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Success eludes mediocrity


Success is a concept perceived by most in terms of the end result rather than the understanding of its process.  When we view a successful person, we tend to observe the external manifestation rather than the efforts behind, which came about the result. We always make the assumption that such person was lucky, or blessed, or talented, or has the resources—anything that will cloud our thoughts from exploring the true reason behind its attainment. This common way of thinking belongs to mediocre minds.  No successful person I have known lives in mediocrity; each has extraordinary character. What about you? Do you know of someone who is successful and mediocre at the same time?

Looking at the dictionary, mediocrity characterizes moderate to inferior in quality, or put simply: ordinary.  If one aspires to succeed, it is imperative to step above the ordinary and face the required challenges inherent in success. I want to be honest: achievement does not favor mediocrity because being mediocre means functioning within an enclosed realm of understanding wherein the perception of things is limited to ones own belief. Mediocrity always sees the limit of things.

Success does not acknowledge limitations; it rather views it as challenges to be conquered. Success interprets failure not as setback but lesson to be learned. Success has strict laws that require religious observance. One of its rules is to let go of mediocrity and face the discomfort of change; it requires the assimilation of new knowledge to broaden one’s horizon; and it does not allow the thought of relapse to the familiar. If you want to succeed but don’t want to give up your antiquated beliefs, you’ll continue a life of blandness, your goals will be but another sketch in the vast “if only” repositories of your mind. Success hates “if only” attitude. It will rather favor failure than not making an attempt.

Whatever we want to achieve in life, the character of success is a necessity. In any avenues of endeavors, one must comply with its discipline. Being ordinary, being in the comfort zone, being coward, being a procrastinator, being a stagnant dreamer and being lazy is the most despicable attitude that counters success. Think about these carefully; upon deep analysis one will find that these are the common forms of resistance that engenders stagnancy and destitution.

Sure, all of us want to succeed. We want to experience a life of bounty without the limitations of physical, mental and material lack. Yet, we are fools in thinking that such will just fall out from the sky, or through prayers, or through positive thinking, or through creative visualization or any other forms of beliefs in which action, sacrifice and discipline are absent. These misinterpreted beliefs have more than confused rather than enlighten people.  This is the very reason why success has become a mystery for most of us.

I understand that we are shaped by an influence in which unquestioned compliance must be favored for a while to secure the survival of our kind, like a child who needs to obey its parents to ensure its continued existence. However, we have failed to depart from this temporary necessity; instead it has become a part of our identity—we have become compliant to our cultures, religions, expectations, judgments, criticisms, norms and the orthodox view of things. We have become blind to realize its inapplicability in pursuing success. We are so stuck on being dependent on our primitive beliefs that the thought of deviation invites fear and anxiety. And so we stay as children, even as we age. Even if we want to grow we can’t, we do not allow the process because the risk is, in itself, a threat to our very foundation.  With this debilitating attitude dominating our person, we find it hard to abide by the laws of success. Consequently, we settle in mediocrity, aspiring for luck or good fortune to favor us.

Living a life of achievement is such a difficult state for an ordinary man to comprehend. In the many avenues of pursuit, man can either evolve or stagnate. Sadly, most chose stagnation.

Consider your aspirations in life. What is preventing you from achieving your dreams? Wait, don’t think; let me enumerate it for you:

  • Nah, it’s only a dream, everybody knows I’m a joke
  • Wow, sure is good if luck favors me
  • But I don’t have a “gift”
  • Don’t be stupid, you know you’re dumb
  • You don’t’ have the resources, so forget it
  • You are not meant to succeed. Grasp that.

These are among the favorite lines of a mediocre. And so in their lifetimes they lead a life of a loser. Of course nobody wants to be a loser, but few make an attempt to be a winner; all because they coward on the challenges of success.

Most of us want to attain happiness, peace of mind, material prosperity, spiritual growth, fulfillment of dreams, harmonious relationship, healthy physique, wisdom and all other aspirations that will alleviate our well-being. But most are stump on wishing; few choose to defy the status quo. Is this the life you really want? Only you have the power to make a definitive outcome. Mine will always be success.

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius. “

–Arthur Conan Doyle

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Only if you find necessary


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The counsel of death

Illusions we hold dear

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Pitfalls of instant gratification

Crippling habits people embrace

Why are we having problems with problem

How to unleash your true capacity

Finding myself beyond my identity


Our lifetime is not enough to know all the experiences of life. Therefore, we need to have other sources in maximizing our understanding of the many facets of our existence. In this regard I am bound to share with you the most powerful materials that have shaken my foundation and have changed my life as well as the lives of many.

