Don’t allow mediocrity to become your gold standard
By Master Sgt. Harold Davis
/ Published January 29, 2019
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- A new year brings new challenges and obstacles to us all, whether personally, professionally or financially. This can come in the form of an unanticipated deployment or assignment, an unexpected car repair or a failure to receive the next stripe or promotion you felt you deserved. Therefore, we must creatively develop a new plan of attack and a new mindset to take on these challenges, to be victorious and win at life. In order to overcome these types of hurdles life places in our paths, we must first take responsibility and accountability for our actions or the lack thereof. After some thoughtful consideration and deep reflection, I discovered one thing that sabotages us all when faced with new challenges and obstacles – mediocrity!
As a maintainer, there is a lot of responsibility placed upon you to ensure the safe arrival of flight crews and the transportation of life-saving equipment and materials to their final destinations. That being said, there is no place for mediocrity or perfunctory performance in completing any job or task you are given to complete. Aircraft technical data is jam-packed with “Warnings, Cautions and Notes” that are the results of individuals not taking on the responsibility of disciplining themselves to carry out one of our core values as Airmen: “excellence in all we do.”
Most of us have heard the old adage, “Good enough for government work.” We must expel that motto from ourselves and those around us if we want to achieve success and personal fulfillment. This is where accountability fuses itself within the core of our existence to prevent us from taking shortcuts and alternatives. Those shortcuts and alternate routes that appeal to one’s sense of comfort end up robbing one of one’s true potential. We must not allow mediocrity to become the new gold standard in our lives.
The way we can combat this unfortunate reality that, at some point or another, affects us all, is by confronting one area of our lives at a time. Personally, I have made the choice to focus on my health by cutting out bad habits that would eventually lead to my demise. My suggestion to everyone would be to take a moment to analyze what habits, compounded over time, would impact their lives negatively. Find the mediocrity in your life that is stifling you from reaching your full potential and force it to “walk the plank” out of your life. As an example, if you’re attempting to save more money, make the choice to stop buying a daily cup at your coffee shop, and purchase single serve coffee pods to drink at the office instead.
Set the tone for 2019 by deciding to operate at a high level without shortcuts, holding yourself accountable and being responsible for your personal success in achieving excellence. The truth is, if you want to live your best life, you cannot make any allowance for mediocrity. Make a vow to yourself that you will leave things, your organization or a project better than you found it, but it first starts with making yourself better.