Someone once asked me if I wanted to be great. My response was no, I wanted to be mediocre. I have no desire to be “great” in life; that takes too much time, effort and energy. I’d rather be a failure routinely and satisfactory on my best days. Matter of fact, when it comes time for me to reflect upon my life and what it has meant, I know I will deem myself a failure. Why? Because of these seven reasons:
I think there is a pre-established role for my life. My psychiatrist told me the reason I had problems with change was because of something called “agency.” Essentially, all of us humans like to believe that there is a reason or purpose for everything. So, we think, what if there’s a reason we are what we are — what if celestial agency has determined it so? Should we be messing with that? I think not. Who am I to recognize that the role of my life has only one true agent – myself?
Someone told me what I would be. I was told when I was younger that I would never amount to nothin’ in life. I mean, someone convinced me that I was what I was and I’d better just live with it because, well, that’s what I’ll always be. Too bad I never thought – really? Says who? Show me the chapter on predetermined stations in the cosmic rule book, please.
I don’t believe. I remember in the movie Star Wars the following conversation:
“Luke: I can’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.”
And this is a large reason why I fail – I don’t believe I can be great so why even try? I mean, we all know that positive things happen when we 1) believe, 2) act, 3) obtain positive/negative confirmation, 4) adjust and 5) repeat until success. I’ll just stop this equation at step one if I may.
I’m established in my career and that’s okay right? At this stage in my life things are good. But is established what I really want out of life? I mean, if “established” means I can’t reach beyond certain imposed parameters to achieve anything else that I truly want, then maybe it isn’t so useful after all. But since this is a personal choice, I’m going to say that I like the idea of “establishing” myself out of greater achievements.
I’m afraid of losing what I’ve built. True, I know that I can lose everything I’ve built through no fault of my own. Heck, there were people who lost everything they “built” via the financial meltdown of 2008 or Super Storm Sandy though no action of their own. However, I want to let the fear of losing everything stop me from reaching out for what I really want in life.
I don’t want to be a disrupter. The notion of disrupting anything – or being the water that breaks the rock – is scary to me. Disruption means that consistency, stability and certainty might get jettisoned for a time, and that puts my hard-wired internal defense system on high alert. Sometimes, though, you have to override the alarms and move ahead anyway. If you never do, you’ll never know what could happen. Unfortunately, I am okay with not knowing.
I have no idea where to go next. Even if I do want successes in life, I have no idea where to start. I mean, I’m too hardwired in my life to let things kind of just “flow” and figure themselves out. Maybe this has to do with my desire to deal with what is certain or known and dealing with “faith” is just a little too much for me. Never mind the fact that most of what is thrown at me in life is out of my control. I’ll just attempt to stay safe in my little cocoon rather than venture into the unknown with just a rough plan and a lot of “conviction.”
So, for the reasons above I am doomed to be a failure in life. However, don’t cry any tears for me as this is perfectly fine. I never really wanted to be a success – I’m personally more afraid of what my life would be like if I succeeded versus if I just fail like I am supposed to!
Author’s Note: The above is written in jest as the author (and it is presumed you the reader) would never intentionally strive to be a failure in life. However, if you prefer to not seek success in your life, you may print the above letter out and replace your name at the bottom. That way you can give/send it to anyone who asks why you don’t want to be great in life!