accountability. Quitting becomes harder - since this group of people knows what you are up to; they believe in you and you don’t want to see you quit.

 

Blueprint for escaping the mediocrity

 

Follow these steps, improve your confidence and get the fun back to your life again:

1. Take responsibility. Don’t blame others for your situation – recognize that your past actions have put you where you are now. Be brave and take responsibility of your current life.

2. Make a decision. Decide to be different and refuse to follow the herd. When you make a decision, truly mean it and stick to it! Say to yourself: “I want to do something awesome that make others go wow!”

Don’t worry about the reactions of others. No matter if they laugh at you, remember that they are most likely jealous because they don’t have the guts to do the same thing themselves.

3. Set a goal that thrills you. Pick that big goal of yours and set the sub-goals that guide you to the big goal.

Let’s say that you want to visit all the countries in the world. The sub-goal would be to visit three new countries every year, while the ultimate goal is to visit all the countries.

Later, you can pick up the speed and decide that this year you want to visit 10 or 20 new countries, instead of just three new countries.

4. Think big, act small. Even if you have defined a big goal, take small steps on a daily basis to get there. Sometimes these daily steps could be bigger ones, but most likely you reach the big goal by making steady, small progress every day.

For example, research the weather conditions of your next destination country or plan out the places where you want to visit when you arrive into that country.

It is also important to keep your ultimate goal on your mind all the time. This helps you to justify your daily actions and keep the momentum alive. The momentum also helps you with your motivation and lowers your chances of giving up too easy.

Have your end goal visible somewhere where you can see it. It could be, for example, on the workroom wall (as a written statement) or you could create a vision board, reminding you of all the great things that will happen when you reach the goal.

5. Stretch your zone every day. This is easier said than done and depends on the goal you are striving for. In our traveling example, it could be doing some research by talking on the Skype with someone who lives in your next destination country.

The main point is that the more you do the stretching, the more you have the confidence capacity. This capacity is what you are going to need during your journey to your goal (and when escaping the mediocrity).

6. Have a support group of people you trust. These are the people who support you when you face difficulties and obstacles during your journey. This group should consist of your closest friends, your family or even your colleagues.

Give a call to your support group when you doubt yourself and let them help you to get back on the track right away!

7. Reap the rewards. Finally, when you have worked hard and reached your goals, it’s time to reflect what has happened, even celebrate a bit.

You have deserved your success – you are not an average person anymore :

Conclusion

Too many times we are comfortable with our own lives and we don’t want to stretch our boundaries. Also, we don’t want to take responsibility for our actions.

If you want to escape mediocrity, you have to do the exact opposite: take responsibility and stretch your comfort zone. Actively avoid a mediocre life. It may not be always fun, but I can guarantee you – it is definitely worth it!

 Do you have any tips for escaping mediocrity? Please share them below.

This guest post was written by Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to get more productive in your own life, grab 222 of his best Tips for Becoming a Productivity Superstar (and avoiding a mediocre life

.

 

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Leave a Comment

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Emmanuel

    Congratulations. Very good post. I think most of people have access to the tools to get their goals, but they don’t take actions, they don’t have motivation.

    Reply

  2. Todd

    This post is so very true! To get what you want out of life you have to set goals and work for it! Above that DONT BE AFRAID OF FAILING OR MAKING MISTAKES! Thats when you learn the most!

    Reply

  3. Timo Kiander

    Todd,

    I agree. Mistakes are part of your escape.

    You shouldn’t be afraid of them, since they can grow you stronger and teach a lesson or two.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  4. juandettwiler

    Hello Chris.
    Excellent your writing about “mediocrity” a disease which so many suffer, many times without knowing the symptoms or the healing .
    I like very much the entire idea, the Philosophy that is behind your personality, I like these pictures of skiing steep slopes in deep snow…the sea, and why not the lovely girls! So, in despite of my age (that I do not feel) I am still alive. One of the people that helped me very much in skiing was a man by name Emile Allais, he had been three times world champion, was a great skier and person. He said at that time “that I would be also world champion” he did not know me so well because I liked skiing very much but in kind of an artistic way, but I did not had the ambition nor the discipline to become a champion. Today he is 100 years and still skies..!
    He is kind of a legend and an excellent person, I was too negative with myself and the world to be able to understand the lesson. In many ways I was positive and had great potential, but I was self indulgent, lazy and had not a clear idea in my head. This made me waste much time and energy.., I see it now when it is so late. So in many ways I think that due to this I did choose the wrong path of mediocrity that I am still trying to break so that the day I have to go to the “winter quartiers” I will be satisfied with myself and what I eventually leave behind. Juan

    Reply

  5. Timo Kiander

    Juan,

    It’s never too late to start changing one’s life. I changed mine from being an overweight sofa surfer to a marathoner and a triathlete (and that’s when I was 35, I’m now 40).

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  6. juandettwiler

    Hi Timo.
    Congratulations and thanks for your reply…I must admit that I could be your father… This makes things a bit more complicated. But the spark inside still lightens and I am hopeful that I might be able to put some tools in this battle.
    Thanks again and greetings. Juan

    Reply

  7. Donna

    Hi Chris,

    This is one of the best messages I’ve heard or read in quite some time. It reminded me of a time when I was young and full of passion, and would tell me eldest son not to settle for mediocrity. I would tell him it’s better to lead than follow, always strive to be the best. He, (now an adult) in turn restated that comment to me as now I had become complacent and hadn’t instilled the same pyschology into my younger son. Today, during my morning walk I was thinking of my eldest son’s attitude’s and value concerning money and how much I admire them.

