Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Escape Mediocrity


"Heroes rise above the mediocrity that surrounds them."
-Anonymous
I had a sticker on my bike in college that said; "Escape Mediocrity"..at the time i just thought it sounded cool. I didn't really understand what that meant.  I am reminded of this as I read and think a bit about being creative.  It seems that many of us creative souls and anyone who is concerned about their own place in life worry about our own goodness, talent, ability and force.  We are constantly up against those that would tell us we aren't good enough, or we don't have what it takes, or up against our own worst enemy..ourselves..that brutal critic that lives somewhere in the dark towers of our own version of Mordor..as in the Lord of the Rings with Golumn and hobbits and things...he/she is up there constantly forseeing the future for us.  That future that says we can't or it's not good enough so why bother or why try.  I am on the continual hunt to find him and tie him up and show him who is boss...i think we all go through this each day, wether we are a mom, son, dad, painter, photographer, friend, dancer, writer, musician, athlete, politician..whatever it may be, we are always asking, "are we good enough?...Can I actually pull this off?
I can't help but think that every famous well known artist from Van Gogh to Shakespeare to Picasso to Beethoven thought the same thing and ran up against the same people who told them they would never make it and never be good enough....sometimes they weren't recognized until after their death but they stayed true to their beliefs and to their particular callings...
We must be able to stand in our light at any moment and face its darkness and its triumphs.  
Let's break it down a bit....take a room of ten people and make them all do the same thing you love to do...whatever it may be..now let's assume they all want to be the best at it and be successful, which is a whole other discussion and definition, but just picture that for a second...
Now, right away get rid of 2 people because they have car troubles or flake or got sick or just didn't show up...ok..no we are down to 8...now get rid of 3 people because they are easily offeneded and their egos are bruised and they feel that it is too hard to do this..now we are down to 5 people...ok..these are good people with tons of talent and hard working, but 2 more drop out because they listened to the critics at the most critical moment and believed that all the effort would never pay off and they feared too much the sense of failure and what that would mean and where it would leave them...down to 3...just 3....now get rid of one more person..no one really knows the true extent of why they quit, but they did...probably because the final pressure of making it a reality was too great and they tricked themselves into actually thinking they couldn't make it...now you are down to 20%, just two people..the true idea of escaping mediocrity...see? it's not as hard as it seems...there are so many reasons to just show up...that is all we have to do is show up and believe in ourselves...ok..harder to do than say, but still...when we break it down it doesn't seem so overwhelming does it?  

now, go escape some mediocrity....



5 comments:

Ms. Conley said...

Thank You Justin, needed to read this today!! Perfect! When you find him/or her in Mordor, let me know and I'll help you kick the crap out of him/her....or both....

Vintagedivva said...

This blog is kind of in line with the blog I posted last week--- "Is There Room For Me?" I can totally relate.
I think sometimes, although some people have the talent, and even the drive to create success for themselves, the outcome is what scares them away from continuing on and believing in themselves. They start believing that "It's impossible for me" or "What if I fail miserably?" Like you said, anything is possible for anyone just so long as you are present and have passion in what you do! Rejection is what I believe holds some very talented people from moving forward. The journey is definately most of the fun, and sometimes, if we lock in on the end result or the "reward" or "outcome" of our efforts we loose the one thing that brought us there to begin with; passion and the love of our craft.
Nice one J. !!!!

babbo said...

Son,
Stan Calderwood used to tell me, "You can always take advantage of other peoples' mediocrity to succeed". And he's right. Most people settle for just enough, whether it's in the work place, or as artists, or in school. If you do just a bit more than the "average" person over time, that adds up to a lot, and people recognize it. We don't need to hit a home run each time at bat, but if we single nearly every time, doing just a bit more, but doing it consistently, we will be recognized for our good work. Then again, Ayn Rand is much more eloquent on this matter than I am.

Justin Davis Davanzo said...

that is a great quote babbo from Stan...love you

Jeanine said...

Just show up... So true. How else do you know what waits for you on the other side, if you don't even try? Just the reminder I needed.