Why do we celebrate courage while we embrace mediocrity? Our heroes, those we look up to, whose biographies we study and pay top dollar to watch their lives play out in movie theatres, are people who abhor mediocrity. We say to our children, "Take so and so as an example to follow," then, smack them with statements like, Play it safe, Don't stand out, Don't take risks. The underlying message is heroes are to be adored, not emulated.
Heroes are not Special
No wonder our kids are so confused. We tell them to shoot for the stars, yet hang on to their shoelaces when they attempt to take flight.
For those fortunate enough to breakthrough despite this persistent call of mediocrity, we elevate them to the special class of God's chosen few to be worshipped and celebrated. As for your own burning desire to contribute to humanity in some meaningful way, well, that's just gas.
Our heroes are not gifted with supernatural powers, and are not different in any significant way. They merely have the good sense to ignore the cries of mediocrity, while the rest stand by paralyzed with fear.
I know the "beat of a different drummer" cliché is over used, but it is also true. This beat, which we all hear, echoes louder in the ears and hearts of our heroes. The loud, persistent thumping of their calling shields them from the cries of mediocrity.
Sure, they cry, they fear, feel pain and the urge to run. But instead of running opposite their fear, they are just foolish enough to race towards it. While the world studies the science of mediocrity, they skip that class to pursue their calling.
The drum of desire, of a calling, of a mission - on a difficult, yet worthy path.
The world ridicules them and calls them fools.
What is wrong with him?
Why won't he listen?!
Because he cannot! Do not take it personally, for he never read the book, "The Top 10 Ways to be More Average than the Next Guy."
Mediocrity shall find no resting place, no comfort or solace in the hearts of these people, for it cannot stand the loud thump of the call. This thump exists in all of us, but for people like (fill in the blank with your own hero), it resembles an annoying itch that must be scratched to avoid insanity.
Godspeed and I look forward to seeing you in The Players Lounge.
The Art of Being
Being Authentically You
Open Letter to a Beginning Entrepreneur