“Most humans, in varying degrees, are already dead. In one way or another they have lost their dreams, their ambitions, their desire for a better life. They have surrendered their fight for self-esteem and they have compromised their great potential. They have settled for a life of mediocrity, days of despair and nights of tears. They are no more than living deaths confined to cemeteries of their choice. Yet they need not remain in that state. They can be resurrected from their sorry condition. They can each perform the greatest miracle in the world. They can each come back from the dead…”
The quote sums up my life during our crisis of 2018. It took me a year to regain my identity and zest for life and to avoid mediocrity, an unfulfilled life without the highs and lows. Last week, our son experienced the roller coaster of highs and lows in his life. Like us, he takes calculated risks, always seeking to fulfill dreams.
Yet, along with the journey through a fulfilled life, one will experience intense lows with the exhilarating highs. Ron told our son, “You can live a life of mediocrity, but you will never experience the highs and lows. This is such an exciting time in your life, and we are so proud that you are living without mediocrity. This low will pass.”
And of course, it did. So, as you tour my photos of cemeteries in Baja, Mexico, here are some tips to avoid a mediocre life.
1. Think BIG. Take Baby Steps.
Set big goals for your life, yet take baby steps to achieve them. We always had a passion for travel. But, we started small, depending on vacation time, children, and monetary resources. Then, as we aged, we expanded our travels abroad, and eventually fulfilled our dreams of living and retiring abroad.
2. Take Calculated Risks
When we told friends and family that we were retiring early and moving to Nicaragua, they thought we were crazy. They never knew that we had a well-planned goal and we were not doing this crazy thing on an impulsive whim. I will let you in on a little secret. I am proud to fly my freak flag. I like being different and doing things that mediocrity won’t permit.
3. Try New Things
This is where I tell myself that I have to make friends with my fear. Mediocre people are fearful people. That is why they spend their lives doing the same things over and over. Sure, it is difficult to overcome our fears, but by avoiding them, we become trapped in a boring and unfulfilled life. You might as well be dead.
4. Be Not Average
Don’t listen to the majority. Be a not average person. Average or so-so people are followers. They take the well-worn paths and the paths of least resistance to avoid fear. Be a leader. Forge through the tall weeds, make new paths, be unique.
This has been a harder one for me. Although, I have always been not average, I have to force myself to be more spontaneous in forging new paths. But, thankfully, I have Ron who helps me through the tangle of weeds.
5. Surround Yourself with People who are Different
Be the minority. When we lived on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua, we were the only white foreigners in our neighborhood. If you have never had an opportunity to be immersed in a totally different culture, try it. We seek out different races, cultures, genders, ages, and try to immerse ourselves in the differences because that is where we really learn of our similarities. Be tolerant of others. We are all seeking the same things. Love, acceptance, freedom to be who we are.
Living a fulfilled life with highs and lows, one will never be bored. And, it is never too late to come back from the dead.
Have you overcome a life of mediocrity? What tips do you have to live a fulfilled life?