Breaking Free from Mediocrity and Familiarity

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I’m writing this post at the request of Marcus Sheridan, TheSalesLion.com – Marcus felt a comment I left on this post had some value to offer the community and suggested that I use excerpts in a blog post. So, coming from someone I respect immensely, I’m doing what any good student would do and I’m following through with his suggestion.

Mediocrity and Familiarity

We are surrounded by mediocrity and familiarity. These surroundings are what ‘have’ and what ‘are’ shaping our life experience as we know it. These two things determine the quality of your life. As well, these conditions are so ingrained into our being that it’s very rare for individuals to ever break free of the mold that has shaped who we are.

Only a small percentage of folks see outside of that mold and get a glimpse of their true potential. These break free from the bonds of mediocrity and familiarity to experience life from an entirely different perspective — The driver’s seat.

Its one thing to react to everything around us in life; its quite another to establish the future before it arrives. The things you dream of can be your reality simply by taking action and making them happen. These visions are there for a reason. They provide a peek at what the future could hold if you act on them.

Every single thing you see around you was a vision in someone’s mind. The shopping center down the road, the skyscrapers downtown, the park and neighborhood your kids are growing up in… All of these were first born in the mind of an individual who put action behind their dream and made it a reality. You’re literally experiencing someone else’s dream!

Success Requires Losing Some to Gain Others

Becoming a self-made success story will sometimes require that we lose some friends along the way to gain others. Most of your friends won’t support your big dreams. While you’re beginning to see a much bigger picture that inspires you, your friends will want to hang out and do the same things they’ve always done. In most cases those things aren’t relative to the new course of success you’ve set out on. It’s these familiar relationships that keep your current reality in tact, and unless some of those familiar relationships change, it will be impossible for to change your life.

Even family members don’t really want you to change. They’ll call you crazy or a dreamer for desiring to be famous or ultra-successful and say “These things are just not in the cards for you.” Some pretty motivating stuff for someone who finally has a vision for their life, yes?

You will undoubtedly experience some of these situations with family and friends along the way. Just be prepared for it and don’t let anyone who doesn’t s support and celebrate your life or your dreams dictate what’s best for you. In order to live and experience awesome, you need to live a life that best serves your purpose in life. Only you can determine what that is.

Once you realize that, you need to surround yourself with people who have a mindset and conversation that can assist and support the vision you have for your life.

Overcoming Circumstances and Being Prepared For Success

Change is neither natural nor comfortable for the person being changed, or to those who love the person changing. Those you least expect will attempt to stop you from pursuing your dreams and changing your circumstances. And, once you do begin to have some success, your ‘good’ friends and even some of those family members will despise you for it and say things like “You think you’re better than us!” Really, this comes from friends and family.

To add to the challenges, building a successful life is not easy. There is so much to learn about life — and not the things you read about in books! Success is built on experience and many of the lessons you learn about business and life are HARD lessons. They’re difficult — they stretch you, emotionally challenge you, mentally exhaust you and bring you to your knees in some cases. Just remember this; every bit of it is necessary to prepare you for the success you dream of. The things you learn in this process are precisely what will get you to where you want to be.

Success comes to those who have been prepared emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Leave one of these out of the mix and success will be elusive to you. All of these are necessary for balance. Money doesn’t buy happiness. It doesn’t make you a loving husband or a patient loving parent. Lusting after money and more money is no way to live. I’ve known some of the most broken people who had loads of cash and were completely empty, unfulfilled and alone.

Becoming Part of the Bigger Picture

The uncomfortable part of life is being honest with your self. That isn’t an ability we’re born with, on the contrary, many are held hostage to a delusion that they’re OK and everybody else needs to get a clue about life. We dilute ourselves by believing the world revolves around us, when in reality we’re just a small part of a much bigger picture. The trick is to see that picture and discover where you fit in. You need to ask yourself “What are my strengths and gifts and how can I provide value to others most effectively?”

For some folks, that’s becoming a doctor or lawyer – for others it’s inventing things or developing technologies – and for others being a great parent or primary caregiver for the sick… the list goes on – What were you born to do?

Most people don’t ever consider this picture because dealing with life’s circumstances has left their dreams dormant. Life’s worries and fears have stolen their vision of who they are and where they’re going. They reach the conclusion they have to do things they hate to be responsible and do the right thing when in reality; they would be happier and excel in life by living their dreams.

