“What a person can be, they MUST be”(Abraham Maslow)
A couple of months ago, while my friend Hanny and myself were recording a podcast for the YouTube channel The Mastery Academy, called “The Truth About Language Learning” we mentioned that in today’s world we cannot afford to be average.
I know it sounds harsh or even cynical, but that doesn’t make it less true. And this is even more evident in today’s super competitive world. Just have a quick look on social media, and watch how every single Instagrammer, streamer, online coach, modern entrepreneur, or social media celebrity desperately tries to keep up with the competition, or stay ahead of the game by posting content EVERY SINGLE DAY. And the newer content is more and more elaborate each time! Lighting is better, sound quality is better, the setup is more amazing, the messages are shorter and more to the point, and resonate with you much more quickly than before… It is overwhelming, really. Like if you are too self-indulgent and you rest on your laurels, you can be sure that someone will take your place. Period.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we all should get carried away with this never ending rush of pursuing more, more and more. Wanting to live an easy and simple life is perfectly fine. Life can be too complicated to make it even worse.
But settling for average and mediocrity is a very different thing. If you settle for average, you can only and exclusively expect average. We have a great responsibility when it comes to controlling our lives, providing ourselves with better opportunities and, yes, to a certain degree, chasing excellence.
“But hey, I can’t be bothered. I just want my paycheck, do the bare minimum at work so that I can get away with it, and look forward to the weekend. Who cares?”. Good luck with that, mate. That routine sounds really exciting.
“Slow down. You are not in the position to lecture anyone. I saw your videos and they do not exactly scream “excellence”, sir”. Yes, I’ll give you that. But do you know what? I’m learning to do it better next time, and I love to set new challenges for myself. And making mistakes or coming up with so-so results is part of the process. Someday I’ll revisit those videos and they’ll look cringey in comparison, but I won’t regret having made them. Because it was part of the process.
I embraced this kind of attitude some time ago, when I was sickened of the nihilism I saw inside myself and in other people, and since then, I look forward to every single day, wanting to learn more and become a better version of myself than I was before.
Things that you can do to chase excellence today: start working out- or work out better-, read more books, eat healthier, more nutritious foods, stop hanging out with toxic people and start treating better those who deserve it… Also, learning a new skill. And commit yourself to MASTERING it. Why not start with mastering a foreign language? As a teacher of advanced English, I can assure you that people who speak GREAT English are few and far between. And those with the better skills get ahead in life. It is not so much about having this or that certificate, but about BEING ABLE to do something of worth with that skill. I never asked the graphic desginer who edited my content about his qualifications. I just saw the incredible work he was pulling off, and I knew that was enough.
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