Mediocrity isn’t a quest to be pursued — but a derelict deathtrap to be detonated into oblivion.
Hence, I’m firmly of the belief that your youth should be spent pursuing your passion — not just slightly, tremulously, haltingly, but unrelentingly, with a vengeance, to the max and then beyond. So dream laughably big — and then take an absurdly huge risk or two.
Be a builder, a creator, an architect of the future. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sonata, a book, a startup, a financial instrument, or a new genre of hairstyles — bring into being something not just fundamentally new, but irrepressibly dangerous to the tired, plodding powers that be. Think about it this way: if your quest is mediocrity, then sure, master the skills of shuffling Powerpoint decks, glad-handing beancounters, and making the numbers; but if your quest, on the other hand, is something resembling excellence, then the meta-skills of toppling the status quo — ambition, intention, rebellion, perseverance, humanity, empathy — are going to count for more, and the sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be.
What’s important is that what you’re doing matters — to yourself, to the people you love, and to something bigger, whether your community, society, or even humanity. Choose fulfillment and passion over “money” and “success.” The latter follow the former — and without the former, the latter are empty.
As the great poet Antonio Machado once wrote: “walker, there is no path; the path is made by walking.”
So map the horizons of your own journey, and, when the status quo tells you it can’t be done, tell the status quo to go to hell.