“Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning.” -Benjamin Hardy
Most people are distracted right now.
They’re distracted while they’re at work. They’re distracted when they’re with family and friends.
They’re distracted at the gym, on their commute, and even in the shower.
The mediocre majority will continue going through life this way, never experiencing the fullness of a life filled with deep focus and purpose.
Most people don’t prioritize learning and creating. They don’t care enough about any efforts to invest in their personal development and growth.
Entertainment is more important. Most people have replaced achieving their life dreams and goals with TV, partying, and social media.
Their life is characterized by entertainment and distraction, not learning and creating.
As a result, they don’t have close relationships. They’re stuck in jobs they hate. Their life is on the fast-track to disappointment, and they don’t know what to do.
Benjamin Hardy once said, “Entertainment and distraction is the enemy of creation and learning. They will keep you in mediocrity.”
If you don’t want to end up living a life of mediocrity, focus on learning and education. It’s the fastest way to become extraordinary, wealthy, and successful.
The Quality of Your Learning Determines the Quality of Your Success
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod
Your income, relationships, and success are determined by your learning.
Most people spend more money on entertainment and gadgets than self-education. This is why they remain poor and broke with superficial relationships.
The quality of your learning and how much you invest in yourself directly determines the extent of your growth.
In the words of Ryan Holiday:
“The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth.”
You are defined by what you’re willing to struggle for. Most people aren’t willing to really struggle for anything. They blindly accept what they’re given, and spend their free time disengaging from reality.
Renowned motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said the most successful people in the world are always lifelong learners. They fully understand that their level of education directly determines their quality of life.
“Formal education makes a living, but self-education makes a fortune,” Rohn explained.
It’s not just about a college degree. Most of what you learn in college isn’t applicable to real-world success. It’s your self-education, the kind of learning that helps you develop into the next evolution of yourself.
Most people will continue to go through life “in quiet desperation, with their songs left unsung.” Others dictate their income, their happiness, and their fulfillment.
If you don’t want to end up with regret on your death-bed, choose self-education over entertainment.
“You’ve got to wake up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” George Larimer
We Attract the Things That Reflect Who We Are
Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, once told a story about how he ended up with his wife.
When he was in his 20’s, he began compiling an enormous list of every attribute he wanted his future wife to have. He eventually filled 40 pages detailing the most exquisite and perfect match he could think of.
At the end of his writing, he realized something very important:
Any woman like that wouldn’t want to have anything to do with someone like him!
Hardy realized he needed to become a far better version of himself to attract a woman like that.
You must become a far better version of yourself to achieve the enormous success you want.
Benjamin Hardy put it this way: “We attract into our lives what we are.” Ask yourself — if you want a million dollars, do you have the mindset of a millionaire? Do you have the financial knowledge and self-discipline to own that kind of money?
Most people don’t, yet they continue complaining about being poor. You’ll never become a millionaire if you don’t become someone who could be a millionaire!
Every day, millions of people attract mediocre opportunities into their lives — jobs, time investments, dating partners, etc. — not realizing they are attracting exactly who they are!
Extremely successful people are magnets of extraordinary opportunities. They are individuals who gravitate towards success, because they are successful themselves.
If you constantly engage in mediocre, subpar activities with toxic individuals, you’ll only receive similar opportunities. You’ll never experience the type of success of the world’s most extraordinary people, because success is something you attract by the person you become.
“Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” -Leonardo DiCaprio
Step Forward Into Growth or Backwards Into Security
“It’s absurd that we would prioritize the hottest new device, the cool car, or trendy toy over owning that which makes us feel the most engaged and most alive.” -Neil Patel
C.S. Lewis once described humans this way: “We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
You do not have the luxury to “wait” to improve. Like an egg, you’ll either progress into a new version of yourself, or go rotten. There is no other way.
Most people continue choosing security and safety over the choice to become the fullest version of themselves.
Said Louis Sachar:
“So, what’s it going to be — safety, or freedom? You can’t have both.”
Right now, you have the choice — step forward into growth and development, or step backwards into safety and security.
Most people step backward, slowly killing their chances to become extraordinary.
Seth Godin once said, “The problem is that our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.”
