"Failure is not an option," the tag line of the Apollo 13 movie was a fictionalized version of what Apollo 13 FDO Flight Controller Jerry Bostick actually said.
According to Bostick, "when bad things happened, we just calmly laid out all the options, and failure was not one of them."
I've spent a lot of time this year pondering success, failure, and mediocrity. Success takes an exhaustive commitment. A little slip of mediocrity has the potential to tank the entire mission.
I read Addicted to Mediocrity by Franky Schaeffer in college. While I don't remember much, I do remember the gist of the book and it has always affected my views about secular art and music.
The word, mediocre, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Who wants to be mediocre? Yet so often we are just that, because mediocrity is comfortable.
Reaching for success stretches us beyond our comfort.
I think about the contestants on Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition.
They have a year to make a radical change in their health (which personally I believe is much better than The Biggest Loser).
Most often the contestants are highly motivated during the first part of the program, but because it is such a long period of time, some fall off, ready to pull back to the comfortable living that wrecked their health. Only those that commit to success go on to achieve the dramatic results.
To my great disappointment, 2012 has been a difficult year for our company. Difficult in the amount of work we are trying to tackle with such a small staff. Difficult in the hours that I'm keeping having thought I would never have to work like a startup again.
I could stop working as long and as hard as I am with the excuse that I've worked hard enough and long enough in my life. I just know that if I do, we will not achieve the success we are shooting for. All that will be left is mediocrity.
Could you imagine starting off on a marathon and then giving up after 20 miles? Sure you could say "Wow, 20 miles is great." The truth is, however, that running only 20 miles is less than a successful attempt at running a marathon.
I have a vision of the life that I want to have, and I have received many blessings. Doing nothing with all that has been given would be like "burying a talent." Giving less than my best is equally shameful.
Gratitude requires that I keep the vision before me and surround myself with people who also have a passion for success and a commitment to the vision.
Options: Intelligence, focus, challenge, excitement, passion...
Nope, mediocrity isn't there.