Making up with mediocrity

This is not my house (photo by Vita Vilcina)

Through Jaguar adds, Anthony Robbins books, and the expectations of our fathers, many of us have been sold the nightmare of mediocrity.

How dare we live anything less than a picture-perfect life? How dare we not always be perfectly happy, perfectly motivated, and perfectly positive? How dare we not live in the dream home they’ve sold us on with the bank account size they’ve said we should have acquired by now and all the other stuff we haven’t attained yet?

I’ve just noticed lately that when checking in with myself, I see someone who’s fidgety, nervous — downright frightened at a deep level. Like I still hadn’t gotten myself there, wherever that is.

What’s wrong with me? How will my family and I ever be safe? What if my daughter grows up in a home life like mine when I was younger, filled with anxious thoughts, stressful conversations, and not-enough-ness?

Quite recently, I decided I had to throw in the towel. I had to stop it, already. I had to intervene with myself and realize that my life is amazing. I have so much joy in my life. I have great work. I have a beautiful family. I live in a western, developed country. I have a Chipotle within 20 minutes of my house. I have the luxury of sharing my thoughts on this electric device that’s connected to millions and millions of other people… I could go on.

My life, according to my 13 year old self, is pretty damn mediocre. I used to drool over Robb Report magazines and dream of living in a mansion on the Monterey Peninsula with a helicopter on the roof and an armored Mercedes at the ready (because I’d need top security with how wealthy I’d someday be).

But what if ‘mediocre’ is fine? What if true wealth meant showing up, fully me, to my life, whatever that looked like? What if being rich meant tranquility and the ability to bring a soulful presence to this life, moment-by-moment? Isn’t this what all that material wealth we’ve been chasing is all about anyways? Just a physical excuse to finally… be… at ease? What if I didn’t need to amass great wealth in order to feel those things?

What if I could feel them just fine — right here, right now. In my 2 bedroom house in beautiful, old, downtown Reno. With coffee in-hand, sharing my words with great people I don’t even know.

How about you? Is there a huge gap between where you are and where you want to be? Is there some unlived life, likely sold to you by someone else, out there on the horizon, far out of reach?

Well, you can close that gap right now. Maybe not in physical, ego-driven terms. But in the spirit of your own sanity and tranquility. Settle in with mediocrity and move up incrementally from there, at your pace. Life is damn good.

Mediocre is just fine sometimes.


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