Are you allergic to normality? Have you embarked on a lifelong journey of learning and discovering? In today’s article you’re going to learn thirteen things to keep in mind so you can avoid mediocrity in life and reach your full potential. You’ll also find a collection of the best quotes about avoiding mediocrity for an extra dose of motivation.
If any of these tips or quotes resonate with you, or if you would like to share your own advice, please let me know by leaving a comment at the end of this article — I’d love to hear your thoughts. Now, let’s begin…
13 tips to avoid mediocrity
1. Be okay with being different
Human beings are social animals. Regardless of our attitude and personality type, there’s always going to be a part of our mind that’s going to be really scared if we think differently from most people. So subconsciously we try to fit in; we try to think and act like everyone else does, and we’re terrified of being judged. And that’s understandable.
However, if one of your goals in life is to avoid mediocrity, then you must learn to silence that part of your brain, and simply be okay with being different. Sure, by being like everybody else, you may be rewarded with a bigger social circle, or more likes on social media, or an overall easier life. But if you follow your path and listen to your intuition, you will be rewarded with something far greater.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
Similarly, you should resist the temptation to compare yourself to other people. You may think this refers to those who are average, but it actually includes everyone. Just like you shouldn’t try to emulate the people around you, you shouldn’t compare yourself to those who are famous, or successful, or have better Instagram photos.
Why? Because even though they may be considered successful by many, and even if they are happier and more fulfilled than the average person — their life isn’t yours, and what makes them happy may actually make you miserable. So identify your own strengths, skills, talents, and passions, and chase those; don’t chase other people’s dreams, and don’t compare yourself to others.
3. Learn to love yourself
One of the main reasons the vast majority of people end up having an average life is that they think their own goals and dreams — or their happiness in general — don’t really matter. They don’t love themselves enough to decide they’re going to be and do what makes them happy, regardless of society’s expectations.
Obviously, you shouldn’t be selfish. But you definitely have to believe in yourself, and learn to avoid anything that interferes with what you want to do in life. Your desires are important, and if people tell you they’re not, or if they think they’re silly or unrealistic, then you need to ignore them because you only have one life and you can’t waste it listening to those who haven’t accomplished much.
4. Learn to take risks
I believe there’s a few common misconceptions about taking risks in life, and you want to be aware of them in order to avoid mediocrity. The main misconception is that you either go all in and risk everything, or you don’t do nothing at all. But this couldn’t be further than the truth: you can learn to take risks that aren’t that extreme and maximize the chances of success, or at least have a plan B (which eliminates unnecessary anxiety).
There’s plenty of people out there living extraordinary lives who are actually very risk-averse. They didn’t risk everything — they simply had the courage to follow a path that would be a bit more difficult, or more time-consuming than that of the average person. So whatever you want to do in life, know that there is a way to achieve and experience that without doing anything too crazy.
5. Be curious and try new things
Those who are gifted with a very strong intuition (for example, intuitive introverts, especially INFJs) may be able to picture in their mind what they want in life even though they’ve never seen, experienced, or heard of anything similar. However, most of us can only desire what we already know and what we have already seen around us.
With that in mind, the fifth tip to avoid mediocrity and live a truly extraordinary life is to simply try new things because you never know which one will make you fall in love and discover your passion. That could happen a few months from now or even tomorrow, but you’ll never find out if you’re not curious enough. So be grateful and appreciate what you have right now, but be open to new possibilities.
6. Travel or move somewhere new
Speaking of trying new things, one of the easiest ways to experience a new lifestyle and meet new people is to travel or move. I personally prefer the latter (or at least a longer trip, such as a sabbatical) because you do need time to discover new places, and a weekend getaway may not be enough, although obviously it’s better than nothing.
When you travel to places most people have only seen on their smartphone, you get the chance to discover things most people simply don’t know. This, in turn, could give you the inspiration or the enthusiasm to pursue a different lifestyle and leave mediocrity behind.
7. Be crystal clear about your purpose
So, what do you want in life? It’s okay if you haven’t figured it out yet, and that’s why I mentioned you should always try out new things. But one thing you can do is keep asking yourself what you want and what makes you happy, and that itself will get you closer to it and keep you away from mediocrity.
One of the secrets of getting what you want in life is that the more clarity you have, the easier it becomes to achieve your goals. So before you say you want happiness, success, a better relationship, a better lifestyle, and so on, you need to picture in your mind what those things actually look like and what they mean to you. If you can’t do that, you’ll risk ending up being average simply because you’re not clear on what you want.
8. Improve your overall health
Avoiding mediocrity could simply mean being above average, and being above average could simply mean that you’re a little bit better compared to most people. I mean, the average person isn’t that healthy anyway: many studies have shown that a significant percentage of the population is deficient in a lot of vitamins and nutrients, is dehydrated, doesn’t exercise enough, doesn’t sleep enough, and so on.
Fighting mediocrity doesn’t mean achieving the biggest, greatest, most glamorous goal. If you learn to improve and take care of your health, you’ll automatically be above average! You want to have a holistic approach and optimize your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being because they’re all interconnected and they all play a huge role when it comes to happiness.
