"People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents." -Andrew Carnegie
We all fear it.
It hangs over our heads when we're awake and pangs at us as we're about to fall asleep.
It keeps us looking over our shoulder, constantly keeping us alert as if we were avoiding the death and the Grimm Reaper himself.
Perhaps, a mediocre life is equivalent to death. I mean what is a mediocre life anyway? The dictionary defines mediocre as:
of only moderate quality; not very good.
So, essentially it's living a life that isn't very good.
Who the hell wants that?
The truth of the matter is, too many people are living that life. They are wasting away at jobs they don't like. They are dating, living with or married to people they aren't happy with. They endlessly drifting away in the comfortable existence that we are fortunate to experience in today's day and age.
But that's part of the problem, isn't it?
It's too easy to live.
It's too easy to get a comfortable job with reasonable pay and great benefits.
It's too easy to meet someone who helps you settle for "just enough" happiness.
It's too easy to purchase and fill your gullet with all the numbing wonders of nutritious-less food that floods the store shelves.
It's too easy to fall into a routine where the days turn into weeks, the weeks months and the months years and you find yourself looking in the mirror wondering how all these "exciting tomorrows" turned into "empty yesterdays."
Perhaps you've missed the boat.
Maybe you're done and there's no going back for you.
I've experienced it in myself and I've seen it with my friends around me.
In terms of my body, I was close to being done. I was overweight and inflamed. I wasn't exercising and I was treating my gut like a dumpster. I was focusing on the "mouth pleasure" of food rather than the "nutritious fuel" of food.
I was working at a job that was comfortable. I was getting by with the pay and soaking up the benefits.
I was dating a woman and we weren't moving any bit forward with one another.
It was a mediocre existence for sure.
Looking back, the signs were clear. I was so clouded by my ego, the fuzziness of my brain (due to the food I was eating) and the complacency of myself and the world around me. Below I have the 5 obvious signs that you are living a mediocre life. You need to read this because I know it's hard for you to see it. It's almost like there's a smoke screen in front of you every day.
You don't care what your food is comprised of or where it comes from (as long as it tastes good).
We often hear that our body contains a soul.
I disagree. I believe our soul contains a body. In order to operate at full optimization, we need to take care of that body.
I get it, you love McDonald's. Me too.
You will always be "sleep walking" if you keep eating that food and food like it. You need to fuel your body, not pleasure it.
People say we have a "Health Care Crisis" and perhaps we do. Hell, what do we do in order to prevent poor health? We really don't do anything. We live in a culture that that promotes "A pill for every ill" and the idea that you can solve any ailment with proper reactive measures.
When we adopt this philosophy we are doing nothing but subscribing to the idea that we can have it all. We are subscribing to being mediocre with our health.
When was the last time you were generally interested in something?
I don't mean your job. I don't mean your social media page.
I mean really into something. You either had a passion you were working on or you had an individual that relied on you for some type of mutual gain.
When you have nothing to care for how are you going to move forward?
The truth is, you can't and you won't. And rightfully so. When you don't have anyone or anything to work for, what is the point?
Your confidence is at an all time low.
You don't go out anymore. You don't connect with your friends. Your libido is down. You just plain and simple don't "have it" anymore.
At work you aren't taking the lead on any of the projects and you are really just doing the bare minimum to fly under the radar.
You'd rather stay inside and watch Netflix than go out and fraternize with your network.
Confidence is a tricky thing. It's always hard to start something- ie starting something new takes a degree of confidence. But where do we get confidence? Generally by being competent in something!
It's cyclical in nature.
Your daily routine has no excitement.
The days just drag on with no energy.
It's like a heart monitor that flat lined.
No ups and no downs. Just the same old song and dance. Of course you have your routine down and in your head you are making progress. You are efficient in your processes and you've made your daily obstacles clear and manageable.
This is your Achilles heel, however.
You are stagnant. You are comfortable. You are boring. And you are mediocre.
You are addicted to the media.
Whatever media that be- the news, dramas, reality TV etc.
You don't have enough going on in your own life so you vicariously eavesdrop on someone else's narrative.
There are remedies to living a mediocre life.
You can escape this murderous cycle and tap back into a life of passion and pursuit.
You can silence all of the inner critics and gain the confidence to realize the person you truly were meant to become.
We all fear at the end of our lives meeting the person we were meant to become. So let's actually live it.
Below is the guide that will help reconcile a life being lived in mediocrity. Some of the aspects focus on your physiology and some on your psychology. Together, they combine into a cocktail that when sipped can have profound effects on turning your life back around:
Take Notice of Your Poop!
Document your poop- adjust your diet and gut microbiology until you are in the sweet “one-wipe, solid-log” zone.
Your fecal matter is a great indicator of where your health stands. If you are experiencing loose fecal matter, there may be something up with your insides. Recent scientific advances in uncovering the importance of the gut biome have led to new discoveries on how important your gut health directly reflects your brain health.