Life is full of questions but I have found answers in perusing the books: The Road Less Traveled, Man’s Search for Meaning and The Power of Now, these has given me light on the deepest nature of man. Still, in searching for ways of enhancing my life I have found: Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big and Thick Face Black Heart. In matters of understanding my mind I was greatly enlightened by the suspense filled novel’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior, A Rich Man’s Secret and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And finally, I have understood the pattern of my finances through reading Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.

Everything we wish in life will come upon us if we first seek the wisdom of knowing.

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69 Responses to “Success eludes mediocrity”

  1. Success is such difficult work. I beleive that is why many people don’t achieve their goals because not many are willing to put in hard work, especially when there isn’t much to show for your hard work in the beginning. I’m sure Walter can attest to how difficult it is in the begiing for us bloggers. It seems as if everything is at a stand still but success not only takes hard work, but it takes perseverance and patience. These are must have attritbutes for truly successful people.

    • Walter says:

      Yes, it is difficult indeed to succeed. There are characteristics a person must possess to push through, like patience and perseverance you have mentioned. And I confirm that I’m on a struggle in my pursuit to achieve. :-)

  2. Ryhen Satch says:

    The line between success and mediocrity is gradually becoming thinner. I’m not sure if consciousness evolution has something to do with it, but I have a strong impression that it will, indeed, unite the opposite poles of everything we see. Before, people needed to have some special skill or talent in order to be recognized. With the advent of pop culture, mediocre individuals can conquer the world just by being on the mainstream. It may be hard to believe, but just watch 10 minutes of television and you’ll see what I mean. Nice article, btw. =)
    .-= Ryhen Satch´s last blog ..Essential Speed Reading Tips For Bloggers =-.

    • Walter says:

      Such an interesting observation, perhaps I need to look twice to see our improvement. Or maybe our mainstream culture has become conducive in prodding people to excel. :-)

    • James M. says:

      Yeah I did notice a lot of characters in the entertainment industry who just probably happened to have the looks and was in the right place at the right time and are now recording some lack-luster song. Or, is the entertainment field exempt from the ‘success pre-requesites’? Although there are probably a lot of successful show business people who got there due to diligent hardwork, there are indeed some who got there due to the factors of ‘right time and circumstance’… and yeah, in the mainstream.
      .-= James M.´s last blog ..Photo Fun =-.

  3. You know, most people were looking for a shorter way to success from you. :D Something that doesn’t really involve developing themselves and becoming more than average. Then again,…some people are dreaming :mrgreen:

    .-= Ideas With A Kick´s last blog ..Learn how to have a sense of humor from James Bond =-.

  4. Truth be told, persistence is the #1 difference between the succesful and mediocre. One person keeps going where the other quit. Its that simple. Hard…but simple:)

    Great post!
    .-= Michael Holmes´s last blog ..What Barack Obama Taught Me About Marketing =-.

  5. Boris says:

    Very true post!I really like it.
    However, sometimes an advice to this is hard to follow by some who are caught in a desperate and hopeless trap. It is like an athlete advising the person who has very weak legs not to limp.
    This person requires to start by accepting her current situation, to decide that she is going to strengthen her legs by conscious practice, step by step. All this process will not bring her immediate success from others’ perspective. But for her, once she starts to work on her weaknesses, every single moment will be a successful one!
    All the best!

    • Walter says:

      In life, desperation and hopelessness is a fact. However, we all have the capability to make the best in spite of it. All that is needed is to believe and act upon it. :-)

  6. Hi Walter,

    This is a subject that is dear to my heart. I think the reason why so many people do not achieve their dreams is that they lack the drive to see it through.

    I think we all have a passion but what makes a dream become a reality is not only to be talented but to have the perserverance and the dedication to the goal. You have to embody your work. People want things without really working hard for it. Life does not work that way. Buddha did not attain enlightenment right away. It took the dude six years and he went through a lot of stuff to get there.

    So I think people have to accept the fact that you cannot get something without putting your heart and soul into it. People do not become legends overnight. They work really hard to get there. Patience is a virtue for a reason.
    .-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog ..Being Creative =-.

    • Walter says:

      One of the character of success is to seek wisdom; with it, patience is realized. Stagnancy and laziness leads only to blindness and decay. Once we realize upon our self our infinite capacities, only then do see the wasted time we had made. Success is a journey. :-)

  7. Davina says:

    Hi Walter.
    I like how you’ve mentioned perceiving success as the understanding of a process. That way it sounds more like a co-active process, rather than one we can hold on to. Seems the harder we try to hold on to these things the farther from our reach they become. As I was reading the mediocre statements I couldn’t help notice how much they sound like something a victim would say.

