Like we all do, I slipped up at some point in my life and forgot who I really am and the standards I once upheld. (A grave mistake. Letting the world dictate how to live.)
And I’ll be honest with ya: it is awfully difficult to live freely from society’s limitations, beliefs and (negative) world-views. Mediocrity isn’t something that juuust happens upon a society; at a school, football club, in a business, in an individual’s life — it’s seldom happenstance.
It grows with time and the more it becomes acceptable, the more it strengthens until it becomes a sure way of life.
So, what did I do? You may wonder.
I changed my life. All of it.
Awfully uncomfortable experience … until uncomfortable became normal with each passing day.
I had made the grave mistake of dropping my standards, therefore living a mediocre life. I accepted a diluted version of Themba Jay. And what happens when you accept such? The work — along with everything else — you do ends up being of a low standard.
That all happened because I did not expect much from myself — I did not accept a simple truth: when I become mediocre in one part of my life, everything else follows downhill.
Let’s go a bit further.
I started changing as a person. And the more I changed and got better, the more I worked on myself.
The strategy to take my entire life in a completely different direction was awfully simple (grueling in execution, though) and it went:
“Transform and enhance Themba Jay and every-thing he does will soar to higher standards of elegance. Hold him to stringently high standards and everything connected to him will elevate.”
That it did.
All of that work took me a deliberate four months. December, 2018. January, February and March, 2019.
I rewired my brain, habits (therefore, my work ethic); my intelligence and creativity.
I went back to my values. Elegance being one of them; for instance, if it’s not elegant, I don’t want it — whatever it is.
I have an interesting media consumption rule at the house, too: content playing on any device should be really good for me to spend time consuming it. Woefully written and produced stories, no time for that. Mediocre radio shows, switch off. Anything that does not tickle my intellect, I chuck it out.
That habit is priceless.
It means even when I stand, talk, walk, run, think and write, I should have poise.
That, in turn, feeds into the habit of attention-to-detail, which gels well and elevates my writing, speaking and advisory work.
It’s if not elegant, I don’t want it.
Even in a football game, you will never find me engaging in hard and reckless tackles or go in with the aim of hurting an opposing player.
Why‘s that necessary?
It’s not elegant play.
Clean football for Themba Jay. Thanks.
Make it deft or don’t bother.
So, through that incoherent process of self re-discovery, I managed to pull myself back into a person who does things that excite him; takes more chances; a person who doesn’t shy away from a challenge — there’s nothing to be afraid of in any case. (Get rid of the fear in your heart, too.)
I developed the guts to RETHINK and remake myself.
Not because I want to make boatloads of money. Mediocrity, of any kind, is offensive and it is a hell-of-a-price to endure during my one life.