“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” Mandy Hale
Mediocrity is the worst enemy of prosperity. You’ve been endowed with a certain mixture of abilities and opportunities that makes you unique. No mixture is insignificant. There’s something within each of us crying out to be above average, to be extraordinary. Being extraordinary doesn’t mean you are better than everybody else, it means you are the best version of yourself.
If you are not the best version of yourself, you know it, you don’t need to be told!
This reminds me of an eagle story I once read about. The farmer had gone out for a walk on his big farm, somewhere along the way, he discovered an eagle egg that had fallen out of its nest. He looked up and saw that the nest was too high for him to return the egg. So, he placed it in a nearby chicken nest. Soon, the egg hatched. The young eagle grew up with all the other chickens. Whatever the chickens did, the eagle also did. He thought he was a chicken just like them. Since the chickens could only fly a short distance, the eagle also learnt to fly a short distance. He thought that was what he was supposed to do. One day, the eagle saw a bird flying high above him and was very impressed by this. “Who is that?” He asked the other chickens around him. “That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” the other chickens told him. He belongs to the sky, we belong to the earth – we are chickens. Well, sadly, this eagle felt deep down that it shared something special with the ‘King of the birds’ but it never took off to the blue skies! Though it knew it belonged to the sky, but it never tried because it had learnt to be a chicken and for that, it lived and died a mere chicken.
This story reminds us that we should not just settle for what appears to be available to us. We mustn’t just live our lives according to other people’s opinions of us. Mediocrity has no place in you. This is another opportunity for you to launch past every limiting area of mediocrity and find total fulfilment in your life. To achieve this, you have to choose to be the person who’s on the offensive, not defensive. Don’t just show up to avoid losing, but show up to win! People who live on the defensive never rise above average. When all of your reasons are defensive, your cause almost never succeeds. It’s time to take the unique, radical and invading move you know you’re supposed to take. Many times, the attempt to maintain balance in life is really just an excuse to be lukewarm.
Many years ago, a friend of mine marvelled at me when I told him that I went to think. What? Went to think? The truth is that most people rarely think, though they think they’re thinking. This is a critical skill you really need to develop. If you’re thinking, you’ll be full of ideas and that will show in the way you handle your job or business because you’ll be making changes and progress every week or month. For you to think, you need to get to a lonely place, close doors and put your electronic devices off or in silence. Take a pen and a paper and task your brain to come up with new insights and create solutions.
Improve your line of questioning. Instead of asking a question, ‘Why don’t I have money?’ This question leads to a number of excuses like: Because of my family background, because of my race, gender, height, education, etc. It’s easy to find excuses, that’s not what you want right now. The line of questioning should rather be: ‘How can I make more money?’ You see, now this is what I call a probing and quality question. This forces you to focus on what you need to do, not on letting yourself off the hook by making excuses.
Your ability to think will help you develop and raise your confidence level. Many people ask me this question a lot, “Veli, how do you develop confidence?” Well, the answer is that confidence is a by-product of competence. When you develop your thinking skills and become competent at what you do, automatically, confidence will develop. You don’t directly chase it, it’s a by-product. When you are full of confidence, what others see as a problem, you see it as an opportunity. What others see as a stumbling block, you see it as a stepping stone, that’s the benefit of having high levels of confidence.
So, to relieve yourself from the pain of staying stuck from where you don’t belong, you just need these three ingredients:
- Have trust and belief in that small and soft voice that’s crying out to be above average, that wants to be extraordinary. That wants you to be an eagle that you are born to be, not a chicken.
- Develop your critical thinking skills and act on those generated ideas.
- Enjoy watching yourself taking off to the blue skies because of the developed confidence that will fuel you to transcend what once appeared unreachable or impossible.
Beside your pictures hanging on the walls, how will the next generations – the unborn, feel your presence in your absence. How will their lives be better off and more bearable because of your contribution with your life? This should be the daily driving question that keeps you going and fired up!
Veli Ndaba is a Neuro-Conscious Leadership Speaker and Trainer, Life & Business Coach, Motivational Speaker and 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 email@example.com, www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773