“Overachievers hate mediocre people, and mediocre people hate overachievers.” – Nick Saban
It’s normal to be mediocre.
It’s not normal to go anything beyond that.
In fact, about 99% of the people you meet, live their lives accomplishing very little.
However, there is a small select group of people who want more than this. They want to theoretically change the world (and usually do).
There is a saying – you are the summation of the 5 people you surround yourself with. And this is a very true statement.
Place yourself in a board meeting with accomplished exec’s, and all of a sudden, you start acting and talking like them.
Place yourself around the opposite environment, and all of a sudden, you find yourself following along.
There is a key silver lining in this analogy. You may be an overachiever, but your environment may be mediocre.
The question arises – am I in a mediocre environment?
Chances are, if you do not work with the best, brightest and most talented, you are in a mediocre environment. If you want more than most people, than you automatically fall into the overachiever category.
All you need is proper execution. To help you identify this, here are 3 differences between mediocre people and overachievers.
1. Overachievers are more grateful.
One thing that I like to tell myself on a daily basis is “I am grateful to be here.”
Nothing snaps your mind back into place like that sentence. Even if the environment you are in is in a place that doesn’t meet your standards, by stating this line, you can work with a positive attitude towards a place you want to be.
On the other side, negative people always seem to thrive in drama. And they never seem to get beyond where they started. It’s no coincidence that they’re lack of gratitude has a role in their work.
2. Overachievers can handle chaos.
Chaos is defined as anything that distracts us from our original intent. That means, most of life is chaos. But, we can plan for this so that we are prepared for chaos, and can continue with our work.
For example, I have what I call a “scenario playbook”.
This is a little cheat sheet that I created that gives me answers in the event of something that goes wrong, or happens often, from the mundane to the extreme. I have a list of things that I mentally prepared for with action steps so that a majority of my decision-making process can be automated with zero thought.
Why? Because, when you take out chaos, you free your mind to create.
Example, I don’t like small talk very much. Therefore, I ignore everything and everyone that participates in most small talk unless it’s important.
But, in the event of a nuclear war, I am also prepared with a clear plan of action.
See what I mean? Plan for both the mundane and extreme.
I save myself from the unexpected and decision making process that induces worrying about what-if’s.
Take some time to set up scenarios, both mundane and extreme. What would you do if you lost an arm? What would you do if you found yourself gossiping with others?
Write out responses and practice them. Remember, we want to maximize our response time to chaos so that nothing can derail us from the original objective.
3. Overachievers can focus.
Ever see an ordinary person work? They have their assignment in one tab, Facebook in the other, TV going in the background, texting in the other hand.
It’s all over the place.
If you can’t focus on your task, then nothing gets done. A dead valley of ideas strewn across years and years of impatience as you become used to bouncing from idea to idea, name to name, strategy to strategy.
In one of my previous articles, I talked a lot about procrastination. Basically, procrastination is really the only thing that separates you from greatness.
Why? Because the ability to focus is paramount to staying consistent. And staying consistent is the number one key to success in any field. Staying consistent is derived from the ability to make a clear decision. If you procrastinate, then this process never even happens.
Think about it like this. There are two sides to a decision. On one hand, you know what needs to be done but you don’t feel like doing it. On the other hand, you really want to do something, but you know you shouldn’t do it.
If you go even further on the spectrum, you have pure laziness (doing nothing at all) and then perfectionism (focusing on irrelevant details).
In a great article written by Chillpill, they state that perfectionism is another form of procrastination.
And it’s true. Perfectionism is an invisible form of procrastination because it is disguised under something attainable.
Now, that’s not to say that you should set the bar low and have low expectations. In fact, you should strive to become the greatest.
But instead of focusing on being perfect, focus on improving YOUR best version, not an imaginary concept that is impossible. That’s the difference.
And just like procrastination, you lose focus via perfectionism because you lose focus on the grand scheme of things.
The goal is to finish what you start.
Give yourself small, genuine rewards after you complete a task and all of a sudden, you will train yourself to be productive. The same way you train a dog by giving it treats, you do the same for yourself.
Focusing no longer becomes a forceful act, but instead becomes a fun, aspiring act.
Readers, what do you think is the difference between an overachiever and a mediocre person? Leave your comments below.