Kent Julian recently asked the following question on his blog, Live It Forward:
“What strategies do you use to avoid the drift into mediocrity?”
Read his post “Beware of the Drift into Mediocrity” to gain more context. It is an essential question to answer.
In thinking through my answer, it came down to story. What I mean is we are each developing and living our life story. To prevent drift into mediocrity, we need to visualize the story we want to develop. If we have our storyline defined, it builds a barrier to prevent drift. With a strong visual storyline, we are focused on building rather than drifting.
There are a few elements to add since it is vital to build a resilient barrier to mediocrity:
- Develop a compelling theme: Our visualized, defined story needs to be reinforced by a strong theme. This can be called purpose, and it is. Purpose can sound lofty at times. Theme is stronger, I believe, in that a compelling theme needs to be a thread that weaves through each chapter we live.
- Include strong characters: In our life story, we need strong characters to hold us accountable. Accountability holds us to higher principles and values, and it also encourages us to change when needed. In addition to accountability, a required trait of characters in our life is people who make us better. We need to associate with people who challenge us to live with a higher purpose and be the best person we can be.
- Grasp lessons learned: We make mistakes. It is a part of living. As essential to correcting our mistakes is learning from them. If we learn, we avoid mediocrity. It is that simple.
- Know when to change: Life is not a straight line. If we believe it is, we will quickly find life advancing without us. Changing to improve our skills, our mindset, or our mind is paramount to avoiding mediocrity. It is about improving, advancing, and avoiding just running in place.
Developing a strong storyline is essential to living a purpose-filled life. An added twist to this is to create an unlife life as a way to avoid mediocrity. The waves of our past can overtake us, pulling us into constant drift and away from how we really want to – or should – live. The balance of “unlife life” prevents this drift and empowers a life of significance.
To build on the question Kent Julian posed:
- How do you prevent life drift?
- How do you enable a compelling life theme?
Add your voice to the conversation in the comments section below….
Leading an unlife life has been on my mind a lot lately. And now I’m curious to hear your thoughts on undoing certain things in your life and leadership in order to take on new actions.