    • Walter says:

      Success is indeed a process. Just as I have stated, we see it by its end product and not the means. No wonder it has become a secret. :-)

  8. Hey Walter:

    Another great reminder for me to be great. I loved the analysis that you have done. It’s really valuable.

    Success I believe can be conditioned into a habit. Most successful live in the habit of success. All of their actions, thoughts and words are driver by a desire to succeed. Succesful people succeed in everything that they do, while mediocre people always try to succeed “in this one thing” and do everything else with half the effort.

    I believe that is why most people fail to succeed. They do not recognize that they have to transform themselves into a completely different human being in order to achieve their goals. Yet they try changing only one things and leaving everything else the same.

    Their environment and their being still reinforces the environment of mediocrity. One of the best ways to achieve success is to surround yourself with successful people who see no limits and learn from them.

    Once you realize that it is all possible, once you see “regular” people doing things that you want to do – then you will understand that you can do it too!

    I know I used to live in mediocrity, but now I am on the path of leading a life of success. Change is scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Accept and embrace change in our lives and lead a fulfilling life.


  9. I know what you mean here but I also wonder if you really do have to have an extraordinary life to be successful.

    For me success means being happy. Some people seem genuinely content plodding along in a quite average life! It’s not for me but if it makes you happy, go for it.

    I can see that you’re definitely on the extraordinary path. It’s brilliant that some people are thinking these things through and writing about them so that people who aren’t happy leading mediocre lives can get the inspiration to change for the better.

    • Walter says:

      Life is in itself a struggle. To live life to the fullest one must give her best, because we deserve the best. It is not our destiny to live an average life, we are more than what we think. We have more to give, if we allow our self.

      The concept of success I have used here is not within the context of this material world. It rather embodies our capacity to attain our aspirations, even to the simplest of things. :-)

  10. Walter great post. Success comes in all shapes and sizes. What I consider a success to you may be seen as a failure.

    But the only true way to succeed in anything is with hard work, and “being there” to except success. I truly feel deep down some people do not want, or know how to be successful even if they had the opportunity.

  11. Another great post! I think I’ve internalized you, Walter. When I wonder why something isn’t working for me the first thing that comes to mind is that I haven’t put enough elbow grease into it. Success is a result of hard work, not of being gifted. The latter can help, I’m sure, but doesn’t seal the deal.

    One of my own personal problems is lack of confidence in my decisions and judgments. I am willing to put the hard work in, but I lose faith in myself shortly after initiating a new plan. I second-guess my decision and my internal voice tells me that I’m going in the wrong direction, that this will be another colossal waste of time and energy. How do we know if we’re putting in the hard work towards a possible winning proposition? Only time and more hard work will tell, I’m sure.
    .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..My Cyber Cabin in the Woods =-.

    • Walter says:

      Life is trial and error, we will not know the outcome of things if we don’t try. It is natural for us to lose faith, however it is important not to give up. :-)

  12. Erin says:

    So many things can take the joy out of life and leave us sitting completely surrounded with mediocrity.

    The public school system where we spend so many formative years, is designed to make us to all the same and level the field.

    And in agreement with what Ryhen said about the quality of the the content on television. It is mind boggling how people with nothing to say are stars of reality TV. Yet, someone is watching and ads are paying the bills.

    It is work to make your dreams a reality. It is work to persevere. Great thoughts here that encourage us all Walter.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Advent =-.

    • Walter says:

      Let’s accept the fact that most people are settled to being on the same level, without wanting any challenge and aspiring no goals. It is our choice to step above and live our best, or stay loyal to the status quo. :-)

  13. Kaushik says:

    Well, the thing is when we look at success we come up with the typical answers. We say it takes passion, drive, persistence, patience, risk-taking, purpose, courage and so on. But honestly, is any of this really helpful?

    If we are honest, most of us feel mediocre. Most of us, including the successful people I know, don’t feel the majesty of life.

    And it’s all because of stuck patterns and beliefs and fear–fear from the wall of thoughts and beliefs that we think we are.

    You’re absolutely right, it’s a process. It’s a process which is available to all, freely, and does not require any special traits or characteristics. Mediocrity is a great place to start.
    .-= Kaushik´s last blog ..Saying Aloha to Fear =-.

