The Cost of Mediocrity

Mediocrity would always win by force of numbers, but it would win only more mediocrity.
Ellen Glasgow, American Novelist

Many people regard a 99% quality standard as quite good, and maybe a little too demanding.

How would you feel if you deposited $1000 in the bank and your bank credited you with only $990? That’s 99% accuracy. How would you feel if the interest on your home mortgage amounted to $5,000 per year and you were charged $5,050? That’s 99% accuracy.

If everyone adhered to a 99% standard, we would be without telephone services for 15 minutes each day. The postal service would lose 1.7 million pieces of first-class mail daily. Doctors and nurses would drop 35,000 newborn babies a year, 200,000 people would get the wrong drug prescriptions, and 2 million people would die of food poisoning.

But I would like to put in a word of caution here. I am not talking about absolute perfection. I am just emphasizing that when you become complacent and do half-hearted work it can be very costly. This fact applies in your family as well as your career. If you become complacent within the family and do things half-heartedly it can cause a breakdown in your relationship.

Ordinary people can become extraordinary if they make up their minds to be so. Ordinary people are those who consistently do the things extraordinary people won’t do. You can motivate yourself to do the things extraordinary people do, and you can avoid doing the things extraordinary people won’t do. The key to extraordinary performance is a willingness to be persistent.

Excerpted from ‘Life Balance The Sufi Way’ by Azim Jamal & Nido Quebin

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