We strive for mediocrity in our daily lives. Or more clearly, we strive to raise the level of our mediocrity day by day.
This probably makes no sense. So let us explain.
Being a professional at anything is all about consistency. Pros are more consistent, than semi-pros and semi-pros are more consistent than good amateurs and so it goes on down the line. Pros attain this certain level of consistency by hours and hours of practice, coupled with some innate talent. But studies have shown that the amount of practice actually has the most influence over mastery. In fact, it's almost down to a science. A person that spends roughly 10,000 hours of deliberate practice usually reaches master level status. Whereas someone who practices around 7,500 hours is a solid pro, and someone who practices 5,000 hours is a top notch amateur.(Read article in Fortune Magazine online)
And what might this have to do with relationships? Even in relationships, it's all about raising your "level of mediocrity." That's a quote from the great saxophonist and educator, Jerry Bergonzi. The idea is based on control or lack thereof. It's difficult to control the good performances or good days, AND the bad performances or bad days, but with practice one can usually expect a certain level of mediocrity. (Mediocrity, being your typical performance or typical behavior.) And with more practice, your own personal level of mediocrity rises steadily higher, so after years of practice, your OK days are actually quite good, and your bad days are really not that bad.
So we've been practicing in our relationships. We figure we should be able to complete our 10,000 hours in about 3-5 years. We're not sure if anyone can ever be a true master at relationships, but we're certainly giving it a go. The key for us is practicing the "right stuff." So after consulting friends, books, blogs and professionals, these are the things we've been practicing.
1. Saying nice things. This could be a little thing or big. Just be sincere.
2. Saying we're sorry. If you're wrong you're wrong.
3. Cleaning up. Not a lot of effort to make someone very happy.
4. Being aware and doing our share.
6. Being more present more of the time.
7. Showing Love.
We have our stellar days and our bad days, but we're mainly working on our consistency. We're trying to raise the level of our mediocrity. This is not an easy task, but we know if we manage to do that, we'll be much more than just mediocre! At least to the people that actually care about us.
What are you doing to raise the level of your mediocrity??