Mediocrity At Its Best
Recently someone asked me why I am going to such lengths to do well on the MCAT. “To get a good grade and get into medical school,” was my first response. While this quelled their questioning about my study habits of late it left me with things to ponder. Whenever I hear someone give the advise “Everything in moderation,” I get really pissed off.
A Typical Convo
If you’ve spent any amount of time on this little blue planet you’ll have undoubtedly run into people who are taken aback when you tell them what you’re up to in life. Maybe the conversation sounds something like this:
Person: So what are you up to now-a-days?
You: “I’m studying everyday for the MCAT exam to try to become a doctor.
Person: “Wow! That’s a lot of work and effort for one test huh? You have a lot of work ahead of you if you want to become a doctor you know? (as if you’re naïvely unaware of the work entailed)
You: I know it’s a lot of work but it’s what I am passionate about and what I really want to do.
Person: Have you ever thought about being a Physicians Assistant or a Nurse? They do the same sort of things as a doctor but have less schooling? Everything in moderation you know?
You: (thinking to yourself: Uhh…did you not hear what I just said?) *smile and nod* I think I’ll stick to being a doctor. Nice talking to you! Bye!
Ignore The Naysayers
This advice, “Everything in moderation”, is given by people who are trying to urge you to not be so intense and driven. It sounds reasonable in many ways, but the implications to breed mediocrity are floating just beneath the surface. It implies that your goals are not worth the effort, that life isn’t really about success, and that we should all be chill and do whatever comes easiest. Bull feces I say!
As much as the peace-loving hippies would like you to think, life is all about being successful. Success has different definitions to different people, and that’s alright. But who is someone else to tell you what you should value as the measure of your own success? Don’t we have enough media influences as it is to try and tell us what to think?
Whenever you want to do something great, when you want to try to break free from the shackles of the collective, assumed wisdom, some idiot is always close at hand, ready to swoop down and whip out their “all in moderation” card. “Don’t shoot for the stars,” they’ll say. “That’s too hard and different from what everyone else is doing.” Whenever someone’s aiming high, someone jealous of the would-be high achiever will come out and tell them to just “all in moderation”.
Not To Say You Should Go Nuts Either…
Don’t get me wrong here now. I am not advocating going to extremes just for the sake of going to extremes. I am not advocating pushing yourself to the point of hurting yourself. Most of the time, it’s okay to relax the cheeks a little and just be moderate. However there are times, when you need to be moderate about being moderate. There are also points when one needs to be immoderate. Push aside the naysayers and persevere.
Be selectively immoderate and you will reap the benefits. Sometimes, it’s the most moderate, sensible thing you could do for yourself.