    • Walter says:

      Mediocrity is common to all of us. Still, if we want to grow and experience the mysteries of life we must step above mediocrity and step on a higher plane of understanding. Being ordinary means being passive, being a success means acting upon for our benefit, be it material or spiritual. :-)

  14. Success is not the harder pursuit, mediocrity is! :-) Have you ever gotten lost in a forest or tried to hike a mountain? In order to find success there and get to your destination, you do not choose the hardest and most dangerous path. You choose the easiest one! The problem in life is that we tend to believe the opposite. We struggle so hard when all that’s needed is letting go. We worry too much when all we needed to do is to pursue our dreams and follow our true desire. :-) .-= I TAKE OFF THE MASK´s last blog ..Are You Editing Yourself Too Much? =-.

    • Walter says:

      Most people are foolish in not realizing that they alone have the power to make their dreams come true. They always think of difficulty rather than making a step. You are right, most choose the easy path. :-)

  15. Mark says:

    This is very well written! You have excellent ability to communicate your thoughts. One of the keys is to define success for our self and not allow success to be dictated by society. The one point where we may disagree is that I do not believe one has to sacrifice to achieve success, one does not have to suffer. Our suffering springs from that which we want not that which we need. When we let go of outcome and we focus on the task at hand we create the success we desire and if in do so we don’t have something or don’t experience something it does not feel like sacrifice or suffering for it is all part of the process.
    .-= Mark´s last blog ..Empowerment =-.

    • Walter says:

      Point taken Mark. Success is personal, it is a choice we choose and not that of society. Success, once aspired, becomes a challenge. :-)

  16. Jane says:

    Tomas mentioned this and I have to agree. The fear of change keeps people in a cycle of mediocrity. If you can’t bear change then you will never enjoy success. How sad it that?
    .-= Jane´s last blog ..Tunes for Tuesday – Old =-.

    • Walter says:

      There is much to learn and there are exciting things to discover if we choose to make a change. Sadly, most people don’t even try. :-)

  17. Suzie Cheel says:

    Love the title and how true. When we move out of mediocrity/fear and it success we create change and empower ourselves as well as others we inspire.

    .-= Suzie Cheel´s last blog ..Abundance Cafe 29 November 2009 =-.

  18. Ken Kurosawa says:

    Fear of criticism from others such as family, friends and coworkers may sometimes be enough to stop one from taking the step toward success. I find that many who are content with their lives tend to dismiss people that make waves and I find it even more true with people who are discontented with their lives and want everyone else to suffer with them.
    Thank you for the reminder that we all need to put in our time and effort.

    • Walter says:

      If we let criticism cripple our aspirations, we are the ones to suffer. We don’t deserve to be mired on the bottom. We have what it takes to make our dreams come true. Let’s listen to our self rather than the negative opinion of others. :-)

  19. Jonny says:

    Walter, you are one of my most favourite bloggers because your posts have real depth and thought and are very well written
    .-= Jonny´s last blog ..Some Bad Ass Travel Tips To Let You Be A Smug Bar-stuard Even In The Company Of Seasoned Travelers – You Know You Are Going To Read This =-.

  20. Andrew says:


    Brilliantly written.

    From a personal perspective I can relate very much to what you are saying, having spent far to much of my own life being enslaved by fear and not being able to summon up the courage venture out of my own personal comfort zone.
    .-= Andrew´s last blog ..Should jumps racing be banned? =-.

    • Walter says:

      Fear has its benefit for our well-being. However, we must be aware when it becomes a hindrance to our growth. Most people have let fear to control their lives, hence they are mired in discontent and mediocrity. :-)

  21. Karl Foxley says:

    Success for me is having a dream, turning that dream into a goal, having a strong desire and determination and using them to strive for that dream everyday!

    The Internet is a funny place, you see lots of overnight success stories of people who have made ‘[insert amount] of money in only ten days’. What people often miss or fail to reveal is that it took them 2, 4, maybe even 6 years before they became an overnight sensation.

    A lot of people I admire and follow in my industry have a very similar thread running through their very different life stories, the belief that they were going to achieve what they set out to achieve no matter what obstacle came in their way!

    Thanks for sharing Walter.

    .-= Karl Foxley´s last blog ..The Really Sneaky CommentLuv Trick For Better Blog Marketing And Promotion! =-.

    • Walter says:

      Indeed you have the character of success Karl. How I wish people would have the same mindset as yours. Success is not a gift, but rather a choice we must choose. :-)

  22. Success can also mean being happy with who and where and what you are all the time. Unconditional love of self a great gift.

    That being said, I remember my singing teacher about 9 years ago saying I was a mediocre singer, that hurt. I’m not a great singer now but I have learned to be a good singer and that makes me I’ve won the success first prize!!

    I like how you always incite to action, Walter. Bravo!
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Getting To Know Him… Getting To Know All About A Wonderful Blogger. =-.

