Adrenaline Rush: The War Against Mediocrity

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  • November 15, 2010

Like adrenaline, passion is a powerful fuel.

Those who get wildly aggressive and go after their dreams with every fiber of their beings are the ones who achieve them. It’s those brave men and women who rise up and go above and beyond the standards that are set by society who really achieve the greatest things in life.

Have you ever been told you can’t do something? Ever had someone laugh at your dreams? Or tell you they believe in you but you knew they didn’t really mean it?  I have. For the most part though, you intentionally surround yourself with people who believe in you and tell you that you can do anything.

Taken from You’re Good at a Lot of Things, Just not This by Tia Singh

Society’s Preparation vs Society’s Demands

It’s easy to go with the flow. The modern education system encourages you to fit in and simply put out enough effort to get a passing grade. In the workforce, you have it drilled into you that you’re supposed to do everything you’re told and you can’t figure out why businesses are so cruel as to let you go in the midst of a recession.

Society preps us to be lazy. Show up on time and do what you’re told. But it’s that same society that really rewards those who buck against that trend. It’s those people who take initiative, who create solutions before problems are even identified, who understand how to rally the team around their goals. It’s those people who go beyond simply showing up and taking orders. Those are the people who are vital to organizations. Those are the people who society really rewards.

And in life, it doesn’t matter what your skill set is. When you get that drive and that passion that pumps you up like adrenaline, it will fuel your pursuit of new skills, your quest to find new ways to network, your journey to discover new ways to accomplish great things, and it will drive you to think of new, greater things to accomplish.

What does it take to pump you up?

Haven’t you ever felt that rush when your team is so close to scoring? When your son or daughter is kicking the soccer ball down the field?

“That’s my son! That’s my daughter!” You stand up shouting and cheering.

Think about your dreams and ambitions. There are some things in life that you’re absolutely passionate about. But there are other goals you have where you’ve grown callous and comfortable. You’ve all but given up on achieving anything great.

For many of you, that flame that once burned brightly and passionately has simmered down to a mere flicker or perhaps it’s gone out altogether. It’s far easier to go to work each day than it is to create a unique, outside-the-box skill set that will really allow you to accomplish something great offline or online. It takes time, hard work and discipline to learn a new language, to write a book, to create a program or to do something that will really set you apart.

How have we lost our passion for going above and beyond? I refuse to accept that we never had it to begin with. In fact, I see glimmers of it around me every day, and I also see earth-moving, seismic examples that rock the foundations of what I think and feel.

Taken from The Culture of Good Enough by Amber Naslund

Those who ‘accidentally’ stumble upon success are the exception to the rule…not the standard. And yet, the vast majority of the world seems to be driving forward doing the same things day after day hoping that somehow a dam is going to break free and a flood wave of success will magically pour over them. Don’t fail to realize that great things come to those who do great things.

Does your project depend on a miracle, a bolt of lightning, on being chosen by some arbiter of who will succeed? I think your work is too important for you to depend on a lottery ticket. In some ways, this is the work of the Resistance, an insurance policy that gives you deniability if the project doesn’t succeed. “Oh, it didn’t work because we didn’t get featured on that blog, didn’t get distribution in the right store, didn’t get the right endorsement…”

There’s nothing wrong with leverage, no problem at all with an unexpected lift that changes everything. But why would you build that as the foundation of your plan?

Taken from No knight, no shining armor by Seth Godin

Feel the Adrenaline Coursing Through Your Veins

Wake up! You’re never going to rise above the norm if you’re never doing anything abnormal. Do you need to get physically motivated? Train up and run a marathon with me. Do you need to overcome a fear or a mental obstacle like a fear of heights? Go skydiving with me.

Did you notice I said, “with me” on each of those points.  I’m tired of my Army physical training to be all the workout that I get each week so I’m committing to run the Sun Trust National Marathon in March. I’m terrified of heights but I’ve committed to skydiving with a friend of mine because I refuse to allow anything to hold me back in life.

