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5 Sep 2016

Why Mediocrity Reigns Supreme in Life and Work

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Why mediocrity reigns supreme in life and work is because without it we would appreciate them much less. Imagining life without mediocrity helps us see this.

If everything were good, we would take it all for granted. The good would become the new norm. Mediocrity allows the good in life, work and us to stand out.

Do Miracles Exist?

Why would we take all those good things for granted? It’s because we do now. For instance, do miracles exist? Yes, they do. They happen all the time. We just take them for granted.

If we play the child and repeatedly ask, “How?” or “Why?” to every answer to a question, we eventually will get, “Well, nobody knows.”

Consider music. No one knows why it stirs us so much. No one can even explain how we come up with music, how the inspiration for it happens in our brains.

For all we know, some spirit could be doing this. Ignoring the religious aspects, let’s just say that at minimum the human spirit is doing it. That in itself is divine and cause for celebration.

Embracing the Practicalities of Why Mediocrity Reigns Supreme

How is this more than just a feel good thought about life? What is the practical impact at work of why mediocrity reigns supreme? It’s simple. Without it, the great work we do would go unnoticed.

We can see how mediocrity reigns supreme by exploring the bell curve.

Figure 1: The bell curve shows statistically how mediocrity reigns supreme.

For instance, I am often asked whether many people use the no-cost morale boosters I share. I tell them, “No, in fact, very few do. Besides, you wouldn’t want a lot of people to use them.” This leaves them puzzled until I say, “That’s because if everyone used them, you wouldn’t stand out.”

The two diagrams show this. The first one is of the bell curve. I programmed the gradient of red, yellow and blue to be of equal distance along the bottom. Yet, the vast bulk of the curve is yellow. The bell curve is statistical proof that mediocrity reigns supreme.

Medicority allows us to standout.

Figure 2: Mediocrity allows us to standout more than just variations on mediocrity do.

The second one shows how much more the red and blue stand out against a sea of mediocre yellow than the slight variations of yellow do. Such contrasts affect people just as much mentally and emotionally as this diagram shows physically.

Mediocrity Allows Us To Standout

It’s very easy to be dragged down by so much mediocrity. Why mediocrity reigns supreme in life and work is that it allows us to standout. It allows others to see the good that our colleagues, our teams and our companies do for them.

So, the next time you see someone being mediocre, thank him. If it weren’t for him, your work would just be the norm, the average. All would take it for granted. It wouldn’t be anything special to anyone.

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