I remember as a kid, my poops were always clear one-wipe logs. Then life and all its poisons happened. Alcohol, stimulants (coffee, sodas etc), low fiber processed foods etc all have a negative effect on your gut biome. Your gut biome essentially acts as a gateway to the colon. When you have a health gut biome, harmful toxins get “eaten up” by the micro biology. When you have a shitty gut biome (pun intended) there is no gateway and your body and brain become toxic.
Who would have thought your poop would be so important! It can lead to a healthier brain and clearer consciousness.
(***BONUS***): If you cannot stand the smell of your own farts- c’mon, everyone enjoys to some degree the smell of their own brew- something is up as well).
Take care of a living thing (Anything- plant, pet, significant other etc).
Isolation is poisonous.
Human beings are social creatures.
We need other people to rely on and we others to rely on us. When we take the responsibility of others relying on us, we begin to change for the better.
I started small with a money tree that sits on my desk. It’s super easy to take care of. I make sure it’s by my window to receive ample sunlight and I water it every so often (one can EASILY over water a money tree resulting in its death). I now have something to care for.
Sure it’s minuscule but I know everyday that I am responsible for the survival of something. This goes hand in hand with pets and significant others as well.
Sure we all have work responsibilities and responsibilities of our own well being but putting yourself as reliant to another can greatly raise your worthiness and self-esteem.
Improve eye contact while you are speaking.
Follow me here…
When listening, especially for us more extroverted people, eye contact is pretty easy. We are able to tap into what the person is saying and remain present to their message.
If you’re like me, when it was your turn to talk, however, you would look up to the stars, beyond the person’s shoulder, looking around the room etc.
When generating thoughts, it’s hard to keep focused on the person in front of you. Your mind wanders and you use the imagery in your head to convey your thoughts.
The next time you converse, take note of the present moment and keep eye contact while you talk. Not only do you tap into the flow of the conversation but you have the recipient of the conversation more tuned in as well. You are conveying to the recipient that you are present, succinct and tapped into the topic(s) at hand.
It is a far more enjoyable (yet uncomfortable feeling at first) experience and will help you grow as an orator.
Recognize one low level autonomous decision you can make on a daily basis and change it. Watch it grow overtime and change your life.
What is your commute to work in the morning? Perhaps 30 min or a half hour. What do you do on this commute? Drive while listening to music or talk radio? Take the train and aimlessly people watch?
Let’s just break down the math of what is going on during that hour commute over one year:
It’s 1 hour to work and 1 hour back (2 hours a day).
5 days a week (10 hours/week).
For 52 weeks a year (520 hours/year).
Now presently you are using the 520 hours to listen to self-absorbed callers call into KISS fm so they can be wished an empty happy birthday over the airwaves.
What if you were to make one minor decision change and listen to the Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone lessons on learning Spanish.
That’s 520 valuable hours of learning a new language that will make you that much more valuable in the workforce.
What else could you positively add to your life over the span of making one simple change?
Throw away your television.
A ode to RHCP right there.
Throw away your television and fire your cable company. This will improve your life both financially and mentally.
The financial improvement speaks for itself.
The mental improvement comes with eliminating all the garbage you find on cable/satellite TV.
You have hundreds of channels- most that you probably don’t watch. Most of those channels are filled with trash- 24 hour news channels, reality TV etc.
Now I’m not saying completely eliminate multimedia storytelling or the news from your life. However, when you get rid of your TV you find you have more time in the day for more advantageous activities in your day- reading, writing, exercise, meditation, coffee conversations, networking etc.
Throw it away.
A life of mediocrity is easy to fall into. When we fall into it, it's even harder to climb back out.
The comfort of mediocrity wraps us in its blanket and warms us with stagnation and passivity.
When you really look deep into your soul and identify that you are in fact mediocre and living as such, you need to take the necessary steps to counteract this life and live a live of purpose and optimization:
- Notice your body- especially your excrement. It's so easy to eat super tasty food. What is that doing to your body, however? Moreover, what is that doing to your brain? Identify this and rectify it.
- Make yourself responsible for someone/something else. When you are needed, you are given purpose. With purpose, you are escaping mediocrity. Of course this is on the foundational level. Rome wasn't built in a day, however. You need to build the foundation before you can build the pyramid. So build it.
- Improve your eye contact (especially when speaking). This does nothing but build confidence. Confidence is paramount when attempting to live an optimized life. Mediocrity breeds insecurity. Silence the insecurity with confidence.
- Change one low-level decision- and watch it compound overtime. Stop with the boring routine. I know we're all looking for the quick fix but that's a myth. All things worth our energy take time. Over time, with changing one or two low-level decisions, you will see it build into new skills, ideas, competencies etc.
- Throw Away your Television. Throw it away yesterday. It's literally turning your brain to mush. Get rid of it and never look back. Your brain and wallet will thank you.
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