When you purchase a new car, you probably pay attention to where you park, at least for a while, to avoid getting a door ding – OK, maybe this is just my issue. But I’m a “car guy” so the thought of having a ding in the smooth side of a new ride just drives me crazy. (I admit this may be a short drive. 😊)
But once you get that first ding, and then another, over time, it bothers you less and less. Same with any home spruce-up you do. Right after you wash the windows, you are attentive to cleaning up the smudges. After you put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, you notice when the walls get dirty. But after a while the smudges, dings and dirt simply don’t bother you – at least not enough to do anything about it. You get comfortable with the imperfections.
Are there areas in your work habits, your leadership, your thought life that are less than ideal, less than what you’d like but you’ve gotten comfortable with it? Maybe these are areas that once bothered you, but now you let it slide.
Wisdom is knowing what things in your life are “good enough” and not worth obsessing over, versus knowing the areas where you have gotten too comfortable with mediocrity. Don’t allow a habit, an attitude, a flaw in your work methodology, or worse, your character sabotage your potential and your future.
Don’t settle. Don’t get too comfortable with the status quo. Listen, just because nobody is actively complaining about something doesn’t mean it’s to your profit to allow that area of mediocrity to remain. People who get ahead in life tend to be those who push themselves, who set a higher bar of personal performance. They don’t get comfortable with their flaws and shortcomings, but instead, they work on them.
Where perhaps have you “settled” for less than what’s best? Maybe you habitually show up 5 minutes late to meetings. People have stopped complaining. They just expect it. So you settle for less that what’s best. Maybe you’ve allowed your work attire to become too casual, you’ve allowed the piles on your desk to stay there for so long that you’ve gotten comfortable with the mess. It’s acceptable, but it’s not your best. Perhaps you repeat a phrase over and over (“ya know?”, or “like”). It’s not the end of the world, just annoying. It’s a ding on your communication skills.
So my challenge for you today is to take a moment to consider where perhaps you’ve gotten comfortable with mediocrity. Where have you settled for less than what’s best? Identify just one thing, one area, and make the conscious decision to work on that area, to set a new expectation, a new standard for yourself., that will be wonderful. This is how you rise, you achieve, you become better, one right decision, one upgrade at a time!