    • Walter says:

      Thanks Jannie. I agree that success can mean being happy with who we are. Still, many are not successful enough to grasp this simple fact. :-)

  23. Success isn’t as hard to achieve as many people think. It’s as simple as getting past the obstacles and being persistent.

    Trying new strategies and tactics, working hard but working smarter, and determination can make all the difference between living in a mansion or a cardboard box.
    .-= Gabe |´s last blog ..10 FREE killer WordPress themes in 2009 =-.

    • Walter says:

      The mere fact of trying something new scare most people. Only the extraordinary has the capacity to take its challenge, hence the opportunity to succeed. :-)

  24. Hi Walter.

    You’re right about ordinary not merging well with success. Anytime I stay in the ordinary category, I get basically nothing. It doesn’t matter how much I do there, because it is forgotten and passed by. When I decide to go above that, suddenly my effort is noticed again. It is very hard to become successful and ordinary at the same time. I don’t know if it is impossible, but it is like swimming against a river. Society doesn’t really support ordinary people, as society wants to only see outstanding individuals.
    .-= Armen Shirvanian´s last blog ..Discussion On Long Versus Short-Term Efforts =-.

    • Walter says:

      Isn’t it funny how society love extraordinary people? Perhaps these successful character represents an inspiration they want for themselves, yet incapable of achieving it. :-)

  25. Jimi Jones says:

    Good piece, Walter
    It all starts with self-motivation and the avoidance of being just another also-ran. When people think they cannot do something, they are usually right. :D .-= Jimi Jones´s last blog ..Understanding Social Media – Plain and Simple =-.

    • Walter says:

      You are what you think it is said, and instead of thinking success, most people flood their thoughts with hindrances. :-)

  26. [...] Success eludes mediocrity [...]

  27. I love Earl Nightingale’s definition of success which is a successful person is a person who sets out to do something and they are doing it.

    So a school teacher who decided she wanted to be a school teacher. Or a construction worker who decided that is what they love doing.

    Anyone in love with what they do is a success in my book – regardless of what it is they actually do – because they are not trapped like so many who wake up and hate what they do.

    Dr Martin Luther King Jr said

    “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.’”

    It has nothing to do with strategies or working hard – but that’s my definition of it.

    Great thing about Success is it can be whatever we decide it is – no one has the right to tell us how to define success.
    .-= Diane Corriette´s last blog ..Watch out for the I want something for nothing crowd =-.

    • Walter says:

      Whatever it is that we want in life and then pursuing it is in itself success. The act of pursuing is the difficult part of success. :-)

  28. Hi Walter,

    What hinders me is that I always think im not competitive. Sometimes I look down to myself and just imagining im on the top.

    I know I should not be thinking like this for myself, and reading your article here is something like a remedy.

    Thanks Walter.

    Jp Manching @ Beginners Blogging Guide
    .-= Jp Manching @ Beginners Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Blog Priorities 3: Whom to Blog =-.

  29. [...] Success eludes mediocrity [...]

  30. Reilly says:

    I like your point about our tendency to miss the effort and commitment behind successful people- their unwillingness to accept defeat and their consistent marching forward attitude. Mediocrity … or being ordinary… feels safe because it leaves us in our comfort zones. Until we can step outside of that shelter- we can’t expect to improve significantly or expose our hidden abilities. SUCCESS DOES NOT ACKNOWLEDGE LIMITATIONS.

  31. Demond says:

    Walter, my friends and I have discussed this topic in great length. It seems as if in 2010, the greatest time to be alive, more people complain about what they have as opposed to making a decision to go for what they want, no matter the cost.

    Unfortunately, our society rewards mediocrity and calls the big thinking dreams arrogant, or not realistic, or time wasters. In this society, fitting in is more excepted than standing up and making a name for yourself.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed your post.
    .-= Demond´s last blog ..Make A Decision Today =-.

    • Walter says:

      Well, I must admit that you are right about our society being one of the perpetrators of mediocrity. Still, I believe that we are the author of our fate, it’s our choice to remain stagnant or use our amazing capabilities to make something grand in our life. :-)

  32. ELLIE30 says:

    I do really like your hot release! Could you create the free term papers as example? Because I do know that an experienced custom writing service could create custom research papers of prominent quality.

  33. Ben says:

    I like your definition a lot. A successful person eludes mediocrity. That’s very perceptive. With all the TV and video games out there these days, mediocrity is definitely one of the biggest enemies of true success. Thanks for this article. You definitely made me think.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Cambodia Motorcycle Diary #4 =-.

  34. Kenneth says:

    Of course, what is the happiness, you can understand it only achieving it. I mean if you achieve the result without the process itself you can’t understand where was the happiness.

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