I felt mediocre.
People who I went to college with are now in the US for higher studies.
People who prepared for MBA exams with me went to top colleges.
People who started working at the same time I did are now at a few levels higher than me and earning nearly double of what I do.
Then there are other set of people who are happily married to their loved ones.
All through that journey I felt mediocre just like you do.
I felt like a loser in the journey of life. I had nothing to look forward for in life. I lost everything I dreamed for in life. I was in depression.
You may even call it as quarter life crisis – where everyone seems to do better than you do. I was tired of comparing where I stand in the rat race.
I had two choices. One was to succumb to this and get stuck in rat race forever. Second was to change the way I lived. I chose the latter.That is where life happened.
I realized I had nothing else left to lose then. Even if I lost, it didn’t pain anymore.
I found my purpose and meaning to my life. I no longer did things because others were doing them. I did things because I love them. I do things because I want to do them. I just pursue happiness.
Now, I don’t feel mediocre anymore. I am pursuing my life for my sake. I am no longer in the rat race pursuing money and positions. If they come to me, well and good. Even if they don’t, I am happy with my life.
You can get rid of mediocrity too. As you have seen the secret is simple.
Start to live life for yourself than living life for what society terms as achievements.Don’t run after an outer score card. Prepare an inner score card.
Outer Score card : They are the marks you give yourself based on how the society perceives you.
Inner Score card: They are the marks you give yourself based on how you are performing against the metrics you set for yourself.
Let’s understand this through examples.
A lot of people pursue higher studies because everyone else in their circle is pursuing it. Whether you are interested in studying further or not is totally your own interest. Under graduate education helps you in landing up with a job. Pursue post graduation only if you are really interested in the subject. Post graduate education might give you a fat pay-check but it comes with a huge loan and mental stress too. In long run, money will not make you happy. Now make the decision what matters to you and stick to it. What your parents or friends are going to stay should not matter at all. No regrets in the future.
Outer Score Card:Post Graduation which gives high pay check
Inner Score Card: Be happy with what you have studied or want to study
Society tells you that you can’t get married after a certain age. But, when you want to get married and how you want to get married and who you want to get married to is your choice. Take a year. Or two years. Or even five years. But decide on the basic things. Once you have decided what others have to say about your choice should not matter.
Outer Score Card: Get married at 25
Inner Score Card: Get married when you meet the right person
What are your expectations out of your career? Is it job satisfaction? Work-life balance? Or high paying job and top positions? Reason it out in your head, what matters to you. Once you decide pursue that. If you want job satisfaction and later when your friend is highly paid and you are not, you are not supposed to feel unhappy. Because in your score card, you measure your life only against job satisfaction and not money.
Outer Score Card: Pay check
Inner Score Card: Satisfaction and happiness
There will be many other areas of life like health, quality of relationships, hobbies, etc.
Make a score card for all of them and define the metrics.
It is a time taking exercise and it might even take a year for you. But it is okay to spend time on this. You will be clearer on your life path.
You can’t please everyone all the time. So learn to please yourself.
A few people disagree with this approach. They take it as avoiding deadlines and not being ambitious.
But the truth is you are not aiming for the short term. But for the long term. You are not doing what society expects you to do now and later regret it.
You are doing what your heart says. You will have to face the criticism now. But it is you, who is going to benefit in the long term.
Stop feeling mediocre and live a rich life.
Happy living life to the fullest!