Since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with success. I wanted to be the best dancer, the favorite student, and the perfect daughter. I was unsettled by the idea of mediocrity, so I pushed myself to be better. I didn’t understand the students who were okay with average grades or my peers who weren’t involved in multiple extracurricular activities. People who accepted average were a complete mystery to me, and it bothered me that they seemed to be inhibiting their potential.
It never occurred to me, however, that maybe to these people, their idea of awesome was my idea of “average”. While I was devastated by an A-, some were elated by a C+. Success is a standard that is measured differently by each individual, and it took me a long time to understand and accept that. But then again, in a society where there are clear divisions of poor, average, better, and best should everyone be striving to reach the top?
This sparks a motivation question. I understand that there are individuals with learning, behavior, or physical disabilities that may cause a limitation in success. I’m addressing the individuals who have clear opportunities and a decent level of intelligence who seem to be taking the easy way out. What are the reasons behind this phenomenon? Some may argue that classes or life can be too challenging and this can cause even the brightest of individuals to come up short. While true, I have seen many cases where it’s not a lack of intelligence or brain power- it’s a lack of drive. And this shortcoming is a glorified version of laziness.
Basically, these individuals have the ability to get an “A” but because they don’t feel like studying, they get a “C”. It means that they have the degree to land an amazing job, but they don’t feel like meeting with company recruiters to even sign up for an interview. It means they have a terrific significant other, but have no plans of making a bigger commitment.
It seems as though these individuals are “okay” with the way things are.
Why rock the boat, right? Why study more than necessary if I can pass the class? Why meet with employers when mommy and daddy are getting me a job when I graduate? Why propose to my girlfriend when our relationship is fine how it is?
Answer: Complacency won’t work forever. And if it does for you, I guarantee it won’t work for your friends, parents, and/or significant other. One day, someone close to you will realize that they can’t support someone that finds leading a mediocre life appealing.
You don’t have to live in a mansion, drive a Ferrari, or be the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, but if you have no desire to do something or go somewhere with your life, it all seems like a big waste. It’s frustrating for me to see fully competent people doing nothing with their lives besides the bare minimum. They say they are “comfortable” with the way things are, but I’m convinced there is a bigger issue. And I think that issue is a deep-seeded fear of failure. These individuals would rather not try for something than to make a mistake. God forbid, they interview for a job they don’t get or they ask a girl out who rejects them.
A suggestion: As cliche as it is, you won’t get anything if you don’t try. More than likely, people aren’t going to be banging down your door, begging to give you a job or a better grade in a class. Sure, familiarity is great, and the unknown is one scary place, but when everyone else is packing up and moving on, do you want to be left behind?
Your thoughts: Is being “comfortable” with your life acceptable? Should we always be striving for more?