My friend , Ferdinand Onyegwu , the founder
of Diamond Dreams African Network(DiDAN) has
the slogan of his organization to be “…….panacea for mediocrity.”I think we both have one thing in common, and that is hatred for mediocrity. This is not to say that we are excellent guys, but the truth is that we know what it means to be excellent, and have refused to settle
for mediocrity but excellence.
“Excellence means nothing” said John Gbenu, “but the best”. I can’t agree less with his assertion.
Until you’re the best at what you do by a reasonable standard, then you have no right to carry your shoulders as if you have arrived. If you do otherwise then you are a local champion. Sometimes I blush when people reach me over the internet that they love my write-ups and give me all sort of praises. The truth is that I never allow any of those praises to sink into my head cos I feel I am still below excellence compared to what the best guys in my niche are doing. However, the praise is a source of encouragement to me; at least someone out there is positively influenced by my unique message to the world. Having a high standard of excellence makes me humble and sees myself less than the way people see me. It serves as a source of inspiration to keep learning and keep improving on the things that I do. It is not restricted to blogging alone, it cut across every area of my life.
This article is inspired by the way so many people take mediocrity for excellence today. Some who are mediocre when compared to a higher standard, have assume the position of excellence based on their own standard of excellence as a result of little achievement and praises they receive from fellow mediocre people who are at a lower rung to them on the ladder of mediocrity. They are the set of people Paul the Apostle referred to in the book of second Corinthians 10:12, When he said, “we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with SOME WHO COMMEND THEMSELVES, AND COMPARE THEMSELVES WITH THEMSELVES, they are not wise.” These category of people, because of their poor knowledge of what excellence is, have naïvely assume the position of a champion. They think they are wise, but in the true sense of things, they are the biggest fools. Don’t be like them.
From Mediocrity to Excellence
To graduate from mediocrity to excellence, you need to develop the right perspective and mindset of what excellence is , and the points below we help you to do just that.
1.Find out what the best people in your field are doing and the feat they have attained : By this point I am not trying to encourage you to compare yourself with others. My goal is to assist you to know, that the fact that your father’s farm is big does not mean his farm is the biggest. So before you start carrying your shoulders and assuming the status of a champion, you have to consider critically the feat the best people in your area of influence have reached. This will help you in two ways. First it will make you humble and prevent you from self-aggrandizement and ego grip. And second it will put you on the part of continuous learning and self-improvement. “The largest room in the universe,” they said “is the room for self-improvement.” Knowing that some people out there are better than you will inspire you to be the best you can possibly be. If you don’t end up being the best, at least you will be above average.
2. Estimate the credibility of your observers: It has been said that “if one hundred foolish people say you are wise, then you are nothing but a wise fool.” Before you allow yourself to be carried away by what people say, try to find out the credibility of those observing you. Are they advanced enough to make true and credible statement about your behaviour or performance? Do they have the experience, exposure and expertise to come up with an objective assessment of your true performance and ability? Imagine someone who has not written a single article in his life telling me I am a good writer, you think I will ever be moved by that? Definitely I won’t. Reason, he or she lacks the credibility to assess my true performance. I may be rated as a guru by him/her, but in true reality, I may simply be below average. So knowing the credibility of your observers will give you an acceptable idea of your true performance. Don’t be a wise fool and never allow the blind to enthrone you as a one-eye king.
3. Resolve never to be a local champion: “Your resolution to succeed” said Abraham Lincoln “is more important than any other thing.” To become excellent at anything you set your mind on, you must determine in adavance to be excellent. Practicing the first and the second principles will help you to determine what excellence is and inspire you to make the choice to be excellent at what you do. Your resolve to become excellent at what you do, will push you beyond your comfort zone and motivate you to strive for the best. Og Madino understands this better when he said, “I am a lion; I will never talk or walk with a sheep.” Refuse to have anything to do the with mediocre people, surround yourself with the best, associate with the best and over time you will be among the best.
4. Think in terms of global standard: The object of this article is to help to librate you from the grip of perceiving yourself as a global champion when you are only nothing but a local champion. Another approach you can take in preventing yourself fom accepting mediocrity for excellence is to judge your performance based on global standard. A good example is this, you are a first class graduate from one of the best universities in Nigeria, if you are to be put side bye side with another first class graduate in the same course of study from Harvard University, will you be able to perform at the same level with him? Will your performance equals his performance? Another example is this, if you are a millionaire in naira, will you still be a millionaire when your money is converted to dollars or pounds? To truly be a millionaire, you must be a millionaire in all the currencies of the world. Irrespective of what you do, you can always measure them in terms of global standard.
I know by now you are probably saying Taiwo this standard is too high, anyway you may be right, but if we must maximize our full potential, the standard set here should be taken as our benchmark. My goal is to inspire you to stretch your potentials until they cry for help. It is high time we stopped taking failure for success, and mediocrity for excellence. Do your best to be the best.
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Welcome to the world of unlimited possibilities.