We were born to fill a need, serve a purpose and be a productive participant of a community. One clue to identifying what that may be is to pay attention to your dreams. Providing value to the community is how we create value for ourselves and our families. Living our dreams is where we belong. Living life on our own terms and not someone else’s is natural. Anything less is unnatural. Is it a wonder that so many people are not happy with their life…

Fighting the Good Fight for the Common Good of All

Overcoming fear, doubt, and insecurities is a hard thing to do. This is a daily exercise for entrepreneurs. We’re constantly tempted with these thoughts. The only thing that keeps us going is a deep understanding that we can be better, we can do better, we can make a difference in the world and our best is yet to come.

When you have a vision for more than just yourself, the lives of others can be a great inspiration for staying the course and building a life of purpose and accomplishment.

Conclusion

These are things I’ve learned along the way. Everybody’s experience is different and valuable. Why? Because were not really all that different…

We share many of the same experiences, just in our own shape and flavor. Sharing these experiences with others can provide inspiration, answers, and direction to many who are seeking how to go about living their dreams or shut off the replaying nightmares.

My advice to everyone is to share ‘YOU’ with the world (community) liberally – you’ll help others grow as a result, however, most of all you’ll grow more, learn more, and become more effective and capable at contributing value to the community as a whole. This is the foundation an enriched and wealthy life can be built upon.

What steps have you taken or changes have you made to make your dreams a reality?


You can connect with me on my Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn and Mark on Google+.


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Category : Blog &Inspiration

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao

    Mark,

    This is a substantial posts and may very well be one the most important articles anybody has published in a long time. You’re forcing us to confront things that aren’t easy to deal with but ultimately enable us to reach our full potential:

    The Drivers’s Seat: The reason this is a scary place to because it means you are now responsible for the circumstances of your life. You’re choosing to take an active part in how things turn out for. You can no longer blame the world around you, make excuses or any of that nonsense. The only thing to do here is taking action and get moving. That’s why they call it the drivers seat. I love that you brought up the fact that world around was once nothing more than a vision created by somebody.

    Losing Some to Gain Others: This is perhaps one of the toughest things about pushing yourself on the path to success. Our need for approval from the world around is us really built into us. Sometimes the people closest to us, despite their best intentions try to hold us back. I think a friend said to me once “they’ll keep calling you crazy until what you do works. Then they’ll you a genius.” I know for me going so far off the beaten path from that of my friends and family has been tough at times. But it’s the leap of faith we have to take that you spoke of when we met the other day.

    Preparation for Success: It’s interesting that you brought up how all our challenge prepare us for success. I think that there’s a delusion that with success life becomes free of challenges, but I think anybody who has done it know that all that happens is you’re faced with a new and different set of challenges. If success was easy, everybody would do whatever it takes.

    The Bigger Picture/Common Good: I think we stop asking far too early in life what we’re actually good at and do what “makes sense.” Predictability, a guaranteed income(even if it means doing what we hate), and getting comfortable to the point where we don’t push our limits are the recipe for mediocrity. As far as taking steps, I’ve just jumped off the edge and I figured the parachute will open after what might be a bumpy ride, but ultimately a smooth landing:)

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      I absolutely love your style Srini!

      You are the man and yes, you’ve jumped off the edge!

      What’s most intriguing to me Srini is being part of this journey with you. I’m absolutely convinced you’ll be scaling and diving off more mountains in the pursuit of creating awesomeness.

      That’s the stuff worthwhile lives and extraordinary businesses are built on. I want to be part of creating and building something great : )

      For those of you who may not be familiar with Srinis work, check out his two websites:

      http://theskooloflife.com/wordpress
      http://blogcastfm.com

      I appreicate your support and words of encouragement Srini, it means a lot, thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Mark, you say I’ve got a wise head, but you my friend, you have the years to back it up.

    I’m impressed and touched by the depth and openness in this post. I can tell it comes from a man who has lived what he writes. You’ve been there, and came back to tell us all the story.

    And you’re right, we shouldn’t settle for mediocrity. We shouldn’t settle for being average. Why should we settle for anything less than greatness? We weren’t meant to walk this Earth just to find a nice job, raise 2.5 children, and retire into a peaceful life before kicking the bucket. We were meant to be great. We were meant to have special, beautiful lives.

    I look at myself sometimes, and I ask myself “what am I doing to make my life great?” I try my best, and hope that my life will become richer for the attempt :-)

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Ya know Stu, I am absolutely sure you ask yourself that question – that is precisely why you’re such an amazing individual : )

      You’re doing some meaningful and important work. I’m just happy to call you a friend and I’m excited to learn and share in this journey with you.

      Your support and feedback means the world to me Stu, thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/WeBlogBetter Kiesha E

    Hi Mark!
    I left what most people would call a comfortable, corporate job with sweet benefits, so that I could pursue my writing career via blogging and freelancing. I recently looked and one of those old check-stubs and even though I have yet to make the same on my own, I don’t regret leaving.

