Motivation. I’m struggling with it at the moment. Today is not the best day to write about motivation, ambition, or the rise above mediocrity. You see, I have a long list of quotes stockpiled to choose from about which I could develop ideas and expatiate them for you, so why am I writing on this particular quote?
I suppose this quote by Carnegie was selected because though my immediate desires and attention tend toward something milder, uncomplicated, and entertaining I have a personal need to tackle this subject. I am not content with mediocrity for my future nor do I want to be an average man now. I want more, thus I must motivate myself. I am currently (as this is written) learning that which Carnegie must have meant to communicate in the title quote, that in order to rise above mediocrity we must confront head-on those mental walls that fog our ability to envision the future and reverse engineer (see Gary Keller’s & Jay Papasan’s book here) our actions in order to develop a proper strategy that will help us attain our individual desired goals.
Carnegie, whether you regard him a robber baron, exceptional philanthropist, or stringent capitalist businessman, can most definitely be described as motivated. A man who went from bobbin boy at age 13 to leading industrialist at age 38 must have been driven, to say the least. Those of us who are interested in attaining more for our families and providing value to others must not settle for average and “good enough” but must instead cut off thoughts of common and ordinary as they arise. Do not sink to permitting normalcy in the future by allowing normalcy in the present. I encourage you to work to excel in the little things now in order to reach the higher things later. You cannot expect others to push you, to do great things you must push yourself.
Now, let’s get out there and build.