you are what you consume, and what you create.
Did you hesitate before clicking on this link and now you’re skimming the first sentence to see if it might be a good use of your time?
That’s an example of the headspace we’re forced to be in, especially when there is an endless supply of content that just gets done for the sake of it.
Content makes us feel and think in three distinct ways: We are interested. We couldn’t care less. Or, it just holds our attention for just long enough to get by: mediocrity.
We’re surrounded by so much information all the time, you don’t need to fact-check us to know that content either succeeds, fails or just gets by.
Think of the adorable puppy Instagram post. That weird rant on Facebook. That Snapchat from the pub.
But hear us out, this concept applies to decisions you make in life and the workplace too. Yeah.
The way you explain to a stranger what you do for a living. The way you tell your friend why you can’t make it to her birthday this weekend. The event you’re about to throw for a client.
Succeeding, failing and being mediocre dictates the way we feel and act, and how people feel and act towards us. As people. As brands.
the leaping point.
And this is scary because it’s clear that the wiggle room between failure and mediocrity is a fine line. Defining this line is the key to breathing interesting, successful substance into what you put out to the world. It is better that you fail in trying to succeed than simply skimming the surface enough to be mediocre, and to get by.
The content that never gets clicked? We know when content isn’t written from a place of authenticity. That’s why we don’t click it.
Events that seem kind of lame? Same deal.
For us, brand experiences or videos that are just alright? Nobody knocks again.
But why is it better to fail than be mediocre?
Creating something interesting and successful gives you achievement. You know it, see it, feel it. Facing failure while trying to succeed, is a chance to grow. A lesson. You know it, see it, feel it. Aiming or striving for mediocrity, or creating at the level of just-good-enough robs you of all your potential, and all your opportunity along with it.
Clearly defining the line between what failing looks like, and what mediocrity looks like is everything. This line you define should reflect a margin closer to your vision of success. Why? Because it’s your time on the line. The author of this post doesn’t know you. So if you’re going to make something, at the very least, make it interesting and rewarding for you.
The alternative is this: All that time and energy put into things that are just alright, all that time adds up into a total of your life. Or, your brand.
All that time spent defaulting back to the mediocre drains all your potential, along with all your opportunities that could have otherwise been put towards something else, where you could have been successful. You could have turned to something that inspired you. And in turn, inspired others.
It is true of your work, your hobbies, your relationships. Whoa.
It’s like seeing your best friend in a bad relationship and knowing they could do better. Because it’s about more than just the relationship, we’re talking sum total life impact.
Did the cabin pressure just drop? Prepare for emergency landing.
Yeah, mediocrity is that vampire.
Opportunities pass. Go be immersed in one.
finding failure and finding success.
Failure is linked to finding success. It breeds success. Welcome failure. In our last article, we looked at Winston Churchill’s transformation from childhood to adulthood and how to find an original voice when it all seems like it has been done before.
We think that if you are to fail, or fall flat, it should be in the name of something interesting / inspiring / whatever makes you feel something. So that even in failure there is a cause and a lesson. In succeeding, reward. You always get to savour the opportunities both big and small. It’s a little nod to the universe. Something to feel good about for real effort.
You don’t get this from mediocrity. It’s a robber.
Because in those silences when we contemplate to ourselves, the sour truth is that we know what’s real. We know a real fail, from just barely getting it done. That time spent being mediocre robs your potential and opportunities.
But is this advice practical – to always be reaching?
Project deadlines and project budgets, or simply not having enough time are common enemies. When it comes to work, the factors that get in our way can lead to huge trade-offs. The get-it-done mentality is the squeeze of having too little time and resources.
The remedy? A simple reminder. Define your failure and define your mediocrity. For yourself. For your project. Because – and we quote ourselves – All that time spent defaulting back to the mediocre drains all your potential, along with all your opportunities that could have otherwise been put towards something else, where you could have been successful. You could have turned to something that inspired you. And in turn, inspired others.
Where do you draw your line between failure and mediocrity? Where is the line between one too many times to stomach? You know what’s real.
tl;dr (wait, really?)
Here’s how we’ll sum it all up: as a hungry kid, you want to climb the cabinets and put your hand in the cookie jar, because c’mon oatmeal is bland. You only have so much tummy room. But you could always be full if you just ate your oatmeal. But you’d rather fall – arms flailing – grabbing the cookie than eating oatmeal. Your inner kid knows what you want. And your inner kid knows if you’re trying hard enough to get that cookie when you want it most. You only eat oatmeal when you know it is right to eat oatmeal. All the other times, eating oatmeal means you failed trying to get a cookie – or you admitted defeat early.
Go for that cookie often when it calls. Because you’ll be that much happier for your effort and you’ll also have more cookies to share with others.
this has been an original written work by Monocle Booth x Looking Glass Productions