Accepting mediocrity

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If I am being honest, this comic strip hits home with me.

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Of course, the 10,000 hour number is silly. There are no guarantees that you are going to be great at anything after working on it for 10,000 hours. I suppose it depends on what you want to be great at. 10,000 hours of playing Alfred beginner books might make you great at playing Alfred, but 10,000 hours of playing Chopin might not make you great at playing Chopin.

So take the 10,000 hour thing with a grain of salt or just ignore the number itself. The key is that greatness takes far more work than most people are willing to invest. After all, you would have to practice an hour a day for close to 30 years to get to 10,000 hours.

And don’t miss the bigger picture here. I tend to fall into a trap when I get around people that are more successful than me. I get uncomfortable when I sense that they are just more committed and I look for a way to turn that commitment into a character flaw.

Maybe I start wondering how they can be so committed and yet be balanced in their family and spiritual lives. Or I suspect they are OCD. Or maybe I start questioning their motives.

The point is that mediocrity is uncomfortable with greatness. Greatness makes us feel inferior and we start using defense mechanisms to deal with that inferiority complex.

To feel more comfortable with ourselves, we look for commiseration from other mediocre people. Or we watch those court TV shows where we are guaranteed to see less-than-mediocre people we can favorably compare ourselves to.

This is why successful people teach us to get rid of some of our friends. That is not a Christian thing to do, but you have to see their point. We don’t need friends that are quick to excuse our mediocrity as the dog does in the comic above. Proverbs tells us that.

Of course, no one can be great at everything. But I tend to think that everyone should be great at something.

So, take a hard look at yourself. What are you supposed to be great at? Are you putting in the time to become great at it? Are you making excuses for mediocrity? Do you need new friends or role models?