    With each new success and milestone, I feel more alive – I’m working toward my full potential now.

    I’m no longer screaming inside my head in the quiet confines of my cubicle :)

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Kiesha – I’m so inspired by your comment. It brings back so many memories. On one hand it can be scary, on the other, there is nothing more rewarding than taking a huge risk on your dreams and seeing them come to fruition.

      I admire your courage and that is precisely what it takes to live an extraordinary life. You’re well on your way to leaving a big mark in the world : )

      There will be a day in your future that the check stub you used to make will pale in comparison to the value and wealth you’ve created by taking action on your dreams. Keep this at the forefront of your mind when those bad days raise their ugly head. You were born to be awesome : )

      Cheers Keisha!

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com/ Marcus Sheridan,The Sales Lion

    Wow Mark, may I just say I’m so very glad you decided to turn this into a full post. It was magical and powerful.

    You made so many great points here, I’ll just mention a few–

    The idea that we’re literally experiencing someone else’s dream is something I’ve never actually thought about, but the idea is an amazing and moving one. Heck, I’m just sitting here in my office right now and all of the sudden my desk just took on a different character….Hmm, very, very cool Mark.

    Also, speaking of friends and family– Every major decision of my life has been questioned by others (often times family)–

    Going on a mission to Chile
    Getting married in College
    Having 4 kids
    Sticking with my business when all was lost
    Spending countless hours writing a blog
    etc, etc

    Notwithstanding, those decisions were some of the best and most impactful of my life. But I knew they were right, and we we feel inspired to do great things, we’ve simply got to look at friends and family and smile with gratitude when they question our actions, and then go about our way, with or without their support.

    Again, this was some great writing Mark. Thanks for such a powerful message.

    Marcus

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Marcus – well to be honest, I wouldn’t have written it if it wasn’t for you suggesting the idea. I’m a bit short on creativity, but some say I make up for with my enthusiasm for life : )

      You’re a resource and inspiration for so many people. You bring the best out in us. You’ll touch thousands of lives with your work as a result of being a man of courage who pursues his dreams.

      Without a vision or dreams for your life, someone else will interject their idea’s of what your life should be. This typically leads to a life of regret and resentment. This is not the way life should be for anyone.

      So, I’m impressed to follow your lead and bring out the best qualities in people that make them shine and excel in life. Sometimes all it takes providing recognition and letting folks know how much you appreciate their contributions. Just letting someone know you think they’re awesome can change someones life.

      Cheers to awesome people in the community Marcus!

      • http://www.thesaleslion.com/ Marcus Sheridan,The Sales Lion

        Kind, kind words Mark. And once again, incredibly well said. Thx mate.

  • http://twitter.com/lorigosselin Lori Gosselin

    Mark Mark Mark! This was awesome! I particularly liked “You’re literally experiencing someone else’s dream!” Recently my husband and I made a new vision board together. I think they are a powerful tool to give a visual map of your dreams to your subconscious mind.

    It is a long journey, with much to be learned along the way. I like how you say”Success comes to those who have been prepared emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually”. Getting all those up to par is a LOT of work.

    Life,for instance is turning out to be much more than I though it would – beyond the writing [my passion] beyond the community-building [another passion] is the abundance of inspiration that is available to me on a daily basis here in the Blogosphere – like in this post, for instance!

    I also just discovered a blogger who does short videos each day. His theme today is very much in line with what you’ve written about. http://www.yourgreatlifetv.com/emotional-force/how-to-share-your-deepest-gift-with-everyone-you-meet

    Thanks for this Mark!
    Lori

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Lori,

      The community is alive with awesome people who are getting things done… at least the communities we’re part of are : )

      I really love Bernardo’s work too. He is leveraging video in a very powerful way with great information that can help people reach their full potential.

      It’s all about the people, connections and relationships that make blogging a rewarding activity. Focus on that with your blogging efforts and you can accomplish just about any goals that you’ve set for yourself.

      Thanks for being such an inspiring and upbeat person Lori… you make any community better just by being there : )

  • http://www.expatlifecoach.com/blog John Falchetto

    Mark! Pure gold. This has so much value, it’s ridiculous.

    I like this ‘Most people don’t ever consider this picture because dealing with life’s circumstances has left their dreams dormant’. This is our biggest flaw I think. We turn our attention to everything (as you pointed out, family, friends, colleagues) which doesn’t really help us being the best we can be.

    The steps I have taken were simply to focus on the hard, not always fun stuff. This is where progress is made, not on FB chats or Twitter or any other ‘fun’ activity online. The same goes for off-line, we always look for the easy way out, shortcuts and other means to escape the heavy lifting.
    Focus on the tough work and you are probably close to doing what should be done.

