This past weekend the United States of America celebrated the 238th anniversary of its independence from England. I know I have readers from all over the world and I don’t want this to become some kind of geopolitical history debate. But the holiday had me thinking a lot about the men and women who fought in the revolutionary war. They were outnumbered, poorly armed, less experienced, and generally at a major disadvantage. Some of the colonists thought it was easier to just keep things the way they were. But for those who fought, the idea of keeping things the same was unacceptable. They had caught the idea of freedom and they were going to fight until they had achieved it.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that those revolutionaries weren’t so different than you or I. Granted, there aren’t many of us who have to wake up to the reality of a war in our backyard over territory or human rights. But we are, every one of us, in a battle. We are fighting against an enemy that has swept across the civilized world and crept into our own lives in a very short period of time. This enemy has many names, such as, “laziness”, “the bare minimum”, “fitting in”, “complacency”, “good enough”, and many others. I like to call this enemy, “mediocrity”.
This enemy has a main objective of making sure everyone stays the same, nobody sticks out, and we all fit in the system. Status quo. If you don’t speak up, don’t make any waves, don’t question the mundane system, nobody will bother you. Nobody will criticize you. The world will just let you be.
But what if you don’t want to go along with the plan? What if you want to do something different or you just want to be exceptional? What if you realize there is more to life and you want to work towards bettering yourself? What happens then? Then you will start to find some difficulty. The moment you tell anybody about your plans for self-improvement or the new invention you are developing or the book you are writing you will start to attract critics. The people who were happy with you the way you were will all of a sudden turn into your biggest detractors. Because most people have surrendered to this enemy called mediocrity, they will not understand your decision to fight.
Nonetheless, you have to fight.
You cannot spend a lifetime just going with the flow. If you do, it will only lead you to the vast ocean of mediocrity and disappointment. There is nothing remarkable about being another fish in the sea. You want to be that fish that is swimming against the current, fighting hard to reach its goal. You have to fight against all odds and all obstacles. You have to force yourself every day to be better than you were the day before. This is the purpose of life. This is the good fight. Constant forward progress. Continual self improvement.
The lesson from the American Revolution is that no matter how big or strong the enemy is, if you are determined to succeed and willing to work you can overcome. Now is the time to be a part of the revolution against mediocrity. Freedom is your goal. Freedom from the tyranny of a society which demands that you be the same as everyone else. Freedom from the feelings of insecurity. Freedom from that voice that says, “You should just wait until later to try.” It may take time and it won’t be easy but you will never regret it. It is worth the struggle in order to better yourself.
The war is here. The battle is now. Stand up and fight in the revolution.
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