The sad truth is: there’s no such thing as security. Money can be taken away (how many times have you heard of a multi-millionaire going bankrupt?). Our health could fail at any time. Millions of people are abruptly fired or laid off every year.
Security isn’t real.
We must choose to design our own life, and let go of our addiction to “apparent stability.” If you’ve traded your genius and creativity for “stability,” it’s time to get those back.
“The goal of life is not to relax on the beach, sipping mojitos all day. The purpose is to find something you love that adds value to the world.” -Ben Foley
Most People Won’t Ever Experience True Success
“The mediocre have a very narrow perception of reality, and in turn, their lives. They see things as they are, not how they can be.” -Ryan Holiday
Learning and self-education aren’t popular. Most people don’t read books, attend seminars, or take even the most basic steps for self-improvement. They would rather choose distraction and entertainment.
Most people will never be successful because they will spend their life this way.
With just a few small changes to your life, you could enter into the top 5% — 10% of your field. The competition is extremely low! Amazing, extraordinary opportunities are abundant, because so few people ever take the steps to discover them.
You can become one of the few truly successful people in the world by taking your self-education and learning seriously. In a world of mediocrity, you can become extraordinary with only a few simple tweaks.
So how do you start?
The more you keep evolving in better versions of yourself, the more you’ll need to be focused on the things that are most important.
Your days must be characterized by high-quality activities and behaviors.
Benjamin Hardy put it this way: “Success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate.”
James Altucher once said, “Every day, check these 4 boxes: Have I improved 1% on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health?”
You can start small. Even the smallest improvement is more than most people will ever see. While most people change slowly and unconsciously over time, you can begin taking control of your success by choosing to make a few small improvements.
That’s all it takes.
If You Want to Live an Extraordinary Life, You Need to Give Up a Normal One
“If you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” -Srinivas Rao
Extraordinary people are very uncommon. Their lifestyle of learning and self-education aren’t popular, either. Odds are, once you begin investing in yourself, you’ll find it’s a lonely road.
Todd Brison wisely said, “The more bold you are, the more rejection you’ll experience.” The mob of the majority doesn’t like deserters.
If you want an extraordinary life, you’ll need to give up many parts of the “normal” life. That might mean giving up common toxic behaviors or hanging out with toxic people. If “everyone does it,” you’d do well to give it a long, hard look.
Most people will never achieve an extraordinary life. That’s OK. The extraordinary life isn’t for everyone. Learning and self-education take time, energy, and focus that most people would rather spend on entertainment and distraction — “ordinary” things.
“Great” opportunities cost “good” ones; you can’t have both.
Said Benjamin Hardy:
Before you evolve, you can reasonably spend time with just about anyone.
You can reasonably eat anything placed in front of you.
You can reasonably justify activities and behaviors that are, frankly, mediocre.
But as your vision expands, you realize you need to make adjustments. You can’t spend your money on junk anymore. You need to manage your time much more diligently. You need to invest in yourself and your future.
To avoid mediocrity, you can’t continue being with negative people.
You can’t keep eating crappy foods that slow you down.
You can’t do many of the things you used to do.
This is what extraordinary requires. Most people see the price and simply say “no thanks.”
But you can do anything if you pay the price.
“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” -Scott Adams
“Who you are is a result of who you were, but where you end up depends entirely on who you choose to be from this moment forward.” -Hal Elrod
There are probably dozens of things you do on a daily basis that aren’t helping you improve.
Most people live their lives on other people’s terms. Their days are spent working on other people’s goals and following the rules of someone else.
Entertainment and distraction rule society. There will never be a shortage of TV shows, Buzzfeed articles, or Bad Lip Reading videos to take up your time.
If you want to avoid mediocrity and achieve enormous success, you must cut out distractions and prioritize learning instead.
Most people will go their whole lives as a slave to entertainment. They prioritize entertainment over improving their life, their family’s well-being, and their hopes and dreams.
This is how people can stay at jobs they hate for years. It’s how people stay in toxic relationships and remain perpetually broke. They don’t bother learning how to succeed.
If your lifestyle does not add to your growth and improvement, it will bring you down.
Prioritize learning. Invest in self-education.
Choose success over mediocrity.
Call To Action
If you want to become extraordinary and become 10x more effective than you were before, check out my checklist.
Originally published at medium.com
The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!