    Love this post Mark.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Coming from James Bond, I’ll take that compliment!

      I’ve never been the most talented person in the group John, but you would be hard pressed to find another who can out work me : )

      I’m not quite sure that’s the best mentality to possess. I’m sure I got that from my parents. They worked hard and they passed that on to their kids. It doesn’t fit the four hour work week mold. Maybe I’m just dumb and have to work harder than others?

      All I can say is I had to work my butt off for every success I’ve had to date and I don’t plan on anything worthwhile being handed to me on a silver platter.

      So, I’m with you and focusing on the heavy lifting. That has always paid dividends : )

      Cheers John, and thank you for your continued support, it means the world to me.

      Give my best to Bip and Ameena : )

  • http://www.newbizblogger.com Michele Welch

    Wow Mark! Some of the things you’ve said were just brilliant! Your comment “You’re literally experiencing someone else’s dream!” was so powerful. You forget that every store you go into, every restaurant you eat at, ever shoe you try on, was someones dream…someones creation. If they can do it, why not you?

    And how lessons are “difficult — they stretch you, emotionally challenge you, mentally exhaust you and bring you to your knees in some cases.” So right on! I’m constantly on a roller coaster ride, second guessing myself and what I do and if I’m doing it “right” instead of just being ok with how things are and how things are not.

    Talk about opening a can of worms, huh? LOL

    Anyway, talk about perfect timing reading this right now… just when I needed it. I think everything presents itself when you need it and this was it for sure.

    Stay awesome!

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Michele – I feel all of your pain and joy too!

      If it was easy, everybody would be building a life of independence and meaning. I’m convinced it’s those who desire to give to others who set out on such endeavors.

      Our dreams aren’t just for us, they are for many to experience.

      My only suggestion to you is don’t lose the vision you had when you started down this road. You will get there when you’re suppose to be there.. it’s the road traveled to get there that throws people off. It never goes as planned, and in fact, everything that could go wrong does!

      What separates those who are living their dreams and those who never taste of them is never giving in and never settling for anything less than everything you’ve imagined.

      Everyday is one day closer to experiencing the fullness of your vision.

      Cheers to you and your success Michelle!

      • http://www.newbizblogger.com Michele Welch

        Thanks Mark! That really made a difference for me!

        Btw, sending over my friend Sherryl Perry to check out your article. Don’t know if you know her, but I think she can get a lot out of this conversation (and your wise words ;-).

        Take care.

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          I’m happy that you’ve been inspired Michele. I too have been inspired by you – thank you for sharing a piece of yourself so openly here : )

          I’m looking forward to being on this journey to success with you Michelle.

          I have a feeling that you’re going to accomplish some extraordinary things in life!

  • http://www.markharai.com Billy Delaney

    The story of my life in a post?

    Can’t and won’t settle for less that what I need to become. The fulfillment of the dreams and aspirations long held as my compass in the oceans of mediocrity.

    Thanks Mark, nail this one to the mast as well, job done!

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Billy, I’m certain a man with your experience and relate to some of things I’ve brought up here.

      I really liked your blog post today… I’m thinking of ways to bring the ocean to a boil!

      Thanks for your continued support and I’m sure I will seeing you soon somewhere on the social web : )

      For those of you who may not be familiar with Bills work, here is his latest article:

      “Is Your Small Business Trying to Boil an Ocean with A Candle?” http://dimepr.com/x/1e6

      • http://www.markharai.com Billy Delaney

        Mark thankyou!

        It is air to my ’3rd lung’ :) to get comments from you like this. Oh yes I can relate alright. Truth told I bet there are a ton of boomers who would die a little more if they read this article, unless they had the capacity for Viveks lung. :)

        All the best and I do hope to meet up with you soon. Maybe a call on Skype or something like that?

        PS. I appreciate the link to my last article thanks again.

        Billy

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          It’s my pleasure to share the value of others who give of themselves liberally Billy : )

          This is going to be lot’s of fun!

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Billy, I’m certain a man with your experience and relate to some of things I’ve brought up here.

      I really liked your blog post today… I’m thinking of ways to bring the ocean to a boil!

      Thanks for your continued support and I’m sure I will seeing you soon somewhere on the social web : )

      For those of you who may not be familiar with Bills work, here is his latest article:

      “Is Your Small Business Trying to Boil an Ocean with A Candle?” http://dimepr.com/x/1e6

  • http://www.asparkstarts.com Frank Jennings

    Mark,

    WOW!!! I can’t believe you are giving this stuff away for free. This was outstanding, real and deep. In my pursuit of a dream I have moved away from the city I was born and raised in. I have broken some deep relationships with friends who didn’t believe in my vision. I have even sacrificed time, money, and sanity :-) to reach for a dream. But, before I do any dreaming I always ask myself, is it worth it?

