“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”– Mahatma Gandhi
These are the words of wisdom which must be understood for what they are. To me, they mean that a person or even an organization start to fall apart when they compromise their beliefs. Over time, these compromises can undermine, or even eliminate, the core value of the person. Until this fact dawns on you, you’ll be stuck in mediocrity. Whenever I speak on different stages and in my coaching sessions, I get to see people who are hungry for a new and better life but can’t see beyond their current circumstances, they think and believe what they see is all there’s in their lives. Mine is to help people revive hope, self-belief, gain confidence in themselves to see beyond their current challenges. The first thing is to confess that you are stuck. On confession, Gandhi said, “Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession.” When you confess your errors in judgement, your mind and your soul gets brighter and clearer for you to adopt a new and different perspective on life.
Winning yourself from mediocrity in order for you to claim your greatness starts with an understanding of what mediocrity is. Mediocrity is a world you live in that is bound on the North by Compromise; on the South by Indecision; on the East by Past Thinking and finally on the West by Lack of Vision. It’s critical to understand that your world has been kept intact by these four anchors. For you, to move or shake them, you need to unpack them.
Let’s start off with the,
- Northern side – Compromise. The dictionary defines compromise as the expedient/convenient acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable. Here my focus is fundamentals. You can compromise on other things but your fundamentals. Do you know what your fundamentals are? That’s a starting point! Some key fundamentals you shouldn’t compromise on:
- Self-respect and self-discipline. Never give up on these because they are your powers for life.
- Never let anyone take away your pride and dignity. Always know that you matter and that your life has an ultimate purpose and significance.
- Your individuality. Never compromise on your qualities and values just for people to like you. Life is to express yourself not impress others. So, be yourself! Your character defines you, don’t lose your identity.
- Never compromise on your health, take good care of it. Your health is your wealth.
- Your dreams and aspirations. Flatly refuse to be a killer and a graveyard of your dreams.
- Your Family. They are your foundation, pillars and everything. Don’t compromise on them for anyone or anything.
Just on a lighter note: someone once said, “A friend is a God’s way of apologising to us for our families.” So, God knew that he’ll give you some siblings and those cousins that are letting you down almost every time without fail but are stuck with them, hahahaha! So, when you choose friends, choose them well!
- Southern side – Indecision. One of my favourite quotes when I speak on this topic is, “The road of life is paved with squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.” Unknown. In life you’ve to take a decision and stick with it, if it proves to be wrong, pivot without losing balance and take another one. That’s why there are training courses offered on decision making, empower yourself by investing in them. Stop procrastinating and do something.
- Eastern side – Past thinking. There are people who are stuck in the quagmire of the past. Whenever they open their mouths, it’s about the past failures, disappointments, successes, etc. It’s all about the past. Yes, we are products of our past but we should never be the prisoners of it. Whenever I look at the past, I see many things that I failed at not because I was a bad person but because I didn’t know better. It would therefore be very harsh and unfair of me to define myself by my past. Sometimes when I want to have a good laugh, I just reflect on my past and boy oh boy! I crack up on seeing how naïve I was, that’s me!
- Western side – Lack of vision. My favourite quote I mostly use whenever I talk on this subject is by Helen Keller. She said, “The only thing worse than being blind is to have sight but no vision.” She was 87 years old when she died and had lost her sight at the age of 19 months. This means she had been blind for 85 years and 5 months, yet she said these words. So, disability is not the lack of physical eyes, but lack of vision. This means disability is not more about physical limbs but inability to connect with the unseen, the future. This is very profound. Are you connected with your future?
So, winning yourself over from mediocrity, requires you to correct the errors in judgement regarding the fundamentals you’ve compromised on, decisiveness, not being imprisoned by your past and having a clear vision of the future. Finally, remember, any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender, for it is all give and no take. You have the power to live your dreams, claim them!
Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org , www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773