What Path Are You On: Greatness or Mediocrity?

A few days ago I received an email from one of my readers who asked a question which got me thinking. Paraphrasing she asked “How did you change your mindset/path in life so quickly. I’ve been trying to change my mindset for a while now and have been having some trouble in doing so”. This email had me pondering for a couple of days and prompted me to ask the question what path are you heading towards greatness or mediocrity?

Difference Between Greatness & Mediocrity

The difference in perception that separates greatness from mediocrity can affect the way a person views their mistakes and outlook. This differs from a person who strives for greatness that realizes that making a mistake is foreseeable, and are more concerned with correcting said mistake rather than harping on it. Another difference is a person who settles for mediocrity makes excuses for everything in their life that doesn’t go to plan. They will make excuses like  “It’s too hard, I don’t have enough time, I don’t have the resources, and I need more time”. These examples paint a picture why some many of us prevent our chances of reaching greatness. Often times we impede our own greatness by thinking and believing negative thoughts that inevitable makes us settle for mediocrity. In the past I have struggled with these same concerns that I have to settle for mediocrity. Until I realized that I can to be great and if I put my mind, energy and effort I can to be considered great.

Truth About Greatness

An underlying myth about greatness is it is something that is complex, esoteric or a God-like feature that only the special humans can ever reach.  This declaration often discourages people who have dreams, aspirations or just want to be great in life. The truth is greatness truly does exist in all of us the difference is if you tap into your greatness or settle for mediocrity. For example, people ask me question constantly like “how did you become a writer when you don’t have professional training in writing, how did you get people to actual read what you wrote, how did you know that you could be a writer when you had never written anything outside of school”? I answer all these questions with a very simple answer I worked relentless on my craft day and night. When everyone else is sleeping, eating or relaxing I will be working trying improve my craft.  I also changed my thinking from “I don’t know or I can’t to “I can, I will and nothing is going to stop me”.  Even though I wouldn’t consider myself great by any stretch of the imagination I’m working every day to make that a reality.

Truth About Mediocrity

Truth about mediocrity is that it is truly a choice, decision or result of our own actions. Choosing to be mediocre usually is the easier, less stress and convenient route. Deciding to be mediocre can cause a lot regret, pain and anguish later on in life. We have all met people that say “I wish I could go back and do things differently, I just want one more chance to follow my passion”. Being mediocre is usually a choice made out fear of the unknown. Not knowing is a fear that many of us have and struggle with so making a bold chose to be great in a mediocre society can be quite never-racking.

Final Thoughts 

In my experience and research our mindset is about 90% responsible for our success and that just 10% depends on the way the cookie crumbles. In all likely-hood you’ll likely be successful if you truly put in the work and have a positive mindset through the process. The road to being great is certainly a process.  If you blame your problems and failures whether major, minor, personal or professional, on other people, circumstances beyond your control, or just plain bad luck, you may be destined to fail. How much of your success would you say is up to you—your choices, your actions, your behaviors—versus outside conditions? Comment below & if you liked this post please share!

Copyright ©2016 Jay Colby All Rights Reserved.


About Jay Colby

Some would categorize me as an entrepreneur, life coach, son, friend and all of the above. I’m just another person trying to find my way in this world. Until recently, I was unsure what my path in this life would consist of. Like many others I was between I know what I want to do but not sure if that’s what I’m supposed to do. I am currently finishing my degree in something that has nothing to do with becoming a writer or entrepreneur so automatically it qualifies me to become one right! Follow me as I go through this journey called life to impact and encourage one person at a time.
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104 Responses to What Path Are You On: Greatness or Mediocrity?

  1. Laura says:

    Love it! We need more of this in our society. People don’t strive they way they used to anymore.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Fijay says:

    Hmmmm interesting

    Liked by 5 people

  3. The Incredible Mind:Verity Vyas says:

    Very true Jay. In my opinion we are in control of our thoughts, choices and actions. How people recipocrate is beyond our control. If we do try but fail, it doesn’t always mean it is destined to be like that. We can change our approach.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I love what you say about greatness not being some distant god-like status! Looking forward to reading more of what you post. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  5. kbeezyisviral says:

    Mindset is in the inception, but drive is the execution of excellence. Greatness is totally up to the individual. Life is unfair, and many things don’t go accordingly to plans, but that doesn’t mean settling is an option. Staying within your comfort zone is the death of ambition. Most people in today’s generation don’t understand the true meaning of sacrifice and hard work. How we choose to react to our circumstances makes all of the difference. The backdrop of mediocrity doesn’t take any effort or enthusiasm; yet, it’s praised more than success.