    I am learning that the road to success is a toll road and one must be willing to pay the cost to get where you want to go. It might not always cost you money but you pay for it in some way shape or form.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      My main man Frank!

      Hope all is well with you and yours sir. It’s great to hear from you.

      It’s going to be fun to watch your journey to the top Frank. You’ve got real substance, writing chops and great experience — the kind it takes to accomplish great things in life.

      I’m stoked that we are connected my man : )

      Thank you for your continued support and inspiration, I appreciate it very much.

  • http://twitter.com/yourgreatlifetv Bernardo Mendez

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for this thorough post on what it really takes to live your dreams and disregard mediocrity.

    In my mind a lot of what you wrote about comes down to realizing that in this awesome journey called life, anything that is worth achieving will not be done without sacrifice. That sacrifice however, can be enjoyable and powerful if shared with human beings who want to support and see you grow.

    Inevitably some people will not be able to handle your success so it will be important so learn why and when to say goodbye to them.

    The most powerful advice you shared in my mind was towards the end when you speak about sharing yourself liberally with others. It is in this giving of yourself that you will truly be free and through this sharing, that you will be able to die completely given.

    I am glad to count on you as a new friend and thank you again for sharing your heart in this message.

    -Bernardo

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Bernardo, we definitely see life from a similar mindset. I like what you said here: “That you will be able to die completely given.” This is a worthwhile way to view life.

      Many folks are a bit lost and see things from a “What can I get out this” kind of mindset, at it’s a very limiting and constrictive way to experience life. It’s sad really.

      I am looking forward to building a solid relationship with you Bernardo ; )

  • http://twitter.com/vivekmayasandra Vivek Mayasandra

    Hi Mark!
    So I creeped onto your site through a tweet by Srini, and this post is a straight up gem. As someone who’s just starting out on this whole blogging/lifechanging/entrepreneuring path, it’s refreshing to read this post. You’ve really struck a chord with me particularly in the “losing some to gain others” category. I think when we’re initially thinking about a lot of this stuff, we tend to horde whatever we possibly can in an effort to maintain a sense of what we consider normalcy. But I really think letting go opens up a 3rd lung with which you can inhale some refreshing, enlightening and challenging air to push you forward.

    Thanks for the post!
    Vivek

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      LOL, this is a classic statement Vivek and one I won’t forget:

      “I really think letting go opens up a 3rd lung with which you can inhale some refreshing, enlightening and challenging air to push you forward.”

      I hope you don’t mind me using that from time to time : )

      Meeting new people who can help you get where you want to go in life is pretty exciting. I’ve always surrounded myself with much smarter and more capable people doing the things I saw myself doing. It worked like a charm.

      And, it still does : )

      Thanks for stopping by Vivek, I’m going to go check out your blog and see where we can connect.

      Cheers to you!

    • http://www.markharai.com Billy Delaney

      Hello Vivek.
      I really see your “3rd lung” and I can really appreciate this turn of phrase.
      It captures the essence of what Mark has posted.
      Maybe that is why so many people drown in mediocrity! The won’t or can’t use this “3rd lung” to breath and survive.
      So thanks for what you have said.
      I will probably think about this “3rd Lung” all day :)

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Powerful!

    Thanks Mark and thanks Marcus for suggesting this.

    I like your last line and will use it when I share it!

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving some thoughts here : )

      Marcus Sheridan is one of the finest human-beings on this planet. You’ve definitely found a great friend and someone to learn from on all things having to do with life in general.

      He knows a few things about building blog communities too : )

      Cheers to you and Marcus!

  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

    Hola Mark, great post and obviously a lot of time and thought went into it.

    It is so, so easy to settle for mediocrity and the status quo. Change can be unpleasant or scary. Especially if a family relies on your for support and you are contemplating a life or career change.

    It is my opinion that if you aren’t at least willing to embrace change for the opportunity to grow you will become stagnant and complacent. This usually leads to a life that is not fulfilling, always wondering ‘what if’.

    There is no ‘age’ you have to stop learning and growing. In fact, I think it can keep you young and vibrant in mind and spirit.

    As you grow you will have to deal with the fact not everyone is on the same page as you and some will even be detractors. This is where you have to be single focused enough to maintain your vision and what you want to accomplish.

