Does Mediocrity Feel Good?

To a great extent lately I’ve been putting pen to paper and extolling the merits of training and practice with firearms. To my chagrin I’ve encountered a voiced resistance to the idea that the path to proficiency and confidence can be found through...

Decades of enablers with their “reasonableness” excuses have brought this nation to its current state of decay.  Rather than seeking to push the limits and break the “4 Minute Mile” we’ve decide that four minutes is too fast and unreasonable.  After all, it’s not fair that everyone cannot run a 4 minute mile.  If we reduce the standard to an 8 minute mile the under-achievers won’t feel so bad. 

When the enabler encounters low test results his reaction is not to improve the teaching process but to make the test easier.  The enabler increases the size of the “5 Ring” on the target so the overall qualification scores will improve.  This, of course, does not progress the abilities of the students, but it makes everyone feel better.                   

Neither One

I doubt the under-achievers will ever reach this point on the page as that would require effort.  The enablers may have begrudgingly read this far though they are probably preparing a rebuttal for their next forum submission.  The true target of this piece is neither.

My desired audience is those who still aspire to greatness.  The path to greatness or mastery is never ending and, even though we realize this, we continue the walk.  My advice to those on the path is to beware of the poisonous traps put out by the under-achiever who tells you it’s not worth the effort and the enabler who tells you that you are already “good enough” so why try harder?

This nation was not founded and built on the idea of mediocrity or “good enough”.  When you consider the Empire State Building, Mt. Rushmore, the Hoover Dam, and the Golden Gate Bridge imagine how different the face of our nation would be if those who built them took the advice of the under-achiever and the enabler.

Every person moves down the path of greatness at their own pace.  The key is to stay on the path and keep moving forward.   When someone tells you that it’s not worth the effort or that you can stop now because you are ‘good enough’ understand that they have already given up themselves.  Resist the temptation to settle for ‘C’ student status.  Achievement requires effort, dedication and sacrifice.  Don’t make the target bigger so it’s easier to hit, make the target smaller and continue to improve.


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About The Author:

Mr. Markel is a former United States Marine, Police Officer, and has worked as a professional bodyguard both in the U.S. and overseas. A Subject Matter Expert on Small Arms and Tactics, Markel has provided instruction to law enforcement and U.S. Military troops.

As a recognized author and writer, Paul has penned several hundred articles published in numerous professional journals and trade periodicals. Topics include firearms training, use of force, marksmanship, less-than-lethal force options, product reviews and evaluations, emergency medical care, and much more. Sought after as a public speaker, Mr. Markel is at home in front of an audience large or small.

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