We are all battling with mediocrity and we all want to know how to achieve success. In our life we all have sometime or the other, in some form or the other, said that I want my life to be big and do not want to settle for mediocrity. Well let’s actually understand what we mean by not settling for mediocrity. It can be hard to know whether you are on your way to achieve success or mediocrity. In your daily life you may be doing great and feeling successful doing the work and feeling accomplished by getting things done. But how do you know if you are actually following the path of becoming a true master and achieve success or accepting mediocre results because your standards are too low?
Always remember, you’re not the highest version of yourself which you can imagine, you’re the lowest version of yourself which you can accept.
So for fighting mediocrity, first what we need is to challenge ourselves. Setting low standard for ourselves may bring us happiness but never success. We all see people around us who settle for any job that they stumble upon and are happy in that and these are the ones who haven’t fought mediocrity. Whereas the ones who leave aside everything and dare to take the risk of cracking the GATE or ESE examination have actually taken the first step to becoming a true master. When you choose to stay in mediocrity you choose to ignore your abilities and your talents and let many opportunities pass by.
Before we begin on the battle of mediocrity, let’s get clear on some points which draw you towards mediocrity and then we will talk about how to achieve success. So how do you know you’re not unknowingly headed for mediocrity?
1. Stop being a follower start being a leader yourself:
We all watch the Topper’s Talk and read interviews of the toppers to get an insight into their preparation strategy. Well these interviews and videos are surely an inspiration to encourage you and boost your confidence to prepare for the examination, but remember not to copy them. Be a leader and frame your own strategies as no two success stories ever are the same. Till the time you don’t realize what will work for you and do not form your own preparation strategy, you will be stuck in this whirlpool of mediocrity.
Therefore, from now on be a leader by creating your own niche, instead of following someone else’s footstep.
2. Do not let anything get between you and success:
You should want success as much as you want to breathe. No matter what you do in your life, always act like someone successful. Success is a natural instinct which we have turned into something complicated. Ever heard of the ‘Law of Attraction’? The law states that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person’s life. So if you want success and positivity to come into your life, you will have to start experiencing the same in every day of your life.
So right from when you wake up to the time you go back to sleep, train your mind to only have positive thoughts and always believe that you will crack the exam and find your dream life. Thinking negative will make you sad and de-rail you from your studies. Whenever a negative mind crosses your mind boost your confidence by thinking of your last success and how much happiness it brought you. So stay positive and no matter what, make sure to always think and live your dream.
3. Stop competing or being jealous of others all the time:
Unnecessary Competition always breeds negativity. So do not study or prepare or dream of cracking the GATE or ESE examination because your family member or neighbor did it. Do something that you yourself are passionate and willing to do. Just doing something for the sake of competition will land you a mediocre life and you will keep wondering why.
“Mediocrity is the tribute jealousy pays to genius.”
Before you start your preparation, list out the reasons of why you want to give the particular examination and what will happen or how will your life change after you have cracked the examination. If this list inspires you or motivates you to start the journey of preparation, start it right then and make sure that whenever you feel demotivated look at the list and you will be ready to get back on track.
So, in order to beat mediocrity, you need to follow the three golden principles listed above. Sit down make a list of why you want to crack the exam, make your own personalized strategy for cracking the exam and go ahead living the dream you always wanted to. Don’t let things like boredom or ‘my friend is having fun while I am sitting and studying’ derail you from your studies.
Always remember that you did not wake up to become mediocre.
Keeping that thought in mind let us now discuss about what needs to be done to Battle mediocrity and achieve success.
Take risks, though people may think you are crazy
A life without risks is surely safe and lets you live a life where you can pay your regular bills and rent, but at the same time it is also boring and sinks you into mediocrity. To escape this mediocrity, take advantage of every moment of your life if you feel you can do something productive out of it. Right from our childhood our mind is trained to always play safe and as a result it settles for something which is way below its capability.