    Liked by 10 people

  6. I don’t have a university background, but have life experience behind me. Now in my fifties I decided to take my writing to the next level. It is immensely hard at times and I have to keep pushing myself to continue when I feel down hearted by the ‘one step forward, sometimes four steps back’. I will get there – eventually, I know I will. But I really needed to read something like this today. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Jing Sebastian says:

    I’m thinking about the schema of the letter sender.
    I think both terms are relative, in dichotomy.
    Distinction and labelling will be totally dependent upon the individual’s view of what distinguishes mediocrity from greatness, (KPIs?)
    Just a thought… 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  8. sargondorsai says:

    How you handle failure and success is really telling. It tells you where you’re going, if you’re going to continue to climb or if you’ll keep digging yourself deeper.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. Barb says:

    I truly believe the difference is our choice. Greatness can be the as simple as using good manners, as challenging as climbing the impossible mountain, or accepting heartbreak and struggle with dignity. It is about not giving up and not about achieving fame or recognition. Those that recognise this excel. Great reminder to all of us, thank you.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. John says:

    I completely agree that a person’s mindset plays an important role in whatever level of success they experience in life, as does hard work. I also believe the definition of success (or greatness) depends completely on the individual. Your goal can be wealth or happiness or fame or family harmony or peace or personal freedom or any number (and combination) of things. The key is finding out what is personally best for for you, then forging down the path towards it. Of course, some paths have more obstacles than others, but that is life.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. taylormitch says:

    Again I thank you for your positive outlook on everything! Society definitely needs more positive people.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Garfield Hug says:

    Inspirational!! Thanks 😊

    Liked by 5 people

  13. mistermuse says:

    Well said, but I think something basic is missing here, something that each individual should try to get a handle on to begin with….and that is simply, what is your idea of greatness? Is it creative fulfillment, leadership in a particular field, making a difference in peoples’ lives, fame, fortune, ….what? Until a person defines what greatness means to him or her, & has a maturely idealistic conception of what they’re seeking, it seems to me little more than hoping fate will smile on you like winning the lottery.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. catkae says:

    Hi Jay,
    I am new to blogging and just started posting. Last night I posted something that has remnants of what you spoke about in this recent post of yours- all about patience with the self, how it is all to easy for us to “punish” ourselves for our perceived failures due to high self-expectations, setting goals…

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts and look forward to more! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Karen McGarr says:

    Wonderfully inspiring post and beautiful site.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Dee-vita says:

    Your reality lies in the action of your thoughts! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  17. hmillerfit says:

    What a post!! 🔥🔥🔥

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Pingback: Greatness, not an easy place to find – Barbara Strickland – Author

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  20. I am really enjoying your writing. Very inspiring. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Hmm. True. Definitely.
    Holding fast to my set core values.
    Great piece

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Marie Rogers says:

    Well thought out. And I love the photo–it sets the mood for your post.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Excellent post! “Mediocracy is a choice.” So much truth.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. MalcolmsSite says:

    Apparently it takes 10,000 hours to become an ‘expert’ is something. Practising, practising and practising. And apparently – anyone can be an expert after 10,000 hours. Think of that – what unlit potential we all have to be great!

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Well said! I would just add the footnote, if I may, that greatness comes in many forms. Yes, the artist with gold albums is certainly to be admired by the world. He deserves applause for the talent and effort required to achieve that goal — especially if his music encourages and uplifts others. But so does the grandmother trying to raise two grandbabies without help, in the inner city. So does the father who works three jobs to keep bread on the table. The world may or may not appreciate them. But they are, I believe, great in God’s eyes. Peace. ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  26. Mei says:

    Wow! This is a well written blog. Definitely inspirational. I would love to hear more.

