Overcoming Mediocrity & The Status Quo

We've all heard actions speak louder than words. That's because what we do, not what we know or say, produces our results. You've also probably heard insanity defined as, 'Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result'. I want to add to that, 'Doing something the easiest way and expecting excellent results'. So, it's actions that separate mediocrity from excellence.

These are truths we all know but only peak performers and leaders use to their greatest advantage. By definition, mediocrity creeps up on and overcomes the majority of people and has to be overcome to become extraordinary. You cannot expect mediocrity, or the status quo, to produce excellence.

Knowing these truths, why do people keep doing what they've been doing while wanting better results, a better life or a better company? Why do the majority hold on to and even fight to protect their routines or status quo? Our habits or routines either serve us by generating the actions that produce the results we want, or trap us in our own status quo which keeps us doomed to produce the same, or, even worse, diminishing results.

What drives people to create the routines or habits that fill their day? Why do most people create routines that lead them to produce average results? Why do most people in the same field of endeavor act so similar and have similar routines? The answer to these questions will give you the power to overcome average by creating new routines that will produce improved results.

Uncovering the motives that produce your daily routine is the first step in changing it.  Knowing how to disrupt your routine will allow you to break free from the habits that are holding you back. By managing the motive of your routine, you'll empower yourself to generate the new routines and habit needed to improve your results.

For over 20 years I've been studying people, their motives and routines. I've been interviewing individuals and asking groups of people why they do what they do each day at work. This has left me with one definitive reason average performers create their routines. The answer is to find the easiest, or most efficient way to do what they have to do each day.

As long as a person's motive is to find the easiest, most efficient or most comfortable way to do somethings, they will never produce more than mediocre results. The easiest way to do something rarely produces the best result. In fact, it's usually the worst way. 

Most people working at the same job will create similar routines that produce almost the same results. They will avoid the same challenging tasks, the one's that produce the best results. 

Sometimes, more creative and intelligent people use these skills to find easier ways to do their work. This often produces below average results from what should be top performers. Other highly skilled people may produce just above average results, while doing their job the easiest way but never producing excellence even with their superior skills. People's motives and routines must change to raise their performance and make them extraordinary.

To overcome mediocrity or the status quo, the motive driving your routines has to change from, finding the easiest way to do your job, to finding the best way to do your job.

Peak performers are constantly looking to learn, grow and improve. This helps them change their routines. It drives them to create better habits and never except the status quo. If you want to produce superior results, you'll have to develop the habit of  'Doing things you don't want to do.' These will be the things the majority of people are trying avoid that makes them mediocre.
Changing up your routines also keeps you from becoming bored, losing energy or being so focused on doing what you usually do (your own status quo) that you develop tunnel vision and miss new opportunities.

Improved self-esteem and self-confidence along with increased passion and energy are some of the additional side benefits to, 'Doing things you don't want to do.' 

Passion and curiosity to challenge the status quo always proceeds finding the best way to do anything that produces excellence. 

By Mike Moore