    Thank you Chris, this post was RIGHT on time.

    Reply

  8. Timo Kiander

    Donna,

    Thank you :)

    That is great to hear! I’m sure I’m going to share this same message with my son when he grows up.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  9. Tapan Bagchi

    Chris, I worked with my first company and was luckly to be guided to seek out exciting things for me to do that would also benefit the company. This lasted 16 years. At 40 I switched company to seek excitement in a different domain. After the learning curve came in control, I stayed there for 25 years and did perhaps even more exiting things. The point is, to the extent you can, you should set your own vision and goals. For sure if you are working toward those, your satisfaction level will remain up, Life will seem relevant and there will still be time to spare, because the “rat race” will now be chasing your own–neither carrots that someone else dangles nor a stick in someone else’s hand. The lesson–based on your strengths, set your own beacon and just live a life sprinkled with variety. By the way, I do enjoy those travel stories as I often don’t have the time to be in those places. Maybe there was a bit of luck in play as well.

    Reply

  10. Timo Kiander

    Tapan,

    It is important to set your own goals and standards – and let your everyday actions to reflect those goals.

    That alone – setting goals (and working towards them) – is something not too many people do. But then again, those who do this belong to that 4%.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  11. Govinder Singh

    from last two days i think abt my hobby which i lost that is exploring places n things….
    i find out ur email i think its signal me to do something which i want to do….
    may b god give energy to do…..
    thanks for show me ray of light……
    thanks.

    Reply

  12. Timo Kiander

    Govinder,

    Great to hear that you found the article helpful.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  13. Jamey Stevens

    Hey Chris, great info. It is easy to get the mind set to change, but very often difficult to get the money situation to change to be able to break out of the rat race. I am working on Affiliate marketing. Do you think affiliate marketing is a good place to start a passive income to be able to break out of the Rat Race?

    Reply

  14. Chris Carpenter

    Hi Jamey, Yes Affiliate marketing can be a great place to start. I used to always recommend to people to start their online money making journey with Affiliate marketing. In particular I recommended they start with PPC Affiliate Marketing – aka the “Google Cash” method.

    However these days PPC Affiliate Marketing has become much more difficult for newbies. Yes it is still possible to make money like that, but honestly there are easier ways to start from scratch.

    In particular I now recommend you start by first creating your own product or service to sell online.

    That way you can build a customer list and you will have more leverage. Other Affiliates can promote your products and services for you, and you can also promote other affiliate offers to your customers.

    Here is a good place to start:

    http://chrisc.com/freedom

    I’ll be holding a free webinar soon where I share the steps of how to quickly build an online business from scratch.

    For now please read that blog post I linked to above, figure out your passions and do some niche research.

    Then we can go from there.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    Reply

  15. Timo Kiander

    Thank you James,

    Great to hear that you liked this post :)

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  16. Terry McBride

    Chris,
    Awesome post. Truer words could not be spoken. Thanks for sharing this post. Taking responsibility of self is the first step to living an extraordinary life.

    Reply

  17. Chris Carpenter

    Thank you Terry for reading the blog, and for your nice comment!

    Reply

  18. Timo Kiander

    Terry,

    You are correct – taking responsibility is the first step if you want to rise above the mediocre.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  19. Tyson Dalton

    Great job Chris. Way to wake them up! Very inspiring. You remind me of myself. A man of the people. Empowering people. Showing people how to make the ultimate sacrifice. To become an individual. I do this all day everyday, to all who will listen. I don’t have a large audience as you, as much experience, sucess, or the knowledge you possess. But the strong will to change the world. I don’t want to get to deep. But I love what your doing. Keep it up. Sincerley yours, in this battle, not all are willing to except change. Most are to comfortable with the mediocre life they already have. I with you, and behind you. Stay Positive.

    Reply

  20. Timo Kiander

    Tyson,

    Thank you :)

    There is nothing more powerful than having that one moment in your life when you realize that you have to make a change -to be truly awesome :)

    It may be a small moment, but it will eventually lead to something big if you want to.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  21. Chris Carpenter

    Thanks for the nice words Tyson!

    Reply

  22. billy williams

    Quite often we get caught up in that daily grind and accept it and never think outside the box. Our minds become lazy.

    Reply

  23. Chris Carpenter

    This is true. I sure was stuck in a rut back in the day when I was stuck in the rat race. It is quite scary to pull yourself out of it, but totally possible.

    Reply

  24. Timo Kiander

    Billy,

    That is true. Accepting your current situation and giving up – that’s the worst that can happen.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  25. Chris Carpenter

    Thanks for chiming in Timo. Great post btw! I’ve been reading some of your time management posts over at your blog:
    http://www.productivesuperdad.com/
    Great stuff!

    Reply

  26. Timo Kiander

    Thank you Chris, it was nice to hear that :)

    Sure, I try to reply to every comment I get.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

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