    I deal with at risk kids in the Guardian ad Litem program and I always preach to them you are not a product of your circumstances. From this point forward you need to look ahead and what you can be. Don’t let past circumstances dictate who you are. Visualize what success looks like to you, and come up w/ a plan on how to get there. Expect it and be prepared for it when it happens.

    We all have a purpose and need to remind ourselves the world does not revolve around us but how can we help the bigger ‘good’. Who or what can we bring value to through our involvement.

    Ok Marcus……………I had to get onto to him for his last serious post and now you drop one too………….I guess I can be serious when I need to as well.

    Good to see you and thanks for sharing.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Nice — the serious side of Bill Dorman – an inside look here, thanks :P

      It’s really cool that you work with risk kids. I’ve done a fair amount of that kind of work too and it’s not easy. These kids are great kids, they just don’t deal real well with their emotions and some of the things they’ve had to deal with growing up.

      Dealing with the emotional side of life is difficult when you’ve got them all pent up insight like a time bomb ready to go off. I really admire your work here Bill.

      The future holds so much potential for anyone who recognizes it. Life is exciting, especially when you’re doing things that don’t have a predetermined outcome — only the determination to make your vision and dreams a reality.

      I appreciate you dropping some wisdom and inspiration here Bill, I really appreciate it ; )

  • http://twitter.com/skywardjason Jason Hughes

    Mark, man your genuine goodness just flows through your writing. This post is jam packed with wisdom.
    Your question:
    “What are my strengths and gifts and how can I provide value to others most effectively?”…is something I constantly meditate on as I see those strengths and gifts as something I responsible to see put to good use.

    You also spoke of having a “vision for more than yourself” which is also key.
    What’s great about this is that you’ve pointed these principles out in a post that’s titled “Breaking Free From Mediocrity and Familiarity”….just goes to show it doesn’t matter what we talk about, life always points us back to maximizing our potential and serving others.
    Awesome Mark! Thank You

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Yep, I absolutely loved your reply Jason – felt that one : )

      It seems you too have identified a very important action that leads to building a wealthy life – “Maximize your potential by serve others.”

      You are the man Jason!

  • http://twitter.com/MummyinProvence Mummy in Provence

    What a great post! Trying to set yourself apart is truly daunting – it’s like running down the street naked … if you have an awesome body, a deep Mediterranean tan and an awesome message you will succeed or you could end up tripping, falling head first into the arms of a policeman who will arrest you on the spot. Ok, that’s am extreme example but it does embody the challenges and fears of so many out there. It’s HARD to make that step out of the box and instead settle for mediocracy that you know is safe, you may not be incredibly successful but you might make it, someday, maybe, perhaps!

    Here’s to SYMBOLICALLY stripping down (but putting on a shield of steel) and throwing ourselves out there and taking the good with the bad. It rocks as long as it’s authentic!

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      I love your enthusiasm Ameena!

      OK, I’m stripped bare – and 110% with you on jumping in with both feet.

      This one thing is for sure; you are equipped with whatever it takes to survive. Everything will be OK, whether you’re mediocre and safe, or a risk taker doing it your way, the way you’ve always dreamed of.

      For some, the exhilarating leap off a tall building will never happen. For others being alive, being free and living their dreams is a way of life and they will settle for nothing less.

      Cheers to living the latter : )

  • http://hustlersnotebook.com Jk Allen

    Awe man Mark – this was legit! And you tried to tell us you’re note a writer!!!

    I enjoy and learn from all of your posts, but this one has to go down as one of the post powerful – at least for me.

    Mediocrity, to me means normal. Normal to me, means average. And average, to my standards for myself means not performing to my ability – hence being weak and lazy. I don’t hold anyone else to my own personal standards, not even my kids or siblings, because everyone has a different level of hustle in them. My foundation as an adult is comprised by a tough childhood…seeing the bottom, I know I don’t EVER want to be there again, so I hustle hard – I don’t allow mediocrity to fester. It definitely creeps in; I’m on human, but I try to extinguish it with all deliberate speed.

    I’ve accepted the responsibility to do whatever I can to make sure that people know that they have options beyond what they are familiar with. I believe we own our results and we get what we give. Some people sit around and wait for luck…but again, I think we’re our own luck factory: the harder we work, the luckier we become (I just wrote this in a post I’ll be releasing tomorrow).

    Terrific words of wisdom Mark. I’m sure you’ve awakened some on this one. I love it.

    PEACE

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Jk!

      It’s good to see you today man and looking forward to reading tomorrow’s article : )

      That’s been a mantra of mine for quite sometime now “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

      It’s so true too. When you’re building businesses, networking, and getting your story out there, it opens so many doors. You just one contact away or one meeting away from breakthrough.

