One of my leaders shared what a former leader of his told him: if you’re happy with the result in front of you, then it must be the one you’re willing to accept. This statement cuts right through all the bluster and BS we tell ourselves as to why something didn’t land or turn out. You know the truth when you look in the mirror and ask, in your heart of hearts, if this is your best. Those who are always striving for better will know it’s time to head back to work; the rest will shrug and move on.
I read the article, Mediocrity Is A Virus, by Benjamin P. Hardy and it reminded me of how easy it can be to shrug and move on. Take these statements from the article and see if there are any you can identify with (in the past or present):
The sickening reality is that you actually began to settle into the mediocrity, and convince yourself that you’re okay with it. Even when it shows itself throughout your entire life.
Your relationships are worse than they used to be. But you justify and adapt.
Your health is worse than it used to be. But you justify and adapt.
You’re more distracted than ever. Oh well.
Your thinking has become dull and polluted with the trivial and negative.
I read these and know there were points in my life where I felt this way. But each time I’ve had the support to reject mediocrity, change the result, and grow to be better (at home, at work, or in my relationships).
In another article by Benjamin Hardy, The 2 Mental Shifts Highly Successful People Make, he dives into exploring the need to shift our thinking. First, to be responsible for the outcomes in our lives and choosing how we interpret them, and, second, once we’ve gotten there, to shift again to realize we are responsible for more than just ourselves, that others’ success is our success. I know the truth in these words because I’ve seen these people in action. I see how they reject the ho-hum status quo, embrace lifelong learning, seek genuine feedback, and lift those up around them.
Many of us have experienced incredible growth personally and professionally because of the leadership, generosity, and guidance of others and I believe it’s incumbent on us to live that same way. Coincidentally, a colleague of mine recently posted about the power of pure acts of kindess that help others and ask nothing in return. And there’s science behind how positive this is for everyone involved: when you perform a random act of kindness or give of yourself in service to others, not only does it help them but it can actually reverse your own negative thinking. That’s powerful.
So, when I look in the mirror, I want to honestly answer the question about the result in front of me and in front of us. That we are all better because we support each other, together.