I’m motivated. I’m pumped up. I feel like there is adrenaline coursing through me just thinking about all the things that I want to accomplish in life.

Can you feel it?

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About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.

31 Comments

  • Tia Singh, Ms Awesome ;) says:

    Wow do I ever feel the passion and adrenaline in this post NC!

    I don’t want to get aggressive about my dreams but I definitely want to be lit up and on purpose with them and live a life that is 100% full out authentic and aligned with my values.

    So yeah, I’m with you as you can see from the post I wrote!! Thanks for quoting me btw. Let’s get this movement going people!

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Tia, you’re definitely one of the most passionate people that I know online which is why I mentioned you a few months ago when I was talking about the various Twitter personalities online.

      Someone once asked John Wesley, a preacher who had built a great following in England in the 1700′s, what his secret was to attracting crowds. He replied simply, “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.”

      Regardless of your line of work or your field of study, this principle is universal. When you are passionate about what you do and that passion fuels you to take action, to study, to get out and make things happen, then you’ve got the keys to the universe.

      Let’s grab this world by the tail and make something big happen, Tia.

  • Murray says:

    Right on Nicholas!

    We have to say ‘screw it’ to society because all it’s really done is created a watered down existence for ourselves.

    We think of anything that has truly had impact in our lives and it’s not from a sterile product, show, whatever – it’s those moments in our lives where something amazing has happened – something outside the box – something that’s been completely against the norm.

    Skydiving would be amazing! I actually looked into it and I’m actually 20lbs over the limit :(

    BUT!

    You know what that means? It’s time to get my ass in shape and lose those extra pounds so I can!

    If I want to experience something like that than I’ll need to put forth the effort.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      I’m actually going skydiving with another friend of mine who needs to lose some weight and she is working hard to achieve those same goals. How far are you away from Northern Illinois? Where are you from? You should try to come join us in the late April of early May time frame. I’d love to have you join us.

      Sometimes as I sit here looking out my window, I just go crazy thinking about all the things that I’ve accomplished and all the things that I want to accomplish. I feel like I can’t even contain it.

      Have I told you that I’m working on another book right now? I look back on Blogging to the Third Power and I think that it’s really an amateur attempt and I’ve been studying, writing, researching and I’m committed to getting a book published by a real publisher. Someday, my friend, you will see a book with my name on it at the end cap of a Barnes and Noble. Not because I’m the man, but because I’m just that passionate about getting it done!

      • Murray says:

        That’s fantastic that you’re going even further with your writing – I’ve actually had a similar thought recently about the whole ebook thing and the impact of having an actual book – it’s definitely a goal of mine as well!

        Any clues into what all you’ll be writing about? Or do we have to wait for the surprise.

        Well, starting next year I’m making a hard effort to be location independent because I’m leaving my job and pursuing my own business ventures.

        With that being said, perhaps we could figure up something – gives plenty of time to shed off those extra pounds and something truly unique to look forward to!

        I know what you mean, as well, about taking a look around and examining everything – such a whirlwind of events and there’s so much potential out there; just need to hop on it and get it done. One thing at a time and use each new project as a platform for the next.

        • Nicholas Cardot says:

          Yes. I’m writing a book that in draft I’m calling ‘The Art of the Interwebs’. Here’s a link to the cover that I drafted.

          http://yfrog.com/6fg2atj

          I’m really excited about it and I think that I have a lot more potential to create a real winner than I did last time.

          • Murray says:

            Excellent concept man, going big on this one it looks! Going to be a toughie to see how you’ll be able to condense so much of the web into a single book; if you’re pouring as much passion into it as you’re conveying from just talking about it – I think it’ll be a winner.

            The cover looks fantastic. Much better than the one image with the plug (previous one).

            How long do you figure this one may take you?

            The one I have in mind is a bit focused toward small businesses and helping them get online – more technical than anything but I’d like to use it not only just to have created something but also as something I could hand out when personally working with clients in the future :)

            • Nicholas Cardot says:

              I would like to have the bulk of the copy written by January and have it submitted to publishers by the first week of February. I saw your 30 day product challenge, and although I’m highly inspired by it, I don’t think that it’s a practical goal for this particular project.

