Mediocrity, status quo, ordinary life. Whatever I call it, I don’t want to live in it.
Many years ago, I struggled with the way my life looked. I dragged out of bed every morning, jumping on a hamster wheel of ordinary days, filled with the same things over and over – and over again. No meaning or purpose. Dry and almost hopeless. Existing in this world. Living in mediocrity.
Repeating the same thing daily becomes drudgery. The stagnancy of mediocrity gagged me in my own life. I knew the world held more than my little piece of it. Boredom consumed my mind, the only relief came from escaping for a while into a movie or book. But escape didn’t change the bulk of my life. Mediocrity sickened me, until I came to a point where I watched Christian friends of mine enjoying life. Living life. And me? Stuck. Stuck in a clear glass box looking out, yet never able to reach those walking around in a great adventure. Sitting alone wishing for a place among those who woke up excited to be alive. Bound in a state of mediocrity.
How did I get to mediocrity?
Getting there isn’t difficult. Mediocrity happens over time. We don’t plan it—don’t want it. Yet somehow, life moves along, but for some reason we don’t move with it. Dozens of reasons cause us to slip into mediocrity, but if we get honest, the root always comes back to one word. Complacency.
I remember waking up as a child, excited about school, playing with friends, and… Honestly, most everything excited me. Life happens. And sometimes, we quit caring. We never seek out adventure. And we learn fear. Maybe other people cut us off from the things we love and enjoy doing. Or maybe they don’t like those things, and they don’t want us to pursue them either. As one day flows to the next, we accept our new life of nothingness, quit trying to change it and sink to mediocrity.
How do I move from mediocrity?
Simple. First, I realize that’s where I’m living. I admit my dreams faded long ago. My sense of adventure hid deep behind a multitude of other things. And in all truthfulness, I allowed it to happen. I grew complacent, accepting the reality of my life. And until I wanted out, I wasn’t going to move.
Next, decide to change what I can. Sometimes I join up with others for the courage to try something new. And I do it! When I came out of my mediocrity, I took my kids camping. One weekend I connected with some friends and went on a rock-climbing trip. I actually harnessed up, climbed and repelled back down.
Then finally, rediscover your dream. I had dreams I didn’t know I had. Literally, I forgot to dream, and without something to pursue, I lost the sense of adventure, the sense of being excited. I needed to rediscover how to look forward to waking up every day.
The scary part of mediocrity?
Slipping back into mediocrity sometimes comes as easy as it did the first time. I get tired and in those moments, I want to quit. I long to slink back to easy, don’t have to work for it, don’t have to put myself out there mentality. And before long, I’m escaping to movies and books, and dragging myself out of bed again.
But, mediocrity isn’t where I want to live. If I keep my eyes focused on the Lord and the calling He placed on my life—on the dreams He embedded in my life, then I can keep an attitude of adventure alive. What’s He going to do today? Where will He take me? Who will I meet or enjoy spending time with that I already know? And in all of that, I will not be satisfied with existing in the land of mediocrity. I choose to live life and to live it abundantly.
Suggested reading: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson.