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You Can’t Just Be “Comfortable”

Posted by on Aug 17, 2011
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When I wrote my post asking Why Is Everyone Busting On A-Listers, it seems that many people kind of missed my point in a way. But that’s okay because some people thought I’d missed their point. I’m going to take that on first.


by Jeremy Eades via Flickr

I didn’t miss the point about A-listers and how many of them don’t respond to comments on their blogs anymore. I get it; I don’t like that either. No matter how big someone gets, I feel they should respond to at least some of the people who comment on their blogs. Maybe not everyone though, as I finally acquiesced to in Monday’s post.

However, almost everyone missed my point, and I’m going to say it’s my fault because I didn’t think I had to state it specifically. However, sometimes you have to go that extra step and tell people exactly what’s going on; that’s what this post is all about.

Not often are there only 2 ways to go about something. We can say there’s a right way and a wrong way but that’s not entirely truthful. That’s because everyone’s truthful isn’t the same as everyone else’s. If it was there wouldn’t be a need for political parties, or a need for different languages or countries. There wouldn’t be prisons to put criminals in, but there also wouldn’t be different degrees of heroes, from those that run into a burning building to save some children or those who called 9-1-1 on their cell phones for help.

However, when it comes to success, you either shoot for it or you don’t. This doesn’t necessarily mean you shoot to be the CEO or the person that cleans the toilets. What it means, however, is that there’s no way you or anyone else can shoot for the middle.

The middle moves, and it’s either on the low end or the high end. Many people think of the middle as being comfortable. But the reality is that no one is ever comfortable unless they have so much money that they have no worries in paying their bills.

So, let’s not go with that particular “C”-word. Let’s go with another one, which I’ll call “contentment.” I’m using that word because if I start talking about “content” you’ll think I’m talking about blogging again and that kind of content. But stay with me.

My dad joined the military on his 17th birthday. He didn’t have a college degree obviously, but he also didn’t have a high school diploma; he had just started his senior year. This means that his military career would be limited. Still, he set his sights on the highest position possible for him at the time; master sergeant. He had to switch branches of the military to get there and it took some time, but 23 years after he’d enlisted he finally reached the highest rank possible.

Now, just so you know, sergeants don’t make a lot of money; you don’t get rich in the military. But he wasn’t content to be a staff sergeant or even a tech sergeant. He knew he’d never be an officer but he went for the best he could reach.

What did that do for him later on? He showed he was someone who wasn’t afraid to work to get as high as he possibly could. He never looked to be comfortable because comfortable for him would have been watching the evening news, having either a few beers or some bourbon over the weekend, and playing pinocle. That doesn’t take a lot of money, but to be truly content, you take care of your bills first, you set a living standard you want to enjoy, then you take your shot and go for it. You can’t aim at the middle because you never know what it’s going to be.

Dad didn’t do that. He retired from the military and got a job at a large corporation. They wanted to help him move up but he had to take care of some things first. So he got his high school diploma then went to college. He finished 2nd in his class with a double major in business management and psychology. And he moved up within the corporation he worked at to the point where they flew him all over the world to teach others what he’d developed. He left management and was basically a freelancer within the company. Now there’s true contentment because he got to do what he wanted to do with no encumbrances.

Now, think about your blogging for a minute. Do you write a post with the intention of it just being “good enough”? Are you just trying to put out whatever you can and move on to the next one? Do you really care that someone’s reading what you have to say and might be impressed with what you’re saying, enough to get them to leave a comment or share the post somewhere else?

Or are you just trying to be comfortable, going through the motions, not really caring if people comment or not because you know you’re not putting forth your best effort? What’s the middle of blog writing?

I see a lot of people who say they’re trying but we know they’re not. I visit a lot of blogs; I’ve seen a lot of bad writing. I’ve seen “make money” blogs that have no soul in the writing. I’ve seen a lot of blogs that basically rehash the same garbage over the over, giving nothing of themselves, ever. That’s comfortable; those are people who are trying to make money with no effort whatsoever.

Which one do you want to be? Do you want to try to be better, at least have something to say, put together posts that have some passion in them, something you hope someone else picks up on? Or do you want to be comfortable, writing bad posts and not really caring, trying to find the easy way without really working for it?

Take that point, add it to your life in general, then be truthful with yourself. Does being comfortable take on a different meaning now? Is that really all you want out of life?

Not me.
 