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Vernon says:

    Hi Jay,

    It depends on how people defined greatness. Some think they have greatness because they are rich. But blessed are the poor. Others believe they have greatness when they have a full belly. But blessed are the hungry and thirsty. Greatness in the kingdom of God isn’t defined like the greatness in the world. In Jesus’ kingdom greatness is measured by service. And mediocrity turns to greatness as soon as you accept your reality.
    Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

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  29. Leslie says:

    Well said! I wish I’d had your wisdom when I was your age – 😬

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Hello Jay. This was a great blog. Thanks! I have never liked the word ‘average’ even when I was much younger. There was nothing special about it or even revealing about it. Mediocre and average go hand in hand. Even to say the words don’t involve much effort. I am a book editor and I tell my writers to be themselves, and not to worry about the big named authors we hear of. They were once unknown themselves. I appreciate you liking my Jonathan’s Way post, too. I look forward to reading more of your insightful posts.

    Liked by 3 people

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  32. Berni says:

    I guess I’m the odd man out here. I believe in not doing anything and letting God show me the way. I’m holding His finger and following Him blindly like the Jews in the deserts of Sinai. Isn’t life a set of deserts?

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Very good. . . and so true.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Greatness can be attained but only in the eyes of others. Chance is tougher on creative people; more can happen to derail you, and this is not to mention current attitudes toward creativity. Someone who has to call her or himself great without assent from others invalidates the claim by so stating.

    Thank you for liking my poem!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Pingback: What’s Your ‘Bigger Picture’? – Jay Colby

  36. Reblogged this on Lady Dyanna and commented:
    Excellent Post.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Great post! Greatness is a relative term. Do we look at being great as being successful, climbing to the top of the leddar, being known, having everything you want, people look up to you….? Thought to ponder!

    Liked by 3 people

  38. aleeyaazimulla says:

    Lovely post !

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Very informative and inspiring post Jay. Loved it.👍👍👍👍👍

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Tony says:

    Great post Jay. This stuck me most – “How much of your success would you say is up to you—your choices, your actions, your behaviors—versus outside conditions?” Oh yes! One becomes a product of choices made daily. Becoming great is a product of deep thoughts on purpose (What have I been born to do?) X Plan (How do I go about achieving my purpose? – What would I need to do) X Relationships (What associations would I need to support me to stay on my purpose?) and Confident Actions (Just DO IT and never procrastinate). Based on my experience and in addition to your wonderful post, a person who does these, works towards being great and the other would be a mediocre. One of my mentors would say – the best life would be the one you CONSCIOUSLY CREATE by YOURSELF, rather than one which gets to you by SURPRISE. If one makes great choices towards achieving a life purpose and out of deep thoughts, then every door that opens would not be a destination of greatness – You would know it! So, Deep thoughts, Make great choices, Respond to your abilities (Responsibility), Network, Become Great. Cheers!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jay Colby says:

      You’re right our choices made daily impact our lives whether we know it or not. Also the people we choose to be in our lives are an important factor in our pursuit for greatness. Thanks for sharing such great insight!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Sometimes I feel to go to the path of greatness with all my might..But then gets pulled backwards by some force to the path of mediocrity..always oscillates between these two..the main thing is, if there is atleast a single person who motivates you and pushes you to thrive and stride to the path of greatness, then that will be the push towards your continuous journey through greatness..!!

    Liked by 3 people

  42. beloved200 says:

    Amen. For Greatness. For God. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  43. You never failed to amuse me Jay! Nice read!

    Liked by 3 people

  44. bursh1 says:

    You have written so well, all your headings was fully portrayed in each paragraph, it’s a great advice and tips. Weldon…..

    Liked by 3 people

  45. vishal4u says:

    You are right in this post that our perception changes the course of our life. We need the push and guidance for sure even now and then. Self motivation to an extent is enough beyond that the belief of us gets weak and slowly we change our course towards medicore life.
    Loved your post and got the message. Surely my prespective is changed.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. vishal4u says:

    Jay good to know that you are a professional writer. I also want to improve my writing and would like to tell you that English is not my first language.
    Would love to have some guidance from you.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. You have to go “Out of Your Comfort Zone” to Achieve Higher Goals.

    Liked by 3 people

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