Failure teaches lessons, so does mediocrity.
I love mediocrity. Yep, I said it. I love mediocrity. I embrace mediocrity and not like one of those awkward side-hugs. I mean a bear-hug that leaves you gasping for breath type of embraces. There are some things I’m not good at (some would say blogging), I would say accounting and repetition and there are probably typos in this blog. I’m ok with those failures, I revel in the mediocrity of those moments, and move on from those moments striving to create more happiness in my work and life where my best self comes through.
I really don’t mind being “bad” at some things. I’m not happy when I my skills, talents and passions aren’t being put to use and so I do those unappealing tasks without my usual creativity flair, attention and energy. I’m apathetic and what I really want is to be happy, focused and productive. Mihaly Csikszentmihaly (say his name fast, three times!) defines this focused happiness as flow or flow experience in his TED Talk.
This chart says it all! No challenge and no ability = Apathy. ACK! Apathy – what a terrible state to be in your work or life. No enthusiasm, concern or interest. We all have our passions and our dreads. BLAH! Repetition triggers my apathy as does negativity. Ask me to create, connect or build something new and I’m exited – that will elicit my flow state and so I look for opportunities to bring out my best – to be focused and happy! Two wonderful words coupled together.
Maximillian Gotzler identifies four types of flow and I definitely am the “crowd-pleaser” state. Public speaking is my passion and I revel in flow when I’m presenting or speaking in public. Public speaking is not for everyone as Jerry Seinfeld has pointed out.
For some the following list of bullets would be a harrowing experience but I’m “focused and happy” and my awareness of those feelings inspire me to create more. This is when I operate in a flow state:
- Crafting games and trivia for a holiday party for a group of strangers in Hawaii
- Emceeing on stage at a conference of 600 people from throughout the U.S.
- Developing content and leading workshops for industry professionals in training
In those moments I’m creating, connecting people, inspiring laughter and using my special gifts and I’m ecstatic! I’m thrilled that my career allows me to experience flow state so often and at the same time I’m always pushing myself away from mediocrity – away from apathy and boredom.
So….What’s your type of flow? How can you elicit flow? How can you avoid mediocrity? Let’s explore together with a workshop or keynote presentation and you’ll be able to:
- Recognize mediocrity and how it impacts your performance
- Focus on your strengths and keep your weaknesses from derailing success
- Identify your passions and find a path to employ your flow state
Want some tricks on happiness? Click HERE. And fight apathy with these 7 steps.
Anthony Poponi is a comic, improv artist, brain chemistry nerd and community-minded advocate and owner of Humore.us. He’s brings his love of connection and laughter to audiences as keynote, emcee, workshop host or moderator and his mission is to increase laughter and connectivity to combat the human health crises of isolation and disconnection.