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Our Goal: Mediocrity?

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.
5. Listening.
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.

THE GUYS

What are you doing to raise the level of your mediocrity??

18 Comments on Our Goal: Mediocrity?

  1. You can spend 1/2 the hours if you practice pretending to listen.

  2. Well, I have to say that there is no mediocrity on this blog!
    Sorry, but I must digress. Askcherlock has given you the Kreativ Blogger Award! Please see the comments under our post entitled Pittsburgh, Then and Now and you will understand.
    This was a great post and The Guys are a place everyone should visit for a daily fix!

  3. For one thing, I raise the level of my mediocrity by being aware of my lack. And I agree that practice makes an improvement. The question is can we live by it? 🙂

  4. Great list! You guys are so sweet! Too bad more guys weren’t like you!

  5. We wish we were more like us too! 🙂

  6. A nice post again!! I think if you set certain goals for yourself, whether it is in a relationship or career. it can help you to get to know yourself better and you can detect where you have flaws.
    It are usually the little things that count. And being sincere and honest with what you do is very important. You do it because you want to and not because you feel forced to do it.
    Also not taking things for granted is a good thing. Appreciate everything and stay positive and having a bad day once in a while is simply humane. No one is perfect, although we strive to be ^_^. Till next time! Ciao!!

  7. Oh! I forgot to say this!
    I’m not in a relationship at the moment, so I pull it towards being creative. I try to practice everyday, to become better. And towards other people I’m open-mined and I don’t judge, I listen. It doesn’t take that much effort to make someone happy.
    I usually decide to make illustrations for people out of nowhere. And people are very touched and amazed that someone who doesn’t know them well, takes her time to create something. But I like to see happy faces and to make others happy. And if I can send out a bit of this to the ones I know, I’m happy. I just try to be sincere and honest towards what I feel.
    Haha. This was a long comment ^_^!

  8. I think that consistency counts, not just within a relationship, but across the spectrum of all your human contact. “Golden Rule” stuff. You won’t always get it back, but that’s not really the point. It’s more enjoyable to be the kind of person you yourself like to hang out with…

  9. I don’t much like the word “mediocrity”, especially when it comes to relationships. And I can definitely appreciate the concept of striving for consistency. BUT some inconsistency is absolutely necessary in order to keep “consistent” from becoming “boring”. Otherwise, it is less a relationship than pleasant coexistence, GUYS. And that sure isn’t my goal!

  10. Hi Guys … Great article yet again! You really do an awesome job here and enjoy reading all your posts.
    I also with the comment from Sugar Snow ….. I would rather be single than live in a pleasant co-existence with someone, occasional light hearted spontenaiety go a long way to avoiding things becoming mundane.

  11. Thank you for all your comments. We appreciate it as always!!
    We just want to clarify that we don’t equate consistency with boredom. Quite the contrary! The more tuned in you are to your relationship the more chance you’ll have for spontaneity.
    In our eyes, inconsistency is an excuse to be irresponsible! But we could just be arguing semantics!! 🙂

  12. This is a Great Post. I strive daily to say I’m wrong much more quickly and to listen more than a talk.
    but it’s haaaaaaaaaaaaardddd,
    you guys set a heck of an example and we love it.

  13. Got me thinking, that’s always good! I also discourage mediocrity in every area of my life; in fact, I detest it and don’t believe rising to a higher level makes one a “pro” or “master” but, rather only more mediocre, i.e. not very good. I like the list, except I think if your girl is upset it is always a good idea to just say, “I’m sorry.” Whew, when you do that the situation moves to a better climate quickly, and I would much rather be loved than be “right.” Women, you might never understand, and you might be right, (does it matter?) just apologize. That’s just my experience….
    Victoria

  14. As always…topnotch posts.
    The world would be a much better place if each person would practice just one on your list.
    I would wish people would show some mediocrity while driving then I wouldn’t have road rage…lololol!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. You know, at first I was starting to disagree, but then I got thinking. Why should anyone strive for perfection all the time, with everything? Who has the energy? Can’t we just relax a little and enjoy? I do have a few things that I try my bestest at…but…I can tell that perfection makes me tight and unhappy. Chilling out, enjoying the sounds of the day, not a bad idea.
    Thanks for the insight! You guys are awesome!

  16. Always enjoy your posts. They’re cheerful, and always well-written and have plenty of energy.
    Personally, I hate having to put a lot of effort into things. I’m lazy, and the lowest level of mediocrity suits me just fine. If a relationship requires a lot of work, I’d rather find something I don’t have to work at.

  17. You’re definitely right on track with your goals. At first I didn’t like mediocrity being used as a goal, but I like that it implies that there is lots of rooms for improvement. I don’t think that any amount of hours can truly make you a “pro” in your relationship in the sense that you can never say I’ve put in my hours and now I can coast. I guess the mark of a true pro is that they know that there is always more work to be done.

  18. scooter girl // September 25, 2009 at 8:46 am //

    I’m a little late in reading this post, but it says SO MUCH! Thanks for keeping all of us in-touch. I plan to take your advice in my life as well & try to remember THE GUYS 7 steps to mediocrity:
    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.
    5. Listening.
    6. Being more present more of the time.
    7. Showing Love.
    Thanks!

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