Every now and again while having a look around on the Career sites I find some little gem that sums up a concept so well and concisely that it sticks in my mind and becomes part of my personal philosophy.
I had such a moment recently when reading the Career NZ blog post Career conversation with a 12 year old Hawke where one of the Career NZ staff gives humorous advice to their 12-year-old self. This has become a popular way to reflect on how far you’ve come on your journey while providing lots of opportunity for humour. But what really struck was a line in one of the comments.
It takes just as long to be great as to be mediocre. The time is going to pass anyway. Commit to excellence, to get better and better each day, and to never, never stop until you reach the summit.
Great words. Michelangelo said the forms he created in stone were always there he just liberated them (words to that effect anyway) – likewise it just took someone to sculpt that thought by summing up what would otherwise be a loose concept in a single concrete form – in this case a short phrase: it takes just as long to be great as to be mediocre. That’s a keeper.
But wait a sec you say, it takes ages to be awesome and no time at all to be mediocre.
That’s true but that’s looking at it from the wrong end. Imagine a future where you’ve dedicated a little time here and there and where ever possible to become great or knowledgable in one particular skill or field. You can imagine there are some great rewards that would come with that. Then looking back from this potential future you realise that if you hadn’t taken that time and made that commitment you’d be pretty average and it would have taken you just as long.
Sure it’s not easy to take that time and make that commitment but when that time passes and you’re somewhere in the future however distant from now, how will you wish you’d spent that time? Looks like now might be a good time to find your motivation or passion and to take some first steps towards excellence.
It takes just as long to be great as to be mediocre. The time is going to pass anyway. Commit to excellence, to get better and better each day, and to never, never stop until you reach the summit
So good it’s worth saying twice! By the way, I googled the phrase to find its origin and I don’t know if I found it but this post called 7 tips to boost sales seems to be a good contender. Great advice and it applies no matter what discipline you apply it to.