“Mediocrity is unacceptable”
I’m reading, Platform, by Michael Hyatt, and came across this great quote:
“The truth is, mediocrity is natural. You don’t have to do anything to drift there. It just happens.”
That statement is true whether you’re talking about writing books, building houses, teaching children, preaching on Sundays, cleaning bathrooms or changing diapers. Mediocrity is easy and requires zero effort on our part.
Living the Overboard life means you and I must believe (and therefore act) that mediocre living is unacceptable.
That’s really the heart of the my latest book, Project Nehemiah: Making your life truly remarkable. Overboard living doesn’t happen by accident. It doesn’t happen because you’ve read a lot of books on how to make your life meaningful. Overboard living — living the life of faith out on the water where Jesus is building His Kingdom, instead of in the comfort of the boat — demands intentional excellence.
But I’m convinced that intentional excellence begins when we determine that mediocrity is unacceptable. We may not always know each step of the journey when we start out, and we may not always grasp the magnitude of the climb we embark on, but each of us knows, feels, the failure of mediocrity when we encounter it.
When I was in college, I worked on a project with two friends that involved the explanation and demonstration of how a fire extinguisher works. We did a lot of research, interviewed some experts and then developed a plan for our presentation. It was my job to actually pick up a working fire extinguisher and I had decided it would be cool to light something on fire, and then put it out using the device after our thorough presentation.
I checked out some options for my big fire, and realized there were some obstacles to making this happen. I didn’t even try to find a solution and in the end, after the wonderful presentation by my two classmates, I held up a fire extinguisher, demonstrated it’s fine features, and set it back down unused. Despite the humor I used to offset my mediocrity, I knew I didn’t earn my part of the “A” the professor gave our team.
To this day, I wish I had worked out a way to do a live demonstration of that fire extinguisher. Doing my mediocre part, however, was easy. I settled because I wasn’t committed to something better. I hadn’t determined that mediocrity was unacceptable, and so drifting there was simple.
Overboard living begins when, in faith, we step out in action and choose to reject mediocrity. No matter what other options you and I face, we must start be declaring that mediocrity is unacceptable. Once the mediocre choices are taken off the board, whatever else is left, regardless of the obstacles that may come with those choices, are the options we must pursue.
Think about your journey right now. Are you in the midst of some tough choices? Start here: take the mediocre decisions off the table. As you look at your options, determine that mediocrity is unacceptable, and as you do, the choices that demand intentional excellence will come into clarity. You may not know what the next move is, but you will know what it isn’t.
This five part series will give you five phrases that are key concepts in remarkable living. Are you ready to live Overboard? If so, mediocrity is unacceptable.
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!