9. Avoid distractions
Nothing wrong with enjoying some well deserved time off, or even with being lazy from time to time. Distractions, however, are a completely different thing. Think of them as a way to keep your brain busy and give it tiny dopamine highs without actually doing anything, at least not something that matters to you or that makes your life better in any way.
For example: cultivating a hobby, spending time with your partner or the people you love, getting a massage, planning your next holiday, reading articles like this one — these clearly improve your quality of life. But you can’t say the same about spending the whole day on social media, or watching TV five hours a day. Those are distractions, and if you want to avoid mediocrity, you have to learn to at least minimize them.
10. Choose the people you spend time with
Whether we realize it or not, our needs, emotions, habits, and views are constantly influenced by the people we interact with, especially if we consider them to be close to us (for example, if they’re our partner, or a friend that we can trust, or a colleague that we admire).
If you want to avoid mediocrity, it’s important that you surround yourself with the kind of people that, put simply, aren’t mediocre, and motivate you to get closer to what you want in life. This may be people who already have what you want or simply share a similar goal. Besides being able to learn from them, and teach or share with them what you already know, being in a group of like-minded people will hold you accountable and encourage you to pursue your dreams.
11. Learn to love failure
This, again, has to do with being curious and discovering new things and places. The truth is that many people are terrified of failure and that’s why they never go for the things that matter to them; or if they do, they quit right after the first problem or obstacle because they think failure means that thing wasn’t for them.
But failure is simply a part of the process, and those who are successful (or successfully avoid mediocrity) are usually those who aren’t afraid to fail. They know their mistakes are an opportunity to learn and don’t get discouraged when things don’t go their way. Also, while some people could use failure as an excuse to say they can’t, those who hate mediocrity say they will no matter what.
12. Expect criticism or hate from time to time
Whatever success means to you, you may encounter people who are either jealous or simply too close-minded to understand you, and criticize you and come up with reasons why you’re nuts. Hopefully you already know that in such cases the best response is to simply ignore them — don’t allow the haters and naysayers to steal a single second of your precious time.
However, do expect them to annoy you from time to time, and know that’s one of the consequences of being different and following your own path instead of being like everybody else. Mediocre people don’t like to see someone who has a better, happier, more fulfilling life than theirs, and if you’re serious about fighting mediocrity you’ll be more likely to experience hate and negative criticism.
13. Learn the basics of psychology
The thirteenth and final tip to avoid mediocrity is to learn how the human mind works — why we do what we do, and how we can condition our brain to like new challenges instead of craving useless distractions. By learning the basics of psychology and motivation, it’ll be way easier to avoid mediocrity and live life to the fullest.
Also, learn more about yourself and your personality type: what gives you motivation, when you tend to be happier or more productive, the kind of people you naturally resonate with, and whether there’s cognitive distortions or limiting beliefs you need to work on. You don’t need a degree to do that — develop the habit to pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings and you’re halfway there.
Don’t settle for mediocrity quotes
Why is it that when a baby is born, we often refer to him or her as “the miracle of life” but then we accept mediocrity for our own lives? Where along the way did we lose sight of the miracle that we are?— Hal Elrod
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.— Steve Jobs
I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint — and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.— Oprah Winfrey
Take care not to listen to anyone who tells you what you can and can’t be in life.— Meg Medina
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinion, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.— Oscar Wilde
Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.— Vincent van Gogh
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.— Cecil Beaton
Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.— Colin Powell
The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.— Albert Einstein
Stay hungry. Stay foolish. Never let go of your appetite to go after new ideas, new experiences, and new adventures.— Steve Jobs
Don’t accept a life of mediocrity when you hold such infinite potential within the fortress of your mind. Dare to tap into your greatness.— Robin Sharma
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.— Henry David Thoreau
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, day and night, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.— E. E. Cummings
Some men throw their gifts away on a life of mediocrity; great men throw everything they have into their gifts and achieve a life of success.— Greg Werner
Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.— Steve Jobs
Something deep in the human heart breaks at the thought of a life of mediocrity.— C. S. Lewis
Mediocre people don’t like high achievers, and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.Nick Saban
Better for everyone that you do what you’re really good at and love to do than be yet another example of mediocrity.— John Williams
Once you have experienced excellence, you will never again be content with mediocrity.— Thomas S. Monson
When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls not too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life.— Steve Jobs
Short don’t settle for mediocrity quotes
Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.— Fulton J. Sheen
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.— John Kennedy
Mediocrity is the worst enemy of prosperity.— Henry Ford
The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.— Maureen Dowd
Observe the masses and do the opposite.— James Caan
Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed.— Walter Russell
Being different is good. Embrace it.— Simon Cowell
Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.— Aiden Wilson Tozer
We must never be afraid to be a sign of contradiction for the world.— Mother Teresa
The price of excellence is discipline; the cost of mediocrity is disappointment.— William Arthur Ward
Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.— Will Smith
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde
Only mediocrity escapes criticism.— John Steinbeck
Never surrender to the momentum of mediocrity.— Marlon Brando
You are born into genius. But have you resigned yourself to mediocrity?— Robin Sharma
Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.— Jodie Foster
A life of mediocrity is a waste of life.— Colleen Hoover
Did you find this article useful? Do you want to share your own advice or tips? Leave a comment below and let me know! 👇