              However, I might find myself getting ahead of schedule because I’m currently making a lot of progress on it.

              It is difficult when I’m caring for my family, working 50 hours a week for the Army, going to college and trying to run my insane online presence.

              But that is just me making excuses, I suppose which essentially goes against the entire spirit of my article.

              I am looking forward to see what products you come up with out of this challenge though.

              • Murlu says:

                Dang, you certainly have a ton of things on your plate but just for a kick of inspiration – get to work! :P

                I had been planning of doing a dedicated period to writing over the next two months but Kevin’s caught me by surprise and instead of waiting it out – I jumped right in.

                The scope of the project is much less than yours overall since I’m not going after a publisher but it would be great to share some knowledge back and forth along the way :)

                Have you considered doing a limited run by self publishing on sites like LuLu?

                • Nicholas Cardot says:

                  In the end, you’re exactly right. I need to get to work. But unlike many of my peers, when I get home from work at night, I don’t spend my time in front of the tube (although I sometimes do have the TV playing in the background). But I spend my time reading and working to continually develop my skills.

                  My first book was published on Lulu and I really feel like if I go after a real publisher that could get my book into stores like Barnes and Noble that it would really be a more effective direction to go.

                  And, of course, if I can’t get it then I’m no worse off than I am now except that I’ll know that I need to keep improving.

                  Eventually, I’m going to get a book picked up by a publisher and after that…I’m going to get another one…and another. I love writing and I fully plan on being published. I just have to get there.

                  P.S. Who’s Kevin?

                  • Murray says:

                    I love your enthusiasm Nicholas.

                    In fact, drop what I said about going with LuLu – don’t create a Plan B – fall-back plan – go for B&N! Go for it all and don’t settle for less!

                    That’s the best way to think of it as well – once you get your foot in the door the first time than you’re much more likely to get it in the next. Land that one book deal and they may keep asking for another and another – as long as you love writing, I’m sure you’ll be able to deliver the goods :)

                    Gah, that would be amazing one day – have your name published on an actual book that’s in stores. That’s legacy right there.

                    It’s amazing what happens when you cut out the distractions such as TV. If I do watch anything, like yourself, it’s just passive in the background but most of the time it’s just music pumping and I’m typing away.

                    Without TV, you notice a HUGE chunk of your time freed up – almost to the point that you don’t know where to start but as soon as you do start working on the project, you’re in the zone.

                    Kevin is behind SmartIncomeBlog – he’s recently launched a challenge to anyone that would like to join in – it’s essentially, we have 30 days to create a product/freebie for our blog.

                    I had something planned along those lines in the beginning of December but instead of waiting for it (aka procrastinating) I jumped right in :)

          • Thomas McGee says:

            Nice article, and nice book cover design! I do a bit of book jacket design myself so I’m always excited to see what concepts others are coming up with. If you’re looking for a book publisher I’d recommend http://www.winepresspublishing.com/, the best out there. Thanks again for the very passionate and informative article!

            • Nicholas Cardot says:

              I’ll definitely need to be communicating with you as probably have all the industry expertise that I need and perhaps I will go with a publisher like WinePress.

              Do you all get your books into mainstream bookstores or mostly into Christian bookstores?

              • Thomas McGee says:

                Though primarily Christian, WinePress has the potential to land books in Christian and mainstream bookstores. Working closely with many major distributors, along with extensive publicity programs, there’s more than the potential to land a spot. It cannot be guaranteed every book will land a place in a major bookstore, but with the best editing, typesetting, quality control, design, marketing, and one of the best reputations in the industry, a book with great content has an excellent shot.

                If you would like, I can put you in touch with a solutions advisor who can go over some ideas with you for your book. You already have a great platform for getting your book into the hands of readers, a solutions advisor could give some ideas as to how to take that to its full potential. Let me know what you think!

