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What is Table of Odds?
Table of Odds is a series where I present easy to implement practical ideas, concepts and resources that I find essential to personal growth. It is my humble attempt to stir up conversations and start a dialogue about enriching our daily lives by energising it with elements like efficiency, effectiveness and explication.
Before I begin, let me first make it clear who this post is a good read for and for who it is not. If you are happy living an ordinary life, one with goals that don’t seem tough to achieve, this post is NOT for you. This post is ONLY for those who ponder about ways to improve, upgrade and get better at whatever it is they do. People who have not given up on their goals. Those who have not been bogged down by the constant negativity and disbelief that is being thrown at them by others in society. But most importantly, this post is for those willing to take action towards getting out of the culture of mediocrity.
What is the culture of mediocrity?
For those who are not clear about this term, let me try and clarify it for you. Before I provide solutions to rise and move away from it, I shall be able to clearly define what I am suggesting to move away from. Mediocrity is a way of life, it is a mindset that limits your personal growth. It does so by rewarding you with feelings of being comfortable, being content and sometimes even being gratified. Whereas, in reality, all that it majorly contributes to, is being complacent. The moment you become that, you put a stopper on the flow of personal growth.
How to quit the culture of mediocrity?
To be very precise, there are only 2 steps to it. But there is also a third underlying step to rising above the mediocrity that many seem to undervalue or probably not even realise. So here’s the simple formula that I have incorporated in my efforts to rise above mediocrity.
- Learn more: Firstly, you need to be curious about something that has the potential to change your life for the better. Once you find such a thing that sparks your curiosity, all you got to do is learn possibly everything available to learn about it.
Now I don’t mean to say just learn from formal means of learning such as schools, colleges and universities. I also mean learning from books and online videos. Most of everything that I have learned about photography and videography has been from online videos. Yes, even the free ones that you can easily find on YouTube. The point is to grasp any relevant knowledge regardless of what format it is published in. It could be a video published on YouTube, a blog, a podcast or even a published book.
You just need to have the inclination and discipline that is required to keep digging deeper and constantly learning.
- Do more: The more you learn, the more insights you can gain about the nuances of your craft. The more nuances you become aware of, the more it helps you understand some of the most common problems faced by people who belong to your profession.
This is where you begin your efforts to do more. Your efforts to find a different approach and solve a problem that others have not yet been able to. This is where you get to try new ideas and become an innovator, if not a pioneer.
It is only when you take an effort to do more than most, that you start to realise you are beginning to defeat mediocrity. Mediocrity thrives on what Steven Pressfield termed as resistance.
- Declutter: Get rid of anything or anyone that holds you back. Declutter your life, take charge of it. Ensure that you are not surrounded by people who are acting as a hindrance in your efforts to rise above mediocrity. Shake off the erroneous notion that encourages to be surrounded by more people and more things, snowballing only clutter and chaos. Purchase only what’s important. Be in the company of only those who fuel your spark, not the ones who try to dim it. Indulge in productive activities that could yield positive results rather than indulging in activities that could end up having a destructive impact on all what you’ve done to reach so far in your journey. No matter how far you progress with the first two points, if you cannot have this bit under your control you will always find yourself a few steps behind where you need to be.
To conclude, I know a lot of you out there must be thinking it is easier said than done! Well, guess what, you are correct! If all of this was so easy to do, everyone would be doing it. After all, who doesn’t want to rise above living a mediocre life? But only a few realise the kind of effort that is required to rise above it and can walk down that extra mile in their pursuit to quit the culture of mediocrity.