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12 Comments »

I understand you point now Mitch, but I find difficult to comment. Again depends on those external factors and limitations that we can and can not control to some extends. Well, I have publish many posts without meaning, from customers, sponsored or just guest blogger which are not particularly interesting, however I never publish a content that is misleading. Most people don’t particularly want too much, and comfort is different for everybody, truth is different for everybody, I start feeling afraid, heard a quote in a movie which I can’t remember the name, but sound like this “if you are telling the truth you are guilty”.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Carl, I don’t believe any such nonsense. My three top qualities in people are loyalty, truthfulness and trustworthiness. If people are guilty because they tell the truth then I’m guilty as charged. I think there are degrees of truth, and of course I believe that people are geared towards actions based on their history. But no one is geared to be mediocre; I never believe that. They might think that’s where they’ll end up but everyone has big dreams or no dreams. We all have goals, stated or not, and no one’s goal has ever been to be middle of the pack.

Carl Reply:

Mitch, don’t them me that you have never meet somebody that don’t have any goals or better say no goals or dream in particular time of life. I know many people like that, staying at “golden middle” happy with their salary, keeping low profile. This trigger a quote in my mind, I don’t really remember the name of the author, but sounds like that “I want to be a stone under the burning Sun of Uranus, without any ambitions”.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Carl, people say a lot of things, but the truth is that people are either just surviving, are trying to be the best to always try to improve their lot in life whatever it is, or have totally given up and are just accepting what comes along. The first and last thing I mentioned aren’t “middle”, they’re “bottom”, while the second thing I mentioned is at the top. You just can’t shoot for the middle; that’s my point. You might end up there, but being in the middle, or “average”, isn’t a legitimate goal. It’s not measurable; how can you plan to be middle?

Carl Reply:

At the end you are right, I think the point that I tried to explain is something temporal and not permanent. Most of the time and I think this is the right way, I try to set up goals higher so even I can’t achieve the goal on 100% I am still satisfied, but this doesn’t mean that I set unachievable goals. Just things happened, like this weekend. When it rains it pours, after I’ve lost server switch, there was a spike and I’ve lost half of server RAM.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Man, that’s a lot of bad luck; just means great luck is around the corner. :-) As to the rest as long as you’re setting goals that at some point you can hit and then strive for more then it’s all good. Many people are bad when it comes to setting goals they can’t reach, and that’s a shame because then they tend to quit. Heck, I have times when I feel like quitting as well; but when all is said and done it’s just not in my nature.

August 17th, 2011 | 10:43 PM
danika:

This is really interesting, I like how you have broke it down and I think that the comment about no one ever shooting for the middle with stick with me.

If I am “stuck in the middle” in my 40s I think that, at the moment, would be my idea of hell!

I want to keep aiming higher but not in the conventional manner, for me I getting up and going to work each day is a pain in the ******* ***. I dont like so much about it, and its not just my job I have always felt like this…. So….

Given my idea of a nightmare would be managing 200 people who are all trying to impress me that means my idea of of perfect “job” would be to earn my money from a computer in my room with no one to answer to, if I wanted to see no one for a week then I could do that.

I want to shoot as high as I can but I want to do it my own way. I hope this makes sense…..

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Danika, if you’re the only person I got thinking about this I’ve done my job. I know what you mean for sure. You want to strive for the top but you want it on your own terms, doing something you’d like to do. That’s great; all you have to do is figure out where you want to get to and how you’re going to do it. If you need a plan write things down; go ahead, it’s easy. And I’m pulling for you.

August 18th, 2011 | 9:30 PM

I understand Mitch, being in the middle pays the bills but won’t give us the type of living we deserve. I know it won’t be convenient and easy for a long time. Aiming higher requires hard work and patience, then maybe sacrificing time with family and me. So I am guilty of being in the middle, I am feeling the pressure, which is why I want to follow your advice.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Patrick, I think when everyone strives for the best that good things come and it opens a world of choices. It’s obviously never easy, but we do what we can to try to succeed.

August 19th, 2011 | 4:02 AM
William:

After reading the exchange with yourself and Carl, Out of curiosity i went back and read the article “Why Is Everyone Busting On A-Listers” i must admit you were very open and frank in expressing your points and i certainly don’t think you miss the point. However the ones who work hard to be at the top deserves to enjoy they success but they should respect those who take the time to comment on their blogs. For me that’s a fundamental point not only because i am guilty but because it is a courteous thing to do. i can assure you that i will take your advice and return to those comments and reply thanks.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment William. I’m glad you’re going to go back and look at your visitors and respond to their comments. I think it’s one of the most positive things anyone can do to thank those people for their time in reading what you had to say and expressing their opinions on it.

As for me, I do try to be open with my opinions and also try to be as logical as I can be at the same time. I don’t take positions lightly, but I know that sometimes the words one uses doesn’t always come across as meant.

September 13th, 2011 | 11:45 AM