Be a student of your craft…

Since when is mediocrity the new gold standard? All-too-often I hear people start their sentences with, “Well, at least…(insert consolation prize here).” It seems that we have collectively lost our competitive spirit – the desire to be the best. When did we decide to give up? When did we decide that it’s okay to just be good enough? When did we decide to settle? Personally, I believe complacency is the number one killer of dreams. The greats are great because they found their passion and worked hard to perfect their crafts. Try finding a great author who is not an avid reader, a musician who doesn’t love and collect music, a strong CEO who doesn’t keep up with current trends, or a top athlete who doesn’t train. When I see a person miserable on the job or a child fighting for the chance to read, go to school or have clean drinking water, I’m reminded just how important it is to never settle. If you try your best, then the best is all you can do. However, if you say you tried your best to cover up a lack of effort, that's the mentality we need to change. Always strive for better.

How to be the best:

  • Be a student of your craft. Read anything and everything you can. Study anything in your field and anything that may have an effect on it. Be well-rounded. Check out blogs, podcasts, YouTube, wherever you can get information, get it. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about PEOPLE. Have a conversation and learn something.
  • If you’re good, spend time with somebody better, faster, stronger, etc.
  • Take the next challenge. When you’ve mastered a certain level, step up. Rise to the occasion.
  • Recruit a mentor. If you find an expert in the field, reach out to them and develop your skills.
  • Never be too pleased with yourself. If you do something great, good. Now, do better.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Never settle.

What do you think? Why is mediocrity praised? Where have we gone wrong? What are we doing right? What suggestions do you have to be the best?