  • Gabriele Maidecchi says:

    Love your spirit Nicholas, it’s the kind of attitude real achievers show, facing challenges and taking them on rather than being happy to be average. For me it’s something that comes and goes, sometimes I feel like you do, some others I admit I tend to relax a bit too much, but the spirit is always there, just a matter to poke it a bit.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      When I was growing up, we had a wood burning furnace that we used to heat the place.

      I remember when we would wake up in the morning, the room would be chilly and the fire would often be nothing but coals. Then I would poke around for a few minutes, blow on it, lay some kindling on it and ultimately throw some wood on it.

      I’d get that fire roaring as fast as I could because otherwise I would freeze all morning.

      I think that some people are freezing in their lifestyles and they don’t even realize it.

  • Thor says:

    The talk and actions of a leader! Just what I’ve come to expect from you Nicholas.

  • Suzanne Vara says:

    Nick

    Way to rally the troops. The bigger problem is what you talked about in the comments with Gabriele. Peopel get frozen in life and sure they read this post and are all fired up and then they slowly go back to their old ways and many times do not even realize it.

    We see this with people who lose a lot of weight at a ranch and then go home and gain the weight back.The motivation and focus on them is gone.

    This is not to be the downer of the comments but it is to show that yes today we are pumped up and creating something that we see or hear each day that keeps us on track to remind us of that passion and adrenaline will garner greater success.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      How true that is. So what is the secret to helping people not just get motivated but stay motivated over the long haul and despite what obstacles they may face?

  • Caleb Miller says:

    It’s environment of mediocrity vs. the environment of personal improvement and excellence. You have to spend more time in the right environment with the right people or you will get dragged down in the the shitty pit of society’s shit.

    I’m convinced the only way to keep it up is to spend as much time as you can with people who aspire for the same stuff as you. People who crave constant change and resist the voice of society.

    Otherwise you will just not be able to keep your behavior going in the direction it needs to. You will be swayed by the seductive voice of society.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      I’ve heard it said that you are or you soon will be who your friends are.

      And as a teenager, I would often argue and demand that I am my own person. But the longer I live, the more I see this holds true.

      The people we surround ourselves with are exactly who we are or who we soon will be.

      So I guess the bottom line is that everybody should just hang out with me all the time. ;)

      • Caleb Miller says:

        Omg let’s just do lunch and launch an international influence enterprise!

        Continual improvement and challenging yourself by being around the best. Striving to model those you admire, like Tony Robbins says.

  • Keith says:

    I get told all the time that I am wasting my time with this “online thing” as so many people I know call it, but I just ignore it and keep going.

    I aspire to be great, but I like to make smaller short term goals too, measurable ones. Goals that may only be “mediocre” by your article, but that doesn’t make me unsuccessful just because it seems mediocre to others….. hell whats wrong with being mediocre? I mean I get your “reach for the stars” concept, but most people in reality won’t get there…

  • Steph says:

    Great blog! I love this post.

    You’re completely right! In order to be successful you have to break free from the norm.

    One of my favorite recent reads was LINCHPIN by SETH GODIN. It’s about being the best YOU period.. and not about “working hard to work” but working hard to create “art”, to become a linchpin that keeps things in place and keeps the machine running – and sometimes even better than it last ran… to be “indispensable”.

    Being indispensable is very difficult for many because we’ve been trained NOT to be… it’s our God given right… but we’ve let mediocrity seep into our ambition and ethics.

    Go dude!

  • Farnoosh says:

    Nicholas, I love this post and your brilliant and brave writing voice – although the last photo is a bit much – I do like that first one a lot though…! I resonate with so much you say here and you are speaking to the rhythm of my heart when you speak of passions and breaking out of the norm and facing our fears – although I’d be very careful with the sky diving thing. Great space and I am crazy about your design!

  • Ron Leyba says:

    I can feel your passion Nick! I can feel your great motivation and eagerness to do those things you wanna do. And its viral! Its contagious!

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