      It’s pushing through when all seems lost or you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel…then all of a sudden – BAM – a door opens and it’s on and cracking :P

      Most people quit when the success they desire was just around the corner.

      PEACE BRO!

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Mark,

    That’s another brilliant post. I know from experience exactly what you’re saying.

    I have just finished writing my first novel, and I’m about to contact publishers (probable within two weeks or so). A long the way I’ve talked to a lot of different people. Some are very excited about what I’m doing, others think I’m sort of stupid. Why would I leave my job and start writing, without knowing the outcome?

    I’m doing it because I want to. It’s not my passion, I just want to do it. That’s what I tell them. Along the way I have discovered that it’s a lot more fun and it gives me a lot more energy to be around positive people. People who are like me and enjoy what I do and what I can bring to the table.

    - Jens

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Jens – Wow, these are very exciting times for you ; )

      I love your perspective on life. I’m with you – I like to surround myself with positive people who are contributing value to this life experience.

      We have so much to offer each other along the way and I really believe we are stronger, more capable and able to contribute more effectively together than we are alone.

      It’s journey together with a community of people who are determined to make a difference in the world one relationship at a time.

      Thanks so much for leaving such an inspiring comment. I really appreciate you and am very happy to be part of your journey : )

      Cheers Jens!

      • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

        Hi Mark,

        Yes, I’m very excited right now… and I have no clue where this journey is going to lead me. Hopefully a lot of good things are going to happen.

        The novel is finished, and I have had three people read it. And the feedback has been amazing :)

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          I have a suspicion you a very clear vision of where it is your going : )

          I am happy to support your efforts anyway I can Jens. You need to provide good instructions on how I can best do that though.

          Cheers to living your dreams Jens!

          • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

            Just keep on writing awesome and inspiring content. I get so full of energy when I read posts like the ones you are writing. It’s just amazing.

  • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

    In short, my life was changed for me when I woke up one day to realize I had no control over my drinking. It was on that day that I was fully honest with myself about my situation, and realized that things had to change. And change they did, for the much, much better. I wouldn’t trade anything I have now for anything I had then.

    Being a recovered alcoholic gives me a different perspective on life. Having hit a serious rock bottom I am grateful for everything that I have, however I am not content. I always strive to move ahead, taking massive action to achieve my goals. Thankfully the life I have and my wife and daughter fully support me, and I them.

    So to answer your question, I have shaped my life such that I am in the best position to achieve my vision, which is to be able to provide the best life for my family and ensure that they have many options available to them.

    At the end of the day that’s why I do what I do.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      I admire your courage Robert. Successful lives are built on courage and the ability to see and understand things.

      So many folks are simply walking through life in the dark.

      While you’ve had to deal with challenging circumstances in your life, it’s those very things that give you the ability to see so clearly now.

      It’s on ongoing fight, but at least you have the understanding, knowledge and determination to be all you can be and you’re equipped to deal with and contribute to the mystery of life that baffles most.

      I look forward to learning, sharing and growing with you in the journey Robert ; )

      Cheers to family!

    • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

      Wow Robert, you are doing great. It’s amazing to know people like you who really understand life and are inspiring the rest of us.

      Brilliant.

      - Jens

      • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

        Jen’s I just got off a Skype call with Robert and this guy is a brilliant entrepreneur that knows his stuff about niche/internet/ traditional/ new media marketing.

        Robert is building some incredible businesses.

        • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

          I know. I started reading his blog a while ago, and I was so happy to discover it. Wow, this guy is living in Thailand and creating a six figure business. Now, I want to learn how he’s doing that :-)

          • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

            You should reach out and have a Skype call with him sometime. He’s smart, smart, smart!

          • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

            I should, but I’ll have to practice my english first :-)

  • http://www.naijapreneur.com Tito Philips, Jnr.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Mark, it was quite a read and I am glad Marcus emphasized you did.

    The picture in this post really nailed it as it points out clearly that mediocrity is not something people out rightly choose, but one they somehow find themselves settling for. The plain truth is that they could have settled for something much better, but again, it is always easier said than done.

    Success is a heavy process that many people will rather not want to follow through. The demands are high, you work, you talk, you run, you crawl and sometimes you just stop to ponder when will all your efforts pan out?

    The secret formular is what you have succinctly provided;

    “Success comes to those who have been prepared emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.”

    The key is preparation and we must never stop to prepare because the process is what will determine the outcome. If the process is compromised, the result will be incomplete. So we all m hang in there and see that our vision becomes reality.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Tito, thank you for contributing to this conversation expanding upon it. You’re a wise man, I sense that you’ve accomplished many great things in your life.