Wake up the little kid in yourself who wasn’t scared to take the first step in the fear that it may fall. Start taking risks to achieve a goal as it requires courage to face the fear of uncertainty. No matter what the outcome, either way, we grow through the process and become more resilient and confident. Better yet, building those skills helps in taking more risks and improves the chances of achieving future goals.
Always remember that nothing in life comes for free, neither does success. Amidst all the praise and complements you get and absorb it with a smile. Make sure to embrace the harsh words and the bad comments you may receive while growing up. While the compliments increase your confidence, these comments help you grow. Had it not been for the people who try to pull you down you would never want to rise. What you need to know is if people are talking bad about you, means you are doing something right.
Remember Copernicus, when he said that the earth revolved around the sun, the church and all the people around tagged him as a loser and a crazy man. But think who do you remember today, Copernicus or the pope of the church who exiled him.
So instead of running away or arguing with the friend who teases you or the aunt who thinks you are a looser, wake up and crack the exam, live your dream and prove them wrong. Someone rightly said, actions speak louder than words so embrace all the negative comments and let your actions do the talking.
Embrace your Failures and Roadblocks
The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you become as a person. So make sure the failures of your life and the roadblocks that you face do not discourage you but the success that comes after that, let that shape who you are. No human ever became interesting by not failing. Not failing is the sign of mediocrity because you haven’t tried. When you aim for the stars you are going to face the hurdles while going against the gravity. But don’t let the gravity (mediocrity) stop you from achieving the stars.
Small failures like not being able to crack the exam in the first attempt, not being able to score well in test series sometime really discourages the students and they are unable to perform well in the examination as well. Try this exercise when you feel dull due to any failure. Sit down in a quiet place and think 10 years down the line when you have a good job and a family around will this failure matter to you? Your answer to the question will surely be no, and thus it is no use sitting and cribbing about something that is so temporary. Failure is only a phase while success is the real life. So shoot for your goals embracing and fighting the failures and mediocrity that life presents you with.
Be the best of who you are
Lots of people try to copy other famous people and as mentioned earlier do not try to live someone else’s life. Be the best of who you are. Douglas Malloch wrote a poem “You Can Be the Best of Whatever” You Are where he very nicely writes:
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is near.
If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail —
Be the best of whatever you are!
Success is not only about being famous and money. It is about being the best of who you are in whatever you are doing. So while preparing for the examination as well, makes sure that you are giving it your best and not taking it casually. Right from the day you start preparing, make a plan of action, define your long-term goals and divide these goals into small short term steps. Do not wait for the examination date to be just a month or two before you start preparing. Take your time to start preparing, revising, practicing and only then you can succeed in fighting mediocrity and achieving success.
Be Consistent and Stay Focused:
Consistent action creates consistent result. Consistency and focus is what every student requires to excel in life. Examinations like GATE and ESE are one of the toughest examinations in the country but the only key to crack the exam is consistency and focus. Right from the day you start to the final examination day, it is extremely important that one remains focused in studies and is consistent with the study pattern and timing. Consistency is not about studying for 12-14 hours daily. It is about studying daily even if it is for just 3-4 hours.
To stay focused it is extremely important that you have a plan of action for everyday. So before going off to sleep or right after waking up make sure to plan first thing in the morning on what your target for the day is. Only when you have a target, can you stay focused and consistent in what you are studying. Also try staying away from any distractions and do not forget to take breaks between your study hours. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
We have talked a lot about how to battle mediocrity but what we forget is that mediocrity is an attitude and a lifestyle choice which allows you or compels you to do the minimum acceptable amount of work. You choose not to take risk, not to discover yourself, not try, not mess up and not wake up which is why you are unable to contribute to the world. Each of us has unique skills and qualities and can actually make a difference but we want to make our life easy and choose not to move beyond our comfort zone.
To battle mediocrity, you will first have to fight with yourself by not allowing yourself to be that person and believing that like the many other people around you too are here to do something special. So give up all your inhibitions, pull your socks up and be ready to be the master of your trade by fighting mediocrity and thus achieving your dream.
If you have any queries, then please write to us. We would love to know your take on this article. We hope you are all set to achieve your dream by fighting mediocrity and your fear.