As we go through life, we tend to set goals and achieve them, especially in the “overachieving” western culture. We want to get richer, stronger, look the best and be the best. Whether it’s a direct impact of the western education, technological advances or others, we find ourselves in an eternal race to achieve our goals.
Most of the people stay mediocre, within their own personal bubble, work their routine hours and run a simple life. There’s nothing wrong with having a simple life or with being mediocre, as long as we choose to be mediocre. On a more personal note, I have a problem with mediocrity, I can’t stand it. To think about the simple structure of life, start a family, build a home, work and finish my life with some sort of a retirement program seems to me like a well planned death sentence.
I spend most of my life going through a process of maturation, being aware and overcoming myself all the time. My goal is to create the best version of myself.
If you too have the Desire within, the insatiable hunger which cannot be satisfied with mediocre labor or lifestyle, I have a few tips for you how you could achieve all your goals, by canalizing that desire in the right direction.
- 1. Self-Discipline Through The Body
One of the most important things one must learn at early age is Self-Discipline through the Body. The meaning of it can be the way we eat, or controlling what we eat, as well as strenuous physical activity, whether it’s going to the gym, running outdoors, learn martial arts or any physical activity which forces us to come out of our comfort zone to create friction. The true meaning of Self-Discipline through the Body is to create a work routine or method over time, one you stick with even when you don’t want to, even when it’s hard and when you feel like giving up doing it. By overcoming these moments of weakness and other emotional whims, we create energy within us, a structure through which we could canalize our fire effectively. In life itself the meaning would be that we could create things and have the patience, the focus and the maturity to know we’re dealing with a long-term process, which could last several years and thus build our future out of complete control and not by illusions of “quick fix solutions”.
- 2. Give up Comfort
One of the symbols of western mediocrity is hope or comfort. When we set our hopes on something or taking comfort in something, we’re actually losing control over the process and start relaying on an external factor, on things outside of us. Instead of realizing we should save ourselves, act as if our lives are in our hands, we’re projecting the responsibility on an external factor. The external factor can be God, a quote we’ve espoused, a close individual or any other emotional symbol, from food to unhealthy relationships. To hope we’ll make it, to hope it’ll be ok, to hope nothing will happen, saying things like: “everything is for the best”, “It is all a test”, “everything will be alright” or to be comforted with second place, to be satisfied with what you have, to be comforted in the suffering of others and so on, all of these are striping you away from your will and powers and making you weaker, making you afraid. These are all fears; you become a victim of your own fears. Actions like these will prevent you from reaching goals, you will lose focus of the target and start paying attention to all the ‘Wear & tear’ of life. A strong man does not pin hopes on something else but him, but execute his plans for the best of his knowledge while overcoming any difficulties along the way knowing that what matters is the big picture, that what really counts is the goal he made the first day he decided to execute his plans. The day we’ll give up comfort, we’ll understand that the power is in our hands, and we’ll be free and unbeatable. To understand we’re alone in this world and that our lives is in our complete control is a process by itself, and the sooner you go through it, the better.
- 3. Stay True to yourself
There’s a fundamental difference between ‘staying true to yourself’ and stubbornness. While stubbornness is a negative characteristic by which the person insists on something based on bigotry or incapability to accept the perceptions of others, ‘staying true to yourself’ is the ability to explore any perception as if it is your own and taking from it only what is right for you. You can learn from your worst enemies as if they were the best teachers, without judgment. Such process is challenging because most of us run into our own ego on the way, and it’s hard for us to let go of our perceptions and accept other’s as true. You can easily accomplish that by knowing who you are, and not forgetting that your path is in your hands. You are responsible for your own fate. There is no other voice but your inner voice. With such internal loyalty, you can go through any knowledge and nothing will rub on you, you will take what is right for you. That way you will never feel attacked, or subdued by others. Such internal flexibility is one of the fundamental parts of achieving your goals, since in most cases reality doesn’t match your plans and you’ll have to adjust it in every given moment, meaning you’ll have to adjust yourself. The gap between “who you think you should be” and “who you are” is in fact the reason for your “suffering”, and an overall ‘negative life experience’. Stay true to yourself and you could adjust yourself to reality and always experience inner wholeness.
- 4. Learn as much and from as many as possible
One of the things no one will ever tell you is that if you want to succeed, you need to learn as much as possible. Unlike the academic education which gives you nothing but rehashed information you can spit out on a piece of paper and receive a grade, Learning means taking the theoretic material in your field of expertise, and experiment with it, try and build new structures, draw new conclusions and initiate a personal learning process that will make you stronger. Learning is implementing what you learn into your life, making habits out of it, making new behaviors, putting theory into actions. Theoretic learning alone is irrelevant and degenerate your brain and thinking ability, to the extent of turning into automated machines that can output the content you’ve read in a book, without actually knowing it, internally. Take everything you’ve learned and integrate it into life itself and do not leave it in its theoretic state. After all, learning is most effective through direct experiences, and not from reading about it in a book.
- 5. Act On The Go – Do Not Get Stuck in Intellectual Loops
This might be the most important tip. Mediocrity initially appears when you start over-thinking things. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with planning, but there is a big difference between ‘functionally planning’ and ’emotionally planning’ – you couldn’t begin building anything without proper planning. The problem starts when you get stuck in the planning stage because of fear our doubts such as “it might be the wrong thing for me”, “maybe it is not the thing that I want the most”, “maybe I won’t be good at it” or “maybe I won’t enjoy this” and so on. The truth is, you can never know if you’re good at something until you do it, there is no way to know whether you discover this to be your passion until you go for it. You can never really know something until you actually do it. Just by doing it you will know if it is right for you. It’s important to think and plan, but don’t get entangled with fears, doubts and emotions. Prepare a priorities list and specify what comes before what, what might be an obstacle and how to overcome it, what’s the big plan and what are the stages to accomplish it. Any emotional thoughts that involve feelings, fears, concerns etc – keep them out.
- 6. Patience of a marathon runner, not a Sprinter
Set your mind for a long hard process, give up on instant success, and prepare to build it brick by brick, with sweat and tears and sheer will power. When you prepare yourself mentally and physically for a long term process you will be ready ahead of time to distribute your resources correctly. Let go of illusions such as ‘I will get rich overnight’, ‘I will make my exit’ ‘I will be discovered’ etc. These illusions withhold you from achieving your success and prevent you from knowing the truth about yourself. That true power lies within you, lies in the details of your work, lies in all those moments you overcame obstacles. Keep focus on the goal, be determent, be strong. Each time you overcome the daily ‘wear & tear’ you become stronger; the process itself will give you energies. Do not forget to rejoice the path you’re walking on. Yes, Success demands 100% strength 100% of your time, but never forget to enjoy the ride, it is important to remember that this is all a big ride, which we control every bit of it.
Originally published in Linkedin