As a child, I remember elders offering words of encouragement such as “do your best!” and “never quit!”
It didn’t particularly matter what you did, just dedicate yourself and get good at it.
Back then it seemed goals and effort were inextricably connected. Your time and energy were not to be trifled with. Opportunities were precious albeit fleeting.
But now, decades later, the character traits that once supported ambition and personal achievement have been supplanted by escapism and mediocrity.
The “success” bar has been lowered.
The pervasive need to accommodate “everyone,” despite ability and/or qualifications has entitled the hyper-sensitive masses.
This isn’t meant to disparage those truly deserving of assistance. On the contrary, it’s the duty of those capable to help others.
I’m talking about embracing underachievement as a form of entitlement. Nowadays, people want “just because,” not due to any real talent or mastery.
Take social media for example.
There was a time when information (via, books, newspapers and television) was scrutinized before reaching the public. This doesn’t mean everything was of high quality, or that independent minds weren’t worthy of exposure, but there was a competitive standard and obvious level of quality at play.
Presently, anyone with a computer or smart phone can post rants, reaching thousands, despite a lack of professionalism or scholarship.
Technology, while offering exposure for illuminated minds, has emboldened the disturbed, who believe their every word and deed are important. How they feel is enough to warrant unbridled expression.
Alas, the dynamic has shifted from using mediums to showcase talent and skill to creating “paper” stars.
But don’t get caught up in the madness.
Success is equal parts ambition, determination and having a clear goal. If you build on this foundation, and never compromise your values, success will be your reward.
Avoid the underachieving fame chasers. You’re going to a better place, one that you create.
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