      I really believe our best is yet to come. It has everything to do with that preparation. We never stop learning and growing. 10 years from now, we’ll be different. We’ll see things different. We will value things we don’t understand today and those things come with years on the planet, experience and preparation.

      It would have been pretty cool to have these insights, wisdom and temperance when we were your wiper-snappers, it’s just not how life works.

      It’s the whole process you speak of over the course of a lifetime that provides the ability for us to see and understand things; one of those things being our vision is our life and without one we’re incomplete, sleep walking through life.

      I appreciate your continued support and contributions here Tito : )

  • http://twitter.com/AdrienneSmith40 Adrienne Smith

    Wow Mark, how odd that I visit your blog for the first time and this is the topic you’ve written about. I just wrote my first guest post and it went live last Friday. Low and behold, it’s all about how I got to where I am now. The obstacles I had to overcome, my own belief system having to be reinvented, the instances that got me to make that life changing decision and the obstacles that continued to try and get in my way. But I never gave up and I refused to give in. It’s all what you want and how badly you want it is the way I look at this.

    Really enjoyed this post and so glad you took Marcus’ advice. See, you definitely had a lot to share.

    Thanks again.

    Adrienne

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Oops, sorry Adrienne, I missed this reply… Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing here.

      It’s funny, but similar blog topics seem to be on the minds of bloggers more often than not. It’s almost like a weekly theme.

      There’s always pay day’s for those who persevere and overcome. That’s the key to reaching success in anything. It comes to those who refuse to give in as you so eloquently stated : )

      Thank you for stopping by today and making my day Adrienne.

  • http://www.getting-unstuck.com/http://fearlessdating.wordpress.com/http://www.getting-unstuck.com/ RILEY HARRISON

    Hi Mark,
    To quote one of my grandkids “I’m blown away dude”. That is as good as it gets on the internet.
    Riley

  • Anonymous

    Inspiring and beautifully crafted post, Mark.

    I guess I’ve either been very lucky or genetically predisposed to always have believed I could do and be whatever I want. This has led to many ups and downs, many of which you mentioned: having others around me tell me it “couldn’t be done” – feeling isolated during difficult times – But always…always knowing to my very core that I was living my Mission – a simple 3 words: To Spread Joy, and breathing my mantra: to thine own self be true.

    I just spent over 2 years in painful, financially draining TM litigation, which required the closing of one of my businesses, and a complete re-branding of my current one: my coaching/consulting business that I’ve owned for over 25 years.

    Here’s what I learned:
    The people you think will “have your back”, often do not. Disappointing, but not debilitating.
    New people will come into your life. Exciting and energizing.
    New opportunities will present themselves: the “when one door closes, another opens”. Empowering, scary and oh-so-much-fun.
    We learn from failure, not success.
    It’s ALL about attitude. We are 100% in charge of our thoughts, and our thoughts create our reality.

    Perhaps it’s my Olympic coaching background that also has contributed to my attitude and beliefs, where everything is seen to be possible. Perhaps it’s partly genetics. Perhaps it’s having experienced some pretty tough lows that has created resilience, rather than mediocrity.

    Whatever the case, I’m blessed to work every day with people who are pursuing their own dreams, and I’m honoured to be able to make a contribution, however large or small, to their journey. The steps I take each day to make my dreams a reality? Acting with intention to positively affect as many lives as I can, each and every day. Dreams come true when you help others achieve theirs. Cheers! Kaarina

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Wow Kaarina, this was an awesome comment!

      You cannot imagine how similar we are in our thinking. I could have written this comment myself!

      When I’m done here, I’m going to go connect with you wherever I can find you. I’ve really been inspired by your comment and I’m a life long student hungry to learn and improve as much as I can.

      I loved these statements:

      “Dreams come true when you help others achieve theirs.”

      “I’m honoured to be able to make a contribution, however large or small, to their journey.”

      “Perhaps it’s having experienced some pretty tough lows that has created resilience, rather than mediocrity.”

      “We learn from failure, not success.”

      “The people you think will “have your back”, often do not. Disappointing, but not debilitating.”

      OK, I’m going to stop here… The whole comment is great and is loaded with much wisdom from someone who can see clearly.

      Thank you for making my evening ; )

      • Anonymous

        Mark, I got goosebumps reading your reply: you honour me. I’m delighted to have connected with you and your community, and I look forward to our ongoing connection.

        I’m inspired by and thankful for your words, and look forward to what I trust will be a new friendship:) Warm regards, Kaarina

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          That is awesome Kaarina – I’m subscribed to your blog, so you’ll be seeing me soon : )

          • Anonymous

            I’m doing the Happy Dance Mark!

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