Let’s face the facts: doing brilliant work is just too hard. Making things, starting businesses, loving wholeheartedly and pursuing your dreams will cost you, and in the end it may not be worth it. With that in mind, I want to give you a few excuses you can use in a pinch to explain to others why you are settling for being average.
- It’s too hard.
- They won’t let me.
- It will cost me too much.
- I don’t know what to do.
- What if they laugh at me?I don’t want to look like a fool.
- No one has done it, so it must not be possible.
- No one has done it, so who do I think I am to try?
- I’m too young/old
- What if I fail?
- I have it too good to take a chance.
- I don’t have the resources/time/connections.
- I have a young family.
- I’m not sure it will work.
- I’ll do it later.I like this one. I use it all the time.
- I might get hurt.If I step out and fall in love, this person might make me feel miserable.
- It will take too long.
- What if something better comes along?
- I’d rather watch TV/play games/hang with friends.
- I’m afraid.
- I’m a fraud and I don’t want to be found out.
- It’s just too risky. No smart person would do that.
- I need to learn more about it. I need more research.
Any one of these reasons is sufficient to keep you on the sidelines, fat and content.Except you won’t be. There will always be a nagging sense that there is something more for you, and that you’re selling out – let’s just call it prostituting your better self – for the sake of a little ease and comfort.
Here’s the deal.
You will be tempted sometimes to conform to the standards of everyone else around you.
To match them for mediocrity.You have a lot of people around you nudging you towards average. They tell you things like: “That’s the way we do things around here”, “You are working yourself too hard”, “Just be realistic”.
The safest thing you can do, it seems, is to fit in. Total deniability. Hey, I’m just doing what the masses do.The masses are average. And by definition, we have a surplus of average.
Is it hard to try to do something remarkable? Yes. That’s why most people don’t do it. It’s easier to live a sedated life hooked up to the IV drip that is social media. It’s easier to watch an episode of Game of Thrones than read 20 pages in a book. I know. Believe me it happens to me a lot.
Or you can begin to act. Today. To do that thing that’s like a thorn in your side and won’t go away. You can dare to be someone who spends what you have – body, soul, energy, effort – on something you can point at with joy. That’s what I aspire to, and I hope you will join me.