A Cheap Excuse To Be Mediocre.

Last week Thursday I sat in a troskie on my way to work –cos my chopper was giving me problems. True talk. It was a 45 mins ride. The plan was to take advantage of the traffic situation by reading as many pages of Jeffrey Archer’s ‘The eleventh Commandment’ as possible before I got to work, and I just might have done that, but for these two guys in the seat ahead of mine.

For the first twenty or so minutes of the ride, I was aware that there were two people having a conversation, but I didn’t so much as shift my glance to see who they were till one of them uttered a line that ranks no. 2 on my list of forbidden sentences. In twi, guy one says to guy 2 “…If we all became professors, who’ll sweep our streets and polish our shoes for us?” reflexively I blurted “If we all became professors, we’ll be quick to invent robots who’ll more efficiently take care of our streets and shoes!!!” Well, truth is, I didn’t say that out loud, I was screaming it in my thoughts though.

From then on, I followed a conversation about how it was alright to be how they were, and how satisfied they were to play their part in the Global Division of Labor (by natural selection) Initiative (G.D.L.I). I thought how pathetic that was; that in order to save ourselves the stress of expecting more of ourselves and risk all the disappointments that might come with it, we settle for what’s just good enough and construct powerful arguments to explain why that’s the wisest thing to do.

It is that thing; mediocrity, that makes situations like coming from broken homes or poor backgrounds or limited education become comfy cushions of consolation we rush to at the slightest thought of self evaluation or when we seek reasons to not aim higher.

Those guys might live their whole lives becoming little more than what they are now, and still embrace death with a smile, only to watch a video of just how much they could have accomplished with a little more challenge and ambition and then re-die out of shock and regrets.

I once heard a consultant advice his employer; A company is only as strong as its weakest link. And in a way, we are only as brave as our greatest fears and as ambitious as our most mediocre thoughts. In reality, we all are mediocre to some degree; it’s just a matter of relativity.

Reality check;

# Where do you draw your line between reality and fantasy?  Because that’ll greatly influence what you consider realistic/doable and what you regard as mere wishful fantasies.

# Right now as you read this, what do you desire most? What one thing is there that if it happened, you’ll say to yourself; “It doesn’t get any better than this!!” or, “Yeah, I made it! I couldn’t want anything more!!”  Objectively decide if in that field or industry, that is the greatest dream conceivable. Then observe the gap between the greatest height you’ll like to reach and the greatest height conceivable, then objectively conclude why what you determined as your greatest desirable height isn’t equal or close to the greatest height conceivable. You might find out that at the root of all those beautifully articulated grammar to explain why your wildest dream is wild enough is the stench of fear or mediocrity.

For example, all you want as the banker you are is to probably become chairman or CEO of a multinational, globally revered and recognized bank. But have you heard of Muhammad Yunus? Do you know why or what he won a Nobel Peace prize for? He invented the concept of Micro-financing and micro-crediting, and even he thinks there’s more ground to cover.

I hear the first step to muster something is to acknowledge its existence, and for me, I know that in some ways, I’m too mediocre in my thoughts. I’d like to be a bit more audacious and daring, and like to bring to life more, the scripture that says “He’s capable of doing more than I can ever ask or EVEN think of.”

Most of the things I’ve accomplished so far in my life are because of the God I serve, the friends and family I have, and the media (books, movies etc) I’ve been exposed to. These have really shaped my understanding of what is possible and achievable. You must understand that your reach can’t exceed your grasp, so you must have a pretty good picture of just how great a man you’re confident you can become, else you’ll be impressed, or even shocked with a GHC1000 pay check, whilst with a little more challenge and audacity, it could have been YOU writing a GHC1000 pay check for one of your junior employees.

So please choose those three things very wisely; The God you serve, the friends you make, and the media you expose yourself to; without your permission, they’ll shape you! The accomplishments of my friends alone propel me to aim higher. Their confidence in me makes me wonder why I don’t believe in myself some more, and their encouragement added to my trust in my God and the stuff I try to feed my mind with really make me feel indomitable (most of the time, hehehe).

So I’ll leave you with my favorite (original and copyrighted) mantra that I hope becomes yours also;

If you’re gonna stand, you might as well ~stand out~

If you’re gonna shine, you might as well *sparkle*

If you’re gonna make a sound, you might as well BLAASSTT!!

IF you’re gonna come apart, you might as well EXPLODE!!

And if you’re gonna make a move, you might as well go on ~~TURBO~~

Can we dream bigger? Will you?

PS: If you liked this, you know the drill ;-)



  1. Kobina said:

    So please choose those three things very wisely; The God you serve, the friends you make, and the media you expose yourself to; without your permission, they’ll shape you!

    August 3, 2016
  2. nife said:

    Really. I need this now more than ever. Thankyu. I’m glad i read it.

    April 15, 2015
    • BenJ said:

      God always does have some mysterious way of speaking to us, doesnt he?

      April 16, 2015
  3. Emily said:

    You best believe i will. Thank you for reminding me of something i’ve always known about but never really acted upon. Still i rise!!!

    June 4, 2013
  4. Gina said:

    Hi Ben, God bless you and thanks for the piece of advise.

    June 4, 2013
  5. nayel said:

    Thanks Ben